Browsing Posts tagged poverty


Hundreds of children showed up to receive bags filled with school supplies. Children’s Hope Fund helps to empower impoverished children to overcome poverty by ensuring that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the 2017-2018 school year. Thanks to everyone who supported our cause, and thank you to all our volunteers. You have every reason to be proud of the part you play in bringing about a more just, fair and compassionate world. Education is an effective route out of poverty and having the opportunity to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds is a gift!

We visited Barangay Panapaan, one of the impoverished areas in Bacoor, Cavite, last Friday June 4, 2010. I had to climb a wall to reach where they live because the owner of the lot across the street took their right of way; a narrow alley that leads them to their home because they’re considered squatters and they have no rights, hundreds of them. They live in makeshift houses near a river with muddy water overflowing with garbage.  A lump formed in my throat and I had to struggle to hold back my tears as a group of kids swam and played in this filthy river. It’s heart wrenching to see their living conditions. It breaks my heart, these are real faces, real people, no one deserves to live like that, but the fact remains that the poorest of the Philippines poor live among mountains of garbage and families are scavenging just to survive. The gap between the rich and the poor is immeasurable, but even though these children been through so much over the years I saw smiles on their faces. They greeted me with open arms, hugs, laughter and so much love. I felt the sense of hope and the resilience that exists in each of the people that I met in this area.  Filipinos do not easily give up; they are fighters and survivors and they have the ability to face even the most difficult tests in life with a cheery smile. It’s a sad world, but happiness exists no matter how or where you live. The root and cause of poverty will likely not change in our lifetimes, but I am more inspired and motivated now to help get these kids in school because education is a major tool for these children to help themselves. Let’s save as many as we can.

We received devastating news from the Philippines today: a fire erupted in a slum near the Philippine capital of Manila, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of people homeless. Living in the slums leaves its people vulnerable to devastation, especially fire, because their shelters are mostly constructed of scraps of wood and garbage and are often built extremely close to each other or even attached.

An event like this highlights the need for us to help the impoverished children of the Philippines. Most of the students we are helping in Cavite live in slums just like the one that was devastated by the fire today. Children who live in these slums don’t have the luxury of focusing on their education; they instead wonder where there next meal will come from. But, with your help, we can change the focus of Cavite’s slum children to education by providing them healthy meals, clothing and school supplies. An education is the best chance they have to escape the horrors of the slums. Help us as we encourage and aid the children of Cavite in pursuing an education.

When The Elephants DanceI went to the library to find a good read and I stumbled across the book When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe. I always read the first page of the book before I take it home with me. Scanning the excerpt and first paragraph, I was immediately convinced this story would not only be wonderful, but could tell me more about the colors, history and lifestyle of the Philippines. It takes place near Cavite during World War II. Holthe captures my attention with her first sentence, “Papa explains the war like this: ‘When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.’ The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens.” The analogy hits home with me as I think about the devastation World War II must have caused the Filipino people, having their home ransacked with bombing and death without being able to take a stand with either side. In this story, I read about what lengths people are willing to go in search for food and to care for their families. I read about the honor and courage it takes to fend for one’s life. I read about the struggle and pain a country can suffer from starvation and poverty. After reading this novel, I admire the strength and heart it takes to endure a hard life and I can only hope to show the same kind of strength and heart in my own life. I believe the organizations, non-profits, and everyday people who give their time, energy, and love to aid in ending a life of suffering show exactly the kind of heart and strength I am looking for.

Schools in the Philippines are classified according to the level and type of curriculum. There are 3 major levels: elementary, secondary and tertiary.  Preschool levels like nursery school and kindergarten are offered in private schools and daycare centers, but are not required to enter primary school. Public schools are subsidized by the government to provide free education at lower levels and to help with the cost of education in higher levels.

While basic education is free in the Philippines, additional fees, books, school uniforms and school supplies are not and are a heavy burden for many families to bear.  They can’t even afford the most basic needs such as clean water, food and nutrition, health care, clothing and shelter.  Having an education continues to be out of reach for many impoverished children.  It breaks my heart because without an education there is little hope for them to escape poverty.

School year begins the second week of June, and my goal is to help over 300 in-need children to be able to attend school.  For as little as $20.00 you can give a child a head start toward a better future.

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.

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