Located 500 miles off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an independent island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. More than 7,100 volcanic islands make up this tropical country. The country experiences an average of 19 typhoons a year.
Facts about the Philippines:
A large national debt hampers the economy of the Philippines. 25.2 percent of people live below the poverty line and 6.5 percent are unemployed. Many families in areas like Smokey Mountain in Manila are unable to provide for their basic daily needs. The result is that children are often malnourished and are deprived of access to education. They are then forced into the vicious cycle of poverty that continues to plague these communities.
The lack of quality education also threatens the economy’s growth. While 92 percent of Filipino children enroll in primary school, at least one in five do not complete primary education.
In areas affected by war between the government and terrorist groups, the World Food Program estimates that about 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are stunted from malnutrition.
Many families residing in the Smokey Mountain garbage dump area struggle every day to survive by collecting recyclable items from the trash that surrounds them. Adult and child scavengers collect glass, metal, paper and plastic daily, sell these items to middle men, who then resell them at a higher price to recycling factories. This meager daily income is often the family’s only source of revenue.
Since the children’s scavenging becomes a significant portion of the family’s income, these children are often denied the opportunity to attend school. Although local public schools are tuition-free, many families are still unable to provide for the cost of their children’s basic school supplies and needs.
WE International – Philippines seeks to provide ways for people to respond to poverty and injustice in the Philippines by facilitating economic development through education projects, micro lending, and sustainable business development services.
WE International – Philippines, and its collaborating partners, aim to provide a holistic approach to reversing the cycle of poverty in the Philippines. You can help by donating funds, sponsoring a student, volunteering on a trip, donating school supplies, clothes, books, or computer equipment, or assisting in planning fundraising events.
WE invite you to join us in making a difference!