Hong Kong Friends of SOS Children's Villages

Philippines

1:55 pm

Our Impact in the Philippines

Life for Filipino children is really hard. Unemployment and poverty render many parents incapable of supporting their children, and many are driven out of the country in search of work. Left behind, children often end up in care, while some find themselves with nowhere to live at all.

 

A childhood of work

Other families, reluctant to leave their country behind, move to urban areas, where the prospect of a good job is supposedly better. Disorientated and traumatised, millions of children find themselves living in the squalor of shanty towns, where basic necessities such as food, sanitation and even safe drinking water are in short supply.

Their parents still unable to find work, children as young as five become the breadwinners. Huge numbers are exploited for cheap and arduous labour, receiving a pittance in return for long days, overnight shifts and backbreaking labour.

 

Escaping poverty through self-sufficiency

We help families avoid these extreme measures. Local people, with a deep knowledge of their community, work hard to help struggling mothers provide the parenting their children need. We train parents for work and care for their children during the day, giving them the freedom to go out and earn a living. With the security of a regular income, families can begin to enjoy life together again.

Self-sufficiency is an important stepping stone out of poverty. With employment scarce, specialist expertise is the only way out of a lifetime of hardship. Young people in SOS Children’s Villages as well as from the communities around them receive vocational training so that they grow up employable.

 

Building a more prosperous future

Progress is being made. In 1990, infant mortality was at 80 children out of every 1,000 live births. Now, that figure is many times lower, though still unacceptably high. But children’s lives are slowly improving, and we need to work hard to make sure this continues.

Throughout the Philippines, we are helping children recover from devastated lives, while working to strengthen families to give Filipino children have a brighter, more prosperous future. With a long way still to go, SOS Children’s Villages is working hard to ensure that Filipino children are given back their childhood.

For too long, unemployment has kept Filipinos in appalling conditions. Our work ensures children are equipped to find decent jobs and live a good life in their home country.

 

How Swissair gave Harry wings

As a boy, Harry Magallanes sold cigarettes on the streets of Manila. “I was 10 years old when a government agency referred us to SOS Children’s Village Manila in October 1989. Before that the street where me and my sister sold cigarettes to make ends meet was ‘home’ to us. At the SOS Children’s Village I had a bed of my own, so did my sister and most importantly a mother who took care of us and loved us. Swissair sponsored our house and one day we had a visitor. She was a former flight attendant and her husband was a pilot. She asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. She was delighted when I replied ‘a pilot’!”

Harry went on to study a BSc in Aircraft maintenance. Swissair then sponsored Harry’s commercial pilot training. Today, Harry is happily married with a family of his own and thanks to Swissair’s support, he fulfilled his childhood dream to become an airline pilot.