This Summer Children’s Hunger Relief Fund sent our international team to the Philippines where, through the generosity of our compassionate donors, CHRF is providing millions of dollars worth of valuable medicines to clinics and hospitals as well as helping orphanages and feeding programs.
A team member went on the trip and asked us to send his report to the generous donors, like you, that make this work and support possible.
“If only each and every single member of our CHRF team, our CHRF donors, could see the incredible and life-saving work that we are helping make possible each and every single day not only here in the Philippines but around the world. I want to communicate just what a life-changing difference we are making in the lives of these young and beautiful children.
Our days were spent working with our partners at local orphanages and hospitals. Working in these hospitals is one of the most painful and incredible experiences that I’ve ever had to undertake. The heart wrenching sounds of the babies screaming. And the sicker sound of silence as the other babies were so near death that they had no ability to scream.
But I was able to find comfort in the knowledge that, through the generosity of our donors, we are doing everything we can for these beautiful little baby children. Children that without the help of CHRF and our partners, would be left to helplessly die.
But not this time. This time, with the help of our CHRF supporters and partners, we are able to help change the lives of these precious children. In one hospital I was able to hold one such child that was receiving emergency medical care, his little life had been saved by the good people and nurses working at the hospital that we support.
It was an amazing feeling, holding the life of a little boy that had been so close to death, in my arms. His life had been miraculously saved by YOUR help! And that is why I wanted to write to you and thank you for your support to CHRF and our partners. I have held in my very own arms a life that has been saved with your help!
Another Volunteer member from the CHRF team shared:
Today our team went to visit the community of Baseco on the outskirts of Manila Philippines and then onto some communities in downtown Manila. It was an incredible day, a day that no amount of words, pictures or even videos can truly communicate and capture. I’ll do my best.
Tens of thousands of people live in the community of Baseco. The area is amongst huge garbage dumps that flow into the ocean. How can you communicate the sadness that lives in this place? The locals tell us that at least one person is murdered every day over simple arguments, the people are completely hopeless. Children swim in the ocean and through the garbage dumps scavenging for materials that they can sell. If they find a few bottles that they can sell to recycle they’ve had a productive day.
I met and spoke with a mother that our partners work to help. For work she peels garlic and sells it back to local Chinese restaurants. It will take her two to three days to peel enough garlic to fill a bag. Each bag is worth $1.25. With this money she must feed herself and her three children for the next two to three days until she can sell another bag of garlic. The garlic must also soak in water so it is not a process that can be rushed too fast otherwise they will be rejected and she will get nothing, her children could go days without eating if she doesn’t peel the garlic properly. My heart sinks lower and lower as she tells me her story. How can this happen to people?
It’s not hard to do the math. With three children she must feed herself and her family for up to three days with just $1.25. I asked our partners how much food can that possibly buy? How can she survive? They shared that $1.25 is enough for either one small bag of fish or one bag of rice. With only this much she can only afford to feed her children and herself one meal a day. And remember that she must have enough energy to work everyday or else her children might starve.
The price of each child’s meal comes out to less then eleven cents. Imagine, just ten cents for their one meal of the day? Would you even bend over to the ground if you saw ten cents lying on the street? Now imagine that these children receive their only meal for the day from that same dime. This reality is cruel and almost unbelievable, I wish that it weren’t true, and yet sadly this is the daily life for thousands of people living in this community.
You can’t question the work ethic of these people. They work so hard and for so little you cannot help but feel ashamed. One fourteen year old girl that belongs in a family that we talked with worked sixteen hours every day this summer in order to save up enough money to buy her brother and sister school uniforms so that they could go to school. In these communities in the Philippines many times all that is required to go to school is a uniform, which costs about twenty US dollars. In the past CHRF and our donors have helped to buy uniforms for children and their families in these communities.
Every year or so this community will be entirely swept away by a typhoon (or tsunami). Many will die, many children will be lost and separated from their families leaving them vulnerable to sexual traffickers and kidnappers. Just last November the typhoon came and swept away the make-shift buildings of plastic and sheet metal that serves as homes for thousands of children. The government is working to relocate these people but for now there is no where else for them to go. Every year they must return to this spot, unable to migrate anywhere else. Again, I really don’t think I could believe these stories until today, when I spoke to these children, their families and saw the horror with my own eyes. But this was just the beginning.
Please stay tuned for part two of our Philippines Report which will be posted in a few days….
Thank you to all of our CHRF donors who help us to provide care, love and compassion for these children. Without you our work would not be possible!