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Onesimo Youth

Street children in the slums hardly have a chance to integrate into society. They are denied access to schools, even though they are the ones who need support.
Onesimo helps street children and young people to free themselves from dependencies, to catch up on school deficits and to take their first steps in working life. They learn to take responsibility and actively shape their future.
Onesimo staff accompany them in this process in the residential living communities, in school and vocational courses, at camps in "Camp Rock" and in the new "Farm & Camp" of Matalinting.

Therapeutic communities

Onesimo creates therapeutic living communities in the middle of the poorest areas of Manila. Currently, there are 45 such family-like centers, each with six to fifteen children, adolescents and young adults.


Young people suffering from addiction work on themselves in the two-year program. They are supported in a variety of ways, in partnership with slum churches: Day structure, empathic relationships, trauma recovery, family involvement, peer mentoring, encounter with God through prayer, self-care and sport, discovering and developing new skills.


The sites of the 45 therapeutic communities are spread all over Manila. 38 of these sites are run by slum churches in partnership with Onesimo and consist of young people aged 18 to 24. The other 6 communities accompany children between the ages of 14 and 18.

Responsibility for oneself

In the therapeutic living communities, the young people find a home with loving care beyond drug use and the struggle for survival on the streets. They learn to live in a committed community and are comprehensively supported in the development of their self and social competence.


Most of the young people in the Onesimo living communities manage to get out of drug addiction and destructive lifestyles. But only some of them find their way back into worklife, because there is a lack of educational and work opportunities for socially disadvantaged young people. At Onesimo they are trained according to their abilities. They can prepare for officially recognised school-leaving qualifications or complete an apprenticeship.

The training programme leads into working life in four steps:

1. Literacy
2. Vocational training in various fields of activity
3. Training in our own or external workshops
4. Integration into working life

In Onesimo's own training centre, up to eighty young people prepare for an independent life. In the therapeutic communities of the slum churches (Church Based Ministry), around four hundred young people are preparing for working life.

Vocational training

Former street children and drug addicts have hardly any chance to enter professional life with their poverty-related life history. They do not pass the entrance exams of state schools and have no money for vocational training. At Onesimo they acquire professional basics in various gainful activities. This helps them to successfully enter working life and not to fall back into new dependencies. After two years of Onesimo, each program participant has various certificates in vocational courses such as welder, electrician, car service, massage, hairdresser, chauffeur, textile processing, cooking, party service, room maintenance, etc. in their pocket. With these, they are accompanied to local companies after the rehabilitation period in an in-service training of their choice.


Illiterate people and school dropouts can learn reading, writing and arithmetic at Onesimo in order to catch up on their school-leaving qualifications. Forty to fifty young people receive three lessons each on four days of the week. Some of them take a state examination in order to be able to attend elementary school or college afterwards. In the communities carried by the local slum churches (CBM program) there are several hundred young people who try to catch up on their school education in the ALS (Alternative Learning System).


The apprenticeships in the Onesimo workshops focus on simple professions that promise a rapid revenue generation with little capital, such as tyre service, metal and textile processing, baked goods, hamburgers. The young people practice what they have learned in their own workshop. In addition to subjects such as cooking, sewing, welding or car repair, they are also trained in their social behaviour: Respect for self and others, planning and achieving goals, communication, rights and responsibilities, looking for, finding and keeping a job, managing one’s health, money and success.


After the training follows the integration into real worklife. Onesimo supports the young people in their jobsearch and accompanies them in the initial phase of a new job. Onesimo and the local urban poor churches maintain contact with companies that enable the graduates of Onesimo to receive in-house training. After those young people have seized their "second chance in life", former garbage collectors, for example, become role models for other young people.

Camp Rock

Onesimo has built its own holiday and training centre on the island of Mindoro called Camp Rock. In this facility with its beautiful beach, many young people from the poorest neighborhoods see untouched nature for the first time and draw new hope in a loving community. Camp Rock is used in many ways:

Prevention: camps for children and young people from the slums

Therapy: drug withdrawal and work assignments

Renting for leisure time and holiday guests


Many members of therapeutic living communities begin their program at Camp Rock. Beginners' camps with drug withdrawal also take place here. During the two-year program, the youth help out with prevention work and renovations. And some participants begin their training as small group leaders there.


Every year, up to 700 children and young people take part in Onesimo camps. There sensibilization occurs for the consequences of dropping out of school and drug use. They learn about a lifestyle shaped by Christian values such as forgiveness and respect. Many try to break bad habits and dare to make a new start with God and with their fellow men. About seventy young people from church communities act as small group leaders. In a training week and two to three weekends they are prepared for the seven one-week camps.


During the periods when Camp Rock is not in use by Onesimo (especially from July to November), groups or individuals can rent accommodation on the beach. Rooms with air conditioning and cooking facilities are available.

Groups of up to 70 people can rent the whole facility. A flyer abou the premises and prices will be available soon.

Contact: Onesimo Office,, Phone 0063 2 927-6719 or 0063 2 453-772

Farm & Camp

"Matalinting" is the name of the place in the hilly jungle, two hours outside Manila. Here, Onesimo's latest project is being built on ten hectares: a farm with an agricultural school and a camp.

The farm is already in operation. The plantations are irrigated with pumps powered by water.

Solar panels supply the new facilities with electricity.

The multi-purpose hall with accommodation for two hundred campers is under construction.

Three-month career entry course

Each year, about a dozen young people will attend a three-month vocational course here and learn to grow local crops such as lychee, coffee, banana trees, pineapple, coconut, palm trees and all kinds of vegetables.

Rehab stay

Rehab participants can complete a one-month work and school stay.

Recreational and training camp

Young people and young families are invited to a leisure and training camp. A multi-purpose hall and accommodation has been built for this purpose.

Agricultural production

Organic products are produced in an affiliated farm and sold at local markets to cover costs.


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