Philippines Basic Needs Success Story
One of our success stories so far is the child in the pictures above. If you view this site and the YouTube videos you may have seen a picture of a boy with an eye tumor that the charity paid to have removed. This little girl, now 6, is the sister of the that boy. The parents use the children for begging purposes and the more 'distressed' in appearance they are, the more heart appeal they represent to the people walking by, while asking for money. The charity pays for the healthcare of the girl (see the Stunted and Dying articles also on this site) and school costs and food. Her name is Jessamae and she must come to the charity to eat or get her allowance because the mother would take any money given to her and use it for other purposes.... Drinking comes to mind.
Ultimately, Jessamae still has very limited potential. As a squatter and living in that environment, she will pick up those bad habits as she gets older. The charity had her evaluated earlier this year for schooling at the best school in town, a catholic based program. At age 5, she was unable to identify a circle or square, cow or horse, or colors. All age appropriate measurements to identify the cognitive status of a preschool child. Therefore, putting her into that school would result in a failure simply because she is unable to compete with children her own age and to keep up in class. As of now, she is in a poor school with many kids like her, and playing more than learning.
As for now, she is doing well. Gained weight and is healthy but still the size and weight of a 3-4 yr old child. A reoccurring struggle in dealing with a mother who sees no benefit unless there is something in it for her. The government pays a small amount to poor families if their children go to school. However it is mostly a formality for many of the poor. Schools accept that a student may show up and then leave or perhaps show up 1 day a week. As long as the child is enrolled, the family gets money and the school gets money for the number of students in their yearly budget. No actual requirement for the child to succeed. Many of these kids are from home with 1 parent or too many kids and not enough money to feed them all. So at an early age, they are put out in the morning to forage for themselves and to try to beg or earn money. It is not unusual to see a construction site with boys 8-12 filling bags with dirt or carrying rocks away. No machinery at most job site. All manual labor and kids work cheap.
There are now over 100,000,000 people in the Philippines, a Roman Catholic country with massive church pressure against birth control. Jessamae represents the life of millions of such squatter children. Can't help them all, but we do what we can with what we have. If you would like to help, please use the PayPal button for a donation or Contact Us with any questions. If you would like to learn more about life in the Philippines, as told by experiences from people from the US, UK, Australia and other countries, see the Philippines Expats Forum
This charity uses 100% of all donations for their intended purpose, to help the poor. No overhead costs deducted, no paid fundraisers. Please help by using that PayPal button. Tax deductible for those in the USA.