About the Bajao

Who Are the Bajao?

The Bajao people of the Philippines are the lowest class and are considered “untouchable”, who did not have birth certificates, who were illiterate and never allowed to go to school.

They were considered unable to be educated and were not allowed to become Philippine citizens. Living in extreme poverty in stilted bamboo huts over raw sewage, they are scorned by Filipinos, were spat upon, were not permitted on public transportation, nor granted access to public buildings. They earn their living fishing, begging, or selling pearls to tourists. The name Bajao translates to “vomitus”.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

In 2002 Patrick Bailey, a hospital CEO, and his wife Shari, an RN, left their jobs and moved to the Philippines to follow God’s calling to work with the Bajao. They soon realized that although their daily medical outreaches in the Bajao villages saved lives,  educating them was the only way to break the cycle of extreme poverty.

School: The Bailey’s built a one-room school in the village over the raw sewage, and hired a newly graduated Filipina elementary teacher to work with the kids. She learned how to teach tribal children opening the first-ever kindergarten for the Bajao. It took months for the children to learn to sit in chairs (their huts have no furniture), hold a pencil and write on paper, and learn how to use a toilet (a hole in the floor over sewer water is a bathroom in a Bajao hut).

Clothing and Bathing: The children were given clothes as most of them had no clothes until they reached the age of 4. They were taught to wash their hands and clean their nails. The parents were taught to bathe the children and pick the lice out of their hair every morning before school.

Birth Certificates Lead to Public Schooling:  SERV Ministries  secured birth certificates for the Bajao students during their early education, along with a school uniform, which enabled the children to enroll in the public schools after two years in our educational program.

More than 2000 children became Philippine citizens as a result of the birth certificates, and the numbers continue to rise due to YOUR contributions.