I came across this article on CNN the other day about Smokey Mountain in Manila which really resonated with what we are trying to do here at Children’s Hope Fund. It illustrates many of the problems regarding how pervasive poverty is in the Philippines, and how it affects children and their ability to get an education in order to one day escape it and have a better life. That is one of our core beliefs here at CHF – that education is the key for these kids.

Smokey Mountain is basically a mountain of garbage. It was closed in 1990 and high-rise housing projects went up around it, but many people live on and around the “mountain”, scavenging amongst the garbage to survive. The children the author met while there do not go to school because their parents can’t afford the cost. While public schools are free to attend, there are additional fees such as school supplies, books, uniforms, food, etc., which many parents are unable to pay for.

Children’s Hope Fund is trying to help with this problem by supplying school supplies to “in-need” children like those mentioned in the article and, through our meals program, provide them a healthy meal once a month. It’s a story which plays out every day in the Philippines, where over half the population lives below the poverty line, and many live in conditions which we in the USA would find difficult to comprehend.