Manila, how we know it
About half of the 14 million population of Greater Manila live in slums. The children grow up in extreme poverty there. Most families have 4 to 8 children and live in tiny one-room huts made of wood, tin and tarpaulins. Their parents or grandparents have moved from the country to the city to earn at least some money. The fathers have strenuous jobs as fishermen, construction workers, garbage collectors or bicycle cabs drivers. Many mothers run a tiny store in their own home, sweeping the streets or cleaning mussels and fish all day long.
The children often have to help out to earn a living for the family and therefore drop out of school very early. As a result, most families are stuck in the spiral of poverty and poor education.
Family is very important to Filipinos, but due to long working hours and extremely low wages, most parents are so busy providing for their children's material needs that they have no time or energy to devote to their emotional needs. The children we work with are hungry – not just physically but also for love and hope!