The building on Camotes has been developed to accommodate four classrooms, as well as an outdoor play area, toilets and a caretaker’s house.  Having achieved the necessary rigorous validation from the authorities, DLA opened in 2018 with an intake of 35 children aged between 4-7 years.  Simon’s wife Jane is a qualified teacher and has been the driving force behind the school.  The classrooms are the best equipped on the island thanks to donations of equipment from schools in Australia, and the school has rapidly developed a reputation for providing an excellent start to children’s learning.  All the teaching staff are local Filipinos and are committed to God and the children!

Education is not free in the Philippines but is highly valued, and with no government funding DLA is largely reliant on fees from those who can afford to pay.  However we also have supporters in both the UK and Australia who sponsor children from poorer families who would otherwise miss out on an education.  Donors usually give £20-30 per month.  Unlike other charities, 100% of the money that is given in sponsorship goes directly to funding their schooling.  All children wear uniforms, so that whether they are from a poor family or not, they all look the same and are treated with equal value.

As a result of the pandemic, the school had to switch to an alternative way of teaching the children who had to stay at home.  The staff have made an amazing effort to produce weekly learning packs which are collected by their parents, backed up with weekly phone or video calls.  Over 115 children are now enrolled with the school, and they all look forward to the time when they can once again gather to learn and play together.

For more information about the school, please visit their website at

Plans have been drawn up to construct another building which will have three more classrooms on the ground floor.  Additionally there will be residential accommodation on the second floor for children to stay during the week who would otherwise be unable to pay for transport to and from school.