Underweight and malnourished babies and small children (and mums and dads) are common in the dumpsite communities.
Even outside the dumpsites in neighbouring communities, the diet is rice and food salvaged from the decaying rubbish ("pag-pag") . If funds allow, a sardine from a tin can be added, or some leaves from some bushes growing wild nearby. That's it . . . day after day after day.
We can do something about that! We have feeding programs for the kids with high nutrition food and chocolate milk for dessert. Presently this is once a week, but we want to do more. We are feeding about 1000 children each week in 11 different communities. Babies get tins of formula milk from Australia, and the weaker folk get vitamins.
190 emergency food packs are given out every second week to the neediest of families.
Skin diseases are the most obvious. Boils, rashes, ringworm, fungus are common. Head lice is everywhere. TB is also a risk in these areas along with Dengue Fever. Too often there are funeral services and the coffin is very small. Sadly, mums and dads die too early because they choose to protect the small family funds for their kid's education rather than using this to go to a clinic for a checkup themselves when they get sick.
We can do something about that! We have access to a mobile clinic and doctor or RN to visit the poorest communities with free medicine, and if necessary, referrals to clinics/hospitals, and funding beyond that in critical circumstances.
And we have put a key person in the community in charge of a first aid kit to address the more obvious issues.
We have to look to the future of these ultra poor communities, and the future is the next generation. We have to get the kids into school, and help them stay there. If they show ability, they should go to college, so they can be the breadwinner for the family and help their younger siblings through school.
We are doing something about that! We offer sponsorships to kids/teenagers/young adults to give them the platform to get a good job. If they've fallen through the cracks of the education system, we can help them through the Alternate Learning System. $300/year will make education a reality for one student.
Right now we are looking at setting up a sponsorship program for guys to go to trade school - more to come on that front very soon . . .
Additionally, we want to help prevent the unwanted pregnancies of ladies who cannot afford another baby by offering free contraception through our mobile clinics.
We plan to build a steel water talk with a water filter enough to provide 10,000 litres of pure clean water a day. Enough for 500 families. We want to do this in a central location for each ultra poor community.
Many communities have no toilets. Their toilet is a plastic bag thrown into the creek! Other communities have a deep hole and a tarpaulin sheet wrapped around the hole for privacy. We want to provide these communities with a toilet block of three or four toilets with solar lighting in a central location.
The #1 favorite food in the Philippines is "lechon" - pork. We want to create a mini piggery model that will be a template for a multitude of poor folk to produce income for their families.
Our local manager is Johnrey Quinones, based in Villa San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal. He lives and works around the Montalban dumpsite area - literally a huge dump mountain which takes the waste of 12.8 million people from the sister cities of Manila and Quezon City - connecting to the surrounding poor communities of Jovil, Southville, Banana Village, Sitio Pintor and others.
In Payatas, Quezon City (sister city to Manila) in the dump mountain area, Julius Quinones works with the poor communities of Banahow, Forestry, Morning Star, also Valencuela and others.
In Teresa, Rizal in the mountain area east of Manila are some very poor communities. Eduardo Misa works in these areas helping four communities there.
Beyond these areas, we have a partner Godjell Quinones helping in the Cebu dumpsite communities, and Exequiel Organista working with the very poor in the outer province of Pangasinan.
Poverty No More is a partner for Project J1006N Transforming Dump-Site Communities with Australian Government required administrators - Global Development Group
(ABN57 102 400 993)