While in college, Takako Yamada was determined to brighten the days of impoverished Filipino children through sports and leisure activities — a right she believed some of them had been deprived of.

The student, now 32, said that at the time, she believed her efforts would lift burdens, especially for the street children, and help them pursue an education. But she now believes it was just a Band-Aid approach that would not fully address the deeper issues deriving from uncertainty about the future and employment — issues that prevent young people from pursuing their dreams.

Sept. 9 marks nine years since Yamada launched an English school that offers online courses for Japanese people from her office in Cebu province in the Philippines, where trained Filipino teachers are hired.