Ignite The Nation

TULONG DUNONG

For more than 40 years, the Tulong-Dunong program has inspired many HS Ateneans to be the guiding light for countless public school students in their lives in school and beyond. See how it started and continues to inspire.

In 1975, the late Fr. James O’Brien of the Ateneo de Manila High School started a program which many years later is still considered by many alumni to be one of the most rewarding, defining and life-changing experiences they ever had.

That program was Tulong-Dunong. 

Starting with one section out of the seven in the senior high school program, senior students would tutor two groups of six to eight Grade 6 students from a nearby public school for two 40-minute periods (or close to three hours a week), once a week, either on Tuesday or Thursday.

In just a few years, the Tulong-Dunong program was implemented for all seven senior sections, with half of the fourth-year sections going to their assigned public school. Apart from this, the high school students would also conduct home visits, educational tours with their students and various other programs in these public schools as part of their practicum.

Since 1975, the Tulong-Dunong program produced many public school scholars who went on to qualify for high school studies in private schools such as Ateneo de Manila for the boys, and Miriam College (formerly Maryknoll) for the girls, St. Joseph’s College, St. Scholastica’s Marikina and St. Bridget’s.

The sections who tutored these scholars continued support for them throughout high school by helping to provide allowances or even part of their tuition when needed. Some classes even went further by helping their scholars through college. Most of these scholars did go on to various colleges and are presently quite accomplished in their respective fields.

The Tulong-Dunong program renewed many students’ faith that any person, given the right exposure and motivation, is naturally compassionate and caring, especially for those who are less fortunate in life.