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Transforming lives in Manila with FCED

June 2016 │ Philippines

“It is not just me who graduated, it is my whole family,” Bryan Mercado proudly states as he stood in front of some 281 fellow scholars and guests during the Families and Children for Empowerment and Development (FCED) graduation ceremony on May 31.

Mercado is one of the beneficiaries of Deutsche Bank’s partnership with FCED where the Bank provides aid – both financial and other – for urban children and youth from impoverished families at the high school and college levels in Paco and Pandacan in the city of Manila.

At the age of 24, Mercado had already suffered much loss including losing his mother at the age of 10 and having to earn a meager income to support his family by collecting garbage as a child. “I helped our neighbors fill their drums in the house with water. These were located in the first floor and the second floor of their houses and I got paid P50 (less than one euro) for almost two to three hours work,” said Mercado.

Despite these hardships, Mercado persevered and went on to not only complete high school but also graduate Magna Cum Laude from the Eulogio “AMANG” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology with a Bachelors degree in Public Administration. “When I was in college, I believed I was already equipped and had confidence that I will finish it because of the scholarship from Deutsche Bank and FCED,” said Mercado.

Mercado said he focused on his goals and endeavored to circumvent his daily challenges by using those difficulties as stepping stones to go further. “I always thought that others can help us, but we are the ones who need to help ourselves first,” he added.

Speaking to the graduates at the ceremony, Pilar Manzano, Chief Operating Officer of Deutsche Bank Group Manila, urged them to make the most of the support, networks and resources available to them to achieve their ambitions. She shared her humble beginnings, her own challenging experience when she was a student, and how she achieved her goals. “It is not often that you are given the right opportunity to become more than who you are now.” she told the graduates.

As part of Born to Be, Deutsche Bank has been working with FCED since 2009 to provide financial assistance to 300 disadvantaged children in Manila, enabling them to gain access to quality education and empower them to break out of the poverty cycle. The funds cover the students’ educational fees, daily transportation, daily meal allowance, expenses for remedial classes, medical funds when needed. The programme not only addresses the students' academic development, but also their psychosocial, spiritual and total well-being.


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Last Update: June 28, 2016
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