Angry Napkin Children's Home

Who We Are Fighting For

We set out to interview some of these children, but a curious thing happened: whenever our team would get close to them, they would start running as fast as they could in the opposite direction. 

Street Children of the Philippines

If you ever find yourself in the Philippines, chances are it wont be long before you see them. You can usually find them asking for change in front of fast food restaurants and street corners, or selling handmade necklaces in parking lots.

Some sleep on sidewalks and center medians all over Manila and elsewhere, in some cases with cars zipping past mere inches from their heads. Those who have a mattress to sleep on or an umbrella to sleep under are considered the lucky ones. Most just have a flattened cardboard box. The sun, rain, insects, and people are their enemies.

Others have homes to go back to after working a long day in the streets begging, selling, or scavenging through trash, but often fare little better than those with no home or parents at all, suffering neglect and abuse from those in charge of taking care of them.   

On a daily basis, the street children of the Philippines face:

  • Starvation
  • Prostitution
  • ​Slavery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Untreated health issues including STDs
  • Exposure to extreme weather such as heat waves and typhoons 

Why would they run from help if they face such risks by staying on the streets? After finally finding some kids that were willing to talk, we learned they thought we were part of the government's operation to remove all of the children from the streets.

The government in recent years has been focusing on getting all of the street children in shelters. There they should be safe and have access to fresh water and food, free from abuse. It's an ostensibly noble endeavor. We started researching more about it. 
Treated like prisoners, they are often times forcibly removed, thrown into a van, and taken to a government facility. There they are treated like cattle. Many don't even sleep on mattresses. Almost all suffer from severe boredom, momentarily relieved by the chores they are forced to do. Some times they eat very little.

Overpopulated, with some facilities handling over a hundred kids built to care for just 25, it's clear the government is faced with a problem much bigger than they're prepared for. Some times the children are even beaten by frustrated caregivers in charge of so many kids with rarely any help (there are usually just two caregivers, regardless of the amount of children in their care).

It's as if the children are a problem the government wants to hide rather than a humanitarian crisis that needs to be fixed. No wonder children run when they think the government is going to "help" them. 

There are an estimated 1.8 million abandoned and neglected children in the Philippines. The limited number of state-run shelters that do exist accomplish very little, often times not even being able to prevent the children in their care from going hungry. Indifference, ineptitude, or just plain greed—whatever it is, the children are the ones paying the price.
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