A Brighter Future For A Child Of The Streets | #StreetChildrenDay
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
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*, 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
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.