The Philippines is made up of 7,103 islands with two official languages and eight major dialects. Characterized by sprawling beaches, verdant fields and stunning mountains, the islands draw millions of travelers every year.
Unfortunately, the Philippines' history of colonization has left a lasting mark on its economy; many of its most lucrative monopolies are owned by families who have been in power since the Spanish colonial era. The divide between rich and poor speaks for itself when one looks at Manila's slums, which elbow right up against rich districts with towering skyscrapers. With upwards of 25% of Filipinos living in extreme poverty, many children fall behind in school due to a lack of basic school supplies, malnutrition and lack of access to health care professionals. Socioeconomically disadvantaged children have higher drop-out rates, most significantly at the elementary school level.