Here's the sad reality of the street children in the Philippines...
Every day in Manila, more than 75,000 children play, work, beg, and sleep on the streets of the city. Today, some will die.
Imagine tens of thousands of children, ages 5 to 7, dressed in rags torn to shreds and with their faces covered in dirt and soot, as they walk the winding pathways of asphalt. They spend their days baking under the sun's scorching rays or drudge in the endless assault of rain and wind, their bare feet being tortured by an unforgiving environment. As their hungry stomachs rumble, they sleep away their nights, blanketed with dreams of wealth and comfort while being watched by a seemingly desolate moon. While some of them knock on peoples cars, hunting for alms amongst Manila's busy intersections, others try to earn their daily bread selling everything from flowers to cigarettes. There are even those who prefer the meager and shameful incomes procured from illegal trades such as prostitution and drug trafficking. And there are those who turn to crime or the empty lures of drug addiction.
These poor children sleep in doorways, in push carts, under plastic sheets, under bridges, in drainage pipes, in derelict buildings, in abandoned cars and buses. Some even make shacks in the trees along the fashionable boulevards. They favor being with the rich dead in cemeteries where the tombs have roofs. They sleep in doorways on the pavements or in the church porch. They live along the sea walls and canals.
Because of their dire need of food, street children are forced to go out and learn the street survival techniques to bring food for their family. When they see that the food they bring is not enough, they return to the street and their brothers and sisters sometimes follow them, looking for the source of the food.
Some children are syndicate slaves, they have been kidnapped or bought from their families. Some children are hired because they can be paid a lot less than the minimum wage, they require less food intake, tire less easily and they have no need to apply for such things as medical plans, SSS (Social Security System) or retirement. Tasks like carrying heavy cement bags are assigned to these children because they are said to be stronger anyway, so why not? The truth of the matter is, with all this hard work, low pay and lack of a medical plan, they become weaker and weaker, eventually causing them to lose their job and their income. The result of this is either their younger siblings are forced to work, or the whole family suffers from starvation.
For the middle to upper classes, these children are usually viewed with both ends of the spectrum in mind. For some, they are youngsters who deserve the help and love that others can render for them, youngsters who need equal opportunities to work for a better future. But for others, they can be mere street urchins, human trash who should be locked up and kept out of sight or abused to bring in more money for already wealthy employers.
Street kids are considered pests by some of the business community—as vermin to be exterminated.
Many of these children end up in jail.
Often arrested, street children are jailed without proper legal procedures. They are at times treated as non–persons. In a society where money is the measure of human worth, the children have no value. In the subhuman conditions of overcrowded jails and mixed with adults, they are deprived of light, learning, exercise, family and companionship.
Often they are accused falsely for crimes committed by street children who have been recruited into gangs controlled and protected by the police. The gangs of street children prey on the younger and weaker children and sometimes make them sex slaves, using drugs, food and fear to control and dominate them. The street children are trained to be drug couriers. Although innocent, the younger and unprotected can suffer untold abuse by the other street youth. When in the jails, they can be mixed with criminals, rapists and pedophiles.
They are sexually abused by adult prisoners in overcrowded cells without even enough space to lie down together. Half of the prisoners have to stand while the other half sleeps. The only schooling the street children receive inside is how to be a criminal. They suffer systematic violation of their human rights from the day they are accused and are incarcerated without due process of law. When they do get out, they return to the streets and are able to organize street gangs of children to engage in crime. They are psychologically damaged and traumatized and sometimes deranged. They face the dangers of tuberculosis and other diseases while in the prison.
Most street children are illiterate. Having no incentive, money or support and encouragement to study, they have dropped out of elementary school. They join street gangs for their own protection and use industrial glue as a mind– and mood–altering tranquilizer. They work selling plastic bags, newspapers and flowers or begging for a syndicate. Many are controlled by pimps and sold to sex tourists on street corners or brought to the casa, a house of prostitution. Street children are the poorest of the poor; they are the most vulnerable and weakest and unless they are helped they will be the HIV/AIDS victims of the future in fact some already are. They are forced to be child prostitutes that attract foreign sex tourists. They are susceptible to becoming criminals or even terrorists angry at the adult world that gave them life in the worst misery imaginable.
In the Philippines poverty and pervasive malnutrition are not limited to families of deprived seasonal workers. Undernourishment is endemic and increasing throughout most of this archipelago of some 7107 islands, and is compounded by the prevalence of intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal diseases which health workers estimate deprive youngsters of at least 5-10% of the nutritional value in food they do consume. This problem is particularly prevalent in rural villages and city slums where many people eat with their fingers.
Help them fight back against the disease that is attacking them!
Beset on all sides by malnutrition, disease, viruses and parasites. It's no wonder a lot of these children die before they reach the age of 10. Give them the best help you can.
According to the Philippine Ministry of Health, nearly 1/2 of all reported deaths are among infants and children through age 4, and about 1/2 of the accelerated death rate among those age 5 and younger is related to malnutrition, compounded by diarrhea, measles, and malaria which is returning to areas where it once was almost eradicated. 3 factors critically affect a newborn's survival prospects: the family size he or she is born into; the time or spacing between the mother's pregnancies; and the child's birth order.
Malnutrition is implicated majority of all deaths. It is found in all societies most commonly identified with the poor. The problem of malnutrition contributes to half of all child deaths worldwide - a proportion unmatched by any infectious disease since the Black Death.
There is more than enough for everyone.
Here at Regain Life Foundation, we believe in ABUNDANCE. We believe that there is more than enough for everyone, we believe in creation and not competition... and that by GIVING, you do not end up with less BUT with MORE.
Regain Life Foundation is dedicated to orphan and abandoned street children in the Philippines who are the poorest of the poor to help them BREAK the poverty cycle and create abundance and prosperity in their lives. We do this by providing not just their basic needs like shelter, food, clothing, medicine and education... but also by providing them life skills that are more important than science and algebra. Child sponsorship alone will only ever give poor children third world opportunities but combined with Regain Life's programs, we will give them a REAL chance of a successful and happy life. This will result in a new generation that will think differently about what they can achieve for themselves, and what they do for their community.
We understand that children are our future and Regain Life Foundation is all about children, their well-being, their growth and the quality of their lives. That's why we provide them with the best nutrition and empower them to become all that they wish to be in tomorrow's world.
Help us Feed, Shelter and Clothe Them
Apart from just better health these kids also need a place to call home. They need a place they can sleep every night, eat, learn and be loved.
Thank you very much for your support.