For many of us, summer time is about taking a break, engaging in extracurricular activities while having lots and lots of fun. However, for many kids in the Philippines, that is never an option as they live in the streets or public markets where some of them have to engage in illegal forms of labour, drugs and, in some cases, prostitution in order to survive. After running a smaller program in the last 2 years starting in 2017, we've tweaked the programme to have maximum impact and include more at-risk children.
You can help us make a real difference by providing an opportunity for these children to just enjoy being kids again starting with 38 kids from Novaliches, Commonwealth and Araneta while also providing a great opportunity to licensed social workers to run their crucial education programme alongside the camp.
Each summer, we will host basketball camps and other sports-oriented or activity based programs in communities with a high concentration of street children. The street children will be able to attend these programs for free and we will use these activities as venues for our social workers to be able to deliver the eight alternative education sessions - Values Formation, Conventions on Rights of a Child, Primary Health Care, Substance Abuse and Prevention Education, Personal Safety Protective Behavior, Life Skill Life Goal, Gender Equality, Basic Literacy and Numeracy.
In 2019, we will begin with a ten-day basketball camp meeting twice a week every Wednesdays and Fridays beginning on April 24 and ending on May 29. Around forty children will participate - twenty six to thirty are non-community-based street children (meaning they actually work and sleep in the street and don’t go home to a depressed area with their families) and ten will be former street children that are now based in Kuya Center. The street children will be coming from Commonwealth market, Novaliches and Araneta in Quezon City where the Kuya Center social workers work twice a week to identify and help at-risk children.
According to Unicef, the Philippines has the lowest decline in poverty rates in the last 2 decades especially compared to its neighbours in Southeast Asia.
And with regards to children in poverty: "3 out of 4 income poor children live in rural areas. Their number has, in fact, increased at roughly 2.7 per cent each year from 2003 to 2009. On the other hand, even if only a quarter of all poor children are found in urban areas, their annual rate of increase is an alarming 4.48 per cent---almost twice the rate of increase in the rural areas."
As of this study, out of the 13.5 million poor children nationwide, 5.5 million have engaged in child labour. This reinforces the intergenerational cycle of poverty and impedes a child's development because it interferes with their education and exposes them to exploitation.
Our programme partner - Kuya Center for Street Children have three licensed social workers that work once a week in each of these areas and have formed good relationships with the children there.
In subsequent years, we intend to expand the breadth of activities in order to be more inclusive. However, we will also need to increase the number of licensed social workers involved as there are several child safety, logistics and legal implications.
The Acts of Kindness Collective operates a 100% model. This means that we raise money for any overheads separately, so that 100% of your donation to a specific campaign can always be guaranteed to be spent on that project.
For updates on the children's progress, summer activities and other information, please like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheActsofKindnessCollective/ , follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/theaokc/ or visit our website https://theaokc.org
Donations to this fundraiser are dedicated, but not restricted to, the summer program for street children in the Philippines. In the event of any savings or overfunding, The AOKC may use the surplus at our discretion, to maximise the impact within the communities we are active in.
We're almost done with this year's summer camp and we can't thank you enough for all of your support. We also wanted to share a short update on what we've been doing for the past few weeks. The feedback from the kids was overwhelmingly positive as the move into a safe environment allowed them to concentrate on the crucial alternative learning sessions that the social workers conducted. The kids also volunteered that during the camp days, they were able to stay away from drugs, which could also be due to the fact that their basic needs were being covered. More importantly, the kids are having fun just being away from their usual environments and playing basketball with their friends.
There were two days, however, when attendance was lower as some of the street kids couldn't be found in one of the sites. The social workers suggested that it could be due to a host of issues including the work that the kids engage in, which could keep them up until the early hours of the day. While we also serve lunch and offer a snack after the camp, the kids are often very hungry when they are picked up in the morning, which is also work related and a big reason why they are forced to abuse drugs. The social workers also started bringing them some breakfast in the morning to address this and the camp attendance has been very high otherwise.
Here's a link with a few pictures and videos from our phones for your enjoyment. We'll be sending another update with our assessments once the camp concludes. Once again, thanks for all your help! Maraming salamat po.
The AOKC team