The Philippines is a country that surprises you, bothers you and fascinates you all at once. With close to 40% of the population living beneath the poverty line, it can still be very difficult to cross anything else than smiles all day long, it is truly a challenge to avoid being offered a meal or some help when wandering the streets, or to say no to an invitation to the next karaoke party in the closest sari-sari. Poverty is everywhere, in every detail and every home, but the lush vegetation, heavenly beaches, generosity and pride of the inhabitants can easily keep us from seeing the reality of what is going on behind the pretty curtains.
And yet if you make the effort, you will quickly open your eyes to the social issues at stake, the government’s helplessness facing local public corruption, the dreadful figures of domestic violence or the number of young victims of sexual abuse. You walk towards this sweet little boy standing on the pavement only to discover that his skin – like all his friends’ skins – is covered with infested pimples due to their living conditions…
Hopefully many great initiatives work hard to face these massive challenges day after day. The Philippines has got hope to improve the situation, many natural resources and a population that is certainly the biggest treasure of the country. Should they be used wisely and humanely…
Inhabitant of the Gawad Kalinga village, the Enchated Farm
Young girl in the Enchanted Farm village
A man on his bangka, the traditional philippino boat.
Young girl of the village Gawad Kalinga in El Nido.
Workman and his son in the Gawad Kalinga village of El Nido : working for yourself is working for the others as 40% of the income benefits for the whole community.
Young boy in one of the slums of Manila.
On the other side of the river, the contrast with one of Gawad Kalinga’s village in Manila.
In a Gawad Kalinga’s village.
Happyland, an unexpected name for one of the main slums of Manila…
Young boy of the daycare program initiated by LP4Y in the slums to help young mothers, allow them to work and to become entrepreneurs of their own lifes.
In the slum called Smokey Mountain.
- idem -
Young girls of the team 3S, a initiative renting solar lamps in the slums of Manila. They are all part of the LP4Y program.
In the slums of Manila.
- idem -
- idem -