As another academic year gets into full swing in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere and some parts of the Southern Hemisphere, so too does an education campaign called #AkoSiDaniel in the Philippines. With the aim of getting 1.2 million primary-age out-of-school children in the country into schools and learning, the cause is making headlines with the support of local and international youth leaders, nonprofit organizations, and celebrities united to bring hope to young Filipinos living in poverty.
Inspired by nine-year old Daniel Cabrera of Cebu and the global Up For School movement, #AkoSiDaniel, meaning “I am Daniel,” was launched in July 2015 by The Philippines Foundation in partnership with international initiative A World at School and American crowdfunding company Crowdrise.
A few weeks before, the photo of Daniel studying on a makeshift desk by a McDonald’s underneath a lamp post went viral, drawing the attention of online and on-the-ground communities who mobilized to support him and his mother. As a result of their collaboration, they raised over 230,000 Philippine pesos, equivalent to approximately 5,300 U.S. dollars, as well as scholarships that will be financial assistance for his living expenses and schooling.
In the spirit of their crowdfunding project, #AkoSiDaniel is anchored to a digital platform, AkoSiDaniel.org. Through this microsite, people across the world can sign the Up For School Philippines petition and donate to The Philippines Foundation, which will support programs devoted to increasing access to quality education for children in the Philippines.