Poverty in the Philippines
Over 60 percent of the people in the Philippines live on just two dollars a day. Almost half therefore live on the poverty line. You are not covered if you get sick or old. You cannot live a dignified life.
This affects the adults and especially the children. The international children’s aid organization UNICEF names the Philippines as one of the ten countries with the most malnourished children under five. In addition, 20 percent of families are dependent on the work of their children to ensure their survival. Many people do not have clean drinking water or electricity. Many do not have a toilet or bathroom. Just over half of all residents live in a real apartment.
Everyday life of children
Even if the need in the Philippines is very great, of course not all children live on the streets and not every child has to work. Filipino children also attend school and meet up with their friends. Nevertheless, it is much more than usual for us that children help in the household. Children also support their parents in their professions, for example when the parents run a shop or fish. Once the work is done, they also meet up with friends, for example to do sports together.
Children’s free time
Traditional sports in the Philippines include arnis, a type of fencing with wooden sticks, and sipa. Sipa is a ball game similar to volleyball, with the difference that the players use their legs instead of hands and arms. Boxing is also very popular. American influence is evident in the great enthusiasm of many for baseball and basketball.
Children as a pension
Children are very important in the Philippines, a country located in Asia according to usaers. In a country where there is no separate pension scheme, children have to look after their parents in old age. In the Philippines, for example, many people often live in close proximity to one another. Having a room to yourself is a luxury for Filipino children. Often the whole family lives with several people in just one room.
Children and School
Free education for everyone?
Elementary school in the Philippines is free. Many children go to school and one can speak of a comparatively high level of education. So there are only a few people who cannot write and read. But the differences are huge.
Some of the children drop out of school before the end of elementary school: that should be almost a third of the children. In addition, around one million children in the Philippines between the ages of six and twelve are said not to go to school at all. Nor is it the case that every village has a village or elementary school.
Many villages do not even offer this, so the children have to come to the neighboring village further away. And they don’t have parents who can take them to school quickly by car. You then have to take further routes – mostly on foot.
Many children leave school after four years, i.e. after elementary school, and do not even go to school for six years – as is actually required by the state. Most children would much rather go to school than work. It has various reasons related to the children’s environment. You can read more about this under “Children”.
Violence against children and life on the street
Many children in the Philippine Islands are neglected by their parents. They experience violence in their families, they drop out of school and they are often also forced to go to work. They run away from home because they can’t take it anymore. But where should they go?
In Germany, the youth welfare office takes care of such children, but there is no such thing in poor countries. There are often attempts in the villages to help these children, but institutions like the “National Councils for the Well-Being of Children” are often overwhelmed and fail to provide any help.
The children who live on the street often come from very large families. A large number of street children still live with their families but work on the street. Some children also band together and form gangs. Many of them come into contact with their families from time to time, but for the most part live independently. Many a child who lives on the street no longer has any contact with their family.
Some children hire out to shine shoes or clean the cars on the side of the road when they wait for the lights to turn green. But they often get nothing. Many children work as prostitutes, both boys and girls. They steal or trade drugs. The result: many children end up in prison. The prisons in the Philippines are full of children who have come off the street and committed a crime.
There are people who want to reduce the amount of theft and crime. They hire others who, in the best case scenario, drive the children away and, in the worst case, even use weapons against the children.