Since 1997, ACAY works to offer a second chance to youth at risk aged 15 to 23 years old through innovative pedagogical methods. These are designed to restore the dignity of each youth and help them find meaning to their lives.
We envision of becoming a model of compassion which will develop into a sense of responsibility.
ACAY offers holistic and innovative approaches of restoration wherein youth and families in difficult circumstances will re-discover the dignity and meaning of life and take lead in becoming agents of change.
- Provide familial and nurturing environment that offers a sense of belongingness and safety which will rebuild self-esteem and dignity.
- Enable youth and families to face the consequences of their traumatic experiences and difficult life situations through holistic interventions for restoration of their psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs.
- To empower the family in the restoration process of the youth.
- Enhance leadership and equip youth and families with academic competence, knowledge and skills that will enable them to be autonomous and face the challenges of daily living.
- Develop opportunities for youth and families to acquire life values for the service of others.
- Develop strategies which reinforce bridges among existing gaps in societal and cultural mentalities for the sake of restoring youth and families.
1995 | A call to start a mission
World Youth Day in Manila, the Philippines when Sr. Sophie of Jesus received her call to start a mission for children in difficulty.
1997 | A mission to take care of the youth
Discovered the reality of street life where children and youth are exposed to drugs, alcohol, exploitation, and all kinds of violence. The majority of NGO’s are interested only in children and very few are willing to help young people above 14 years old. Sr. Sophie then decided to take care of the youth.
2000 | Creation of School of Life Program
Founded the School of Life Program that offers young girls aged 14 to 21 years old who experienced different abuse and trauma, a familial and therapeutic environment that enables them to rebuild their dignity, their self-esteem and empower them to find back the meaning of their lives.
2002 | Second Chance Program was Developed
Creation of Second Chance Program (SCP) a community-based program catering to Children In Conflict with the Law (CICL) and Child-At-Risk (CAR) with an aim to lessen recidivism. Since 2009, 90% of the youth coached under the Aftercare subprogram did not go back to jail.
2005 | Family Program was Created
Started the Family Program which integrates the parent of ACAY beneficiaries in the process of reconstructing the lives of their children.
2007 – Foundation of Missionaries of Mary
Foundation of Missionaries of Mary consecrated sisters who founded the ACAY Missions Philippines Inc.
2009 – Mission with Aeta Community
Started the Aeta Mission, at the service of the youth of one of the ethnic minorities of the Philippines: The Aetas
2012 – Accredition of ACAY Programs
ACAY Missions Philippines programs have been accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of the Philippines.
2013 – Started the mission in Tacloban
The Mission in the Barangay of Santa Cruz in Tanauan Leyte helped the whole barangay with a program of recovery and sustainability following the traumatic experience of the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) which struck in November 2013.
2013 | Sr. Sophie was awarded as Knight in the National Order of Merit
Sr Sophie de Jésus Founder of ACAY Missions has received a Knight in the National Order of Merit award from the French government for her educative work for the Filipino youth.
2014 | ACAY France was started
Started ACAY France in Marseille to bring back from the Philippines the expertise and experience of helping the youth at risk in France.
2017 | Sr. Sophie received the Knight of the French Legion of Honor award
Sister Sophie of Jesus ACAY Missions Philippines founder has been awarded as Knight of the French Legion of Honor by the French government.
2018 | MIssion in Congo Africa
One of our partners AMADE asked us if we would be willing to coach one of their partners in Africa, in Congo. • This time this is the design and educative strategies of the School of Life program which was shared with this NGO taking care of young girls accused as “witches” in the African context.
2020 | 20 years celebration of School of Life
This year was a significant year for School of Life as it celebrated it’s 20th anniversary.
The event was a chance to reflect on the ACAY identity and to come together to celebrate the success and contribution of the School of Life in shaping the lives of the youth and enabling them to become an agent of change.