The Philippines are poor

Street children - a life without rights

More than 1.5 million children and young people live on the streets of major Philippine cities. They think they are better off there than at home. Because the everyday life of many children is shaped by their parents' addiction to alcohol, drugs or games. Beatings and sexual abuse are just two of the consequences. Once the children land on the street, in the best case scenario they end up as street vendors. Many children and young people have to beg and steal in order to survive. Quite a few boys and girls have to sell their bodies.

Life on the street takes its toll. The majority of the children are malnourished, suffer from tuberculosis, diarrhea and sexually transmitted diseases. They seek refuge in drugs and criminal gangs. This dangerous path not only leads to addiction, but often also to prison.

Protection center: On the island of Mindoro, we are sponsoring a protection center for former street children with our partner Stairway Foundation. The boys are given a safe roof over their heads and are looked after all around. You will be nursed back to health, with balanced meals and new clothes.

Psychological care: The former street children can deal with their trauma in therapy. The boys learn discipline through a structured daily routine.

Family work: If possible, the boys in the project should return to their families at the end of their six-month to two-year stay at Stairway. However, this only happens after multiple home visits and counseling sessions with the families and only if it is ensured that this is the best solution for the child.

Joe was lucky. He now lives in the Stairway Center. He no longer has to go hungry. Here he is seen. He has talent, is good at basketball and learned to play guitar quickly. That is what the social workers encourage. And Joe can finally go back to school. Only in this way does he have the chance to be successfully reintegrated into society.

Philippines - a land of contradictions

In the Philippines, there is a big difference between rich and poor. Almost a third of the people in the Philippines are considered poor. Because many families lack the money, the children have to contribute to the livelihood at an early age - mostly they toil under exploitative conditions. In the worst case, they become victims of sexual exploitation or fall into the clutches of human traffickers.

In addition to working children, there are many street children in the Philippines: They are struggling to survive - they often have to steal, beg or prostitute themselves and often come into conflict with the law. Almost two million girls and boys do not have a birth certificate and are thus cut off from medical care, education and, above all, protection from being abducted.

Information about the project

Start: 01.04.2002

Project region: Puerto Galera, Mindoro Island

Aims: Boys graduate from school or complete an apprenticeship, deal with trauma and reintegrate into society

Activities: Refuge for boys, meals, medical care, trauma processing therapies, family work, school attendance and training

Impressions from the project