Eleanor Pinugu is an education hero from Manila in Philippine, whose humanitarian path was affected by an incident that happened at a point in her life.

She is the co-founder and owner of Mano Amiga (which means “Helping Hand”) an affordable K to 12 schools with international standards which started in Zomeyucan, Mexico in 1963 providing scholarships and sustainable livelihood for the poor.

Mano Amiga Academy has over 30 schools distributed around seven countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico & Venezuela), with more than 17,000 students and parents undergoing formation.

The mission of the school is ached with a burden to empower low-income families to break out of poverty.

However, the vision of the school for the Filipino branch started long ago in the heart of a young lady called Eleanor Pinugu during her junior year in college at the Ateneo de Manila University.

She was born with a silver spoon but suddenly her world began to crash when her mother lost her job and the family was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Then the picture of an uncertain future became clear to Eleanor, it suddenly dawned on her that she had been on the palms of grace having been born into a rich family. At that time, she was a regular paying student taking up AB Interdisciplinary Studies and majored in Journalism and Sociology. 

Fortunately, she came in contact with an essay competition where the prize was a scholarship. She took the competition and won the prize.

Having escaped her predicament, she knew she needed to extend a hand to many children who were faced with difficulties that could cripple their academic desires.

Losing her luxurious background was a major turning point in her life which led her to bear the burden of meeting the needs of others who never had the opportunity of education or who like herself had lost their grounds some point. She then began to make plans to reach out to those in the rural communities and give them the opportunity and access to quality education

Her dream did not begin to bear fruits until years after her graduation while serving as a youth missionary in Mexico, where she visited Mano Amiga Academy; a school for poor children.

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