NEWS



A Brighter Future For A Child Of The Streets | #StreetChildrenDay

SOS

April 12 marks the International Day for Street Children. But every day should be a day to fight for children’s rights. In the Philippines, about 250,000 children are living in the streets according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. These children whose lives are at risk outside the comfort of a home are left to fend for themselves every day. With the COVID-19 virus currently spreading, the streets become more dangerous for them.

Street Children at Risk

There are three different classifications of street children –  (1) abandoned or runaway children living and working alone in the streets, (2) children whose families are also living in the streets, and (3) children who only work in the streets and return to their home daily. And they are all at risk.

Due to poverty, unemployment, and limited access to basic services, the children’s families may breakdown. Without parents to guide and care for them, street children become more vulnerable to malnutrition and poor health, abuse, and forced labor.

Erin’s Story

Erin*, an 11-year old child, was a former street child. Without a home to lay at night, Erin remembers sleeping in the streets with her mother and little brother. The sidewalk would serve as their beds until the morning comes. They would pick coconut and other fruits to fill their grumbling stomachs and beg for some alms from passers-by to try and make ends meet.

Now in her new home at SOS Children’s Village in Tacloban, Erin is assured that she and her brother will always wake up in a comfortable bed and will never end their day with an empty stomach. SOS Mother Lilibeth also makes sure Erin and all her children are eating nutritious food and are actively exercising to keep them safe and healthy from diseases.

“I’m thankful that I met Mama Lilibeth and my new siblings in SOS. Before I came here, I can’t read and write, but now I can. Thanks to Ate Faith* who tirelessly teaches me,” shared Erin.

Erin (second to the left) is spending a fun day at the park with her little brother, Ate Faith, and Mama Lilibeth.

Making a Difference

No child deserves to live in the streets without access to nutritious food and clean water, quality health care, and education. In the streets, children are deprived of their rights to live a safe, healthy and fulfilling life. But with your help, children like Erin can still have a bright future ahead of them, away from abuse, exploitation, and diseases such as COVID-19. Let’s all work together to give homeless children a loving home. They need us now more than ever.

 

To help, visit www.sosphilippines.org/donation. Together, we can bring change to these children’s lives.

 

*Children’s names were changed to protect their privacy.