New land acquired for Manila slum outreach center, new facility to be built

Photo: Children in our Manila slum outreach education program enjoy after-school activities including computer literacy classes.

Deep in the heart of one of Manila’s most hazardous slums, our children’s outreach center is shining the light brightly into the darkness of child labor and malnutrition. Situated on the edge of a huge city landfill, the Payatas Colony is a living nightmare where children play in contaminated drainage and are working in unthinkable, hazardous conditions as young as age 5.

Our “Children’s Hope Center of Manila” seeks to offer families an alternative to child labor. The program is still in its infancy, right now only functioning a limited number of days as we gain trust in the community and raise more funding. We rent a small facility where our program director also runs her small business renting computer time and selling simple to-go meals from her window.

We’ve now acquired a small plot of land in the colony and are ready to build a dedicated space for the center. Our budget to construct a small building and outfit the space with classroom equipment is just $10,000.

Through this program we’re offering nutritious fresh-cooked meals, clean water, hygiene lessons, free hygiene supplies, games and “vacation bible school” activities, and classes on basic computer skills for the children. We’re in the process of registering several children we’ve identified as most in danger, to be a part of the broader plan of the program.

The program is based on our successful model of educational support, tutoring and nutrition aid we developed in Hyderabad, India. The goal of the model is to support children with everything they need to receive a strong education at an existing local school. By supporting a child to get through school with the nutrition and tutoring support necessary for them to succeed, we’re able to break the cycle of poverty, to rescue them from child labor.

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