Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas for Payatas

Just stumble on this. Think it is worth to blog about. At least from my side. BTW, just got to know about this too. Damned myself for been FUCKING IGNORANCE!!! When I kept complaining about my life, children of Payatas in the Philippines continue to pick through garbage like any other day to collect material to sell. My heart cries out for them. Please help to spread the words around, at least something we can to help. Spare some thoughts for these children. BTW check out the video below on the children of Payatas's plight...

The landfill in Payatas, The Philippines, is notoriously known the world over as Smokey Mountain. For over 35 years, the smoking dump site has grown to become a stark and heart-tugging reminder of the desperate conditions of humanity.

On a daily basis, children pick through newly arrived garbage to collect material to sell. The earnings made by one child are not enough to even buy food for the day. Hence, entire families are forced to climb the mountain each day, hoping to earn enough to feed everyone. Children as young as four years old are forced to work in this daily struggle for survival.

On 10 July 2000, after a period of heavy rain, a trashslide occurred in the Payatas dump claiming over 200 lives, including many children. The tragic victims were the scavengers and sorters at the dump site and those living in the nearby shanties. While the authorities instituted better management of the site after the tragedy, many continue to depend on scavenging as it is their only means of livelihood.

Fortunately, there are caring organisations such as The Lighthouse Center For Children Foundation, run by Judge Lorenzo B. Veneracion (former Manila judge and Charter President of Rotary Club Quezon City North). They operate a much-needed charity project to alleviate the sufferings and to help reduce their dependence on scavenging as a livelihood. Among their supporters are FusionExcel International, which has previously donated funds towards this worthy initiative.

The Lighthouse Center For Children Foundation currently provides food to these underprivileged children, now numbering over 500 children daily. This figure used to be 2000 children per day, but support and donations have been getting harder and harder to obtain. The foundation hopes to be able to feed 5000-10,000 children every day if it can raise additional funds. There are over 20,000 children living on Smokey Mountain. Intending to function as more than a soup kitchen, the foundation embarked on a Literacy Program for the Payatas children. Most of the children are not attending school, but helping, at their tender age, to support families. Nevertheless, most of the children dream of becoming teachers, nurses or doctors. Sadly, their dreams are hindered by the reality of poverty and its vicious cycles. Through the educational component of the project, the Foundation hopes to break the cycle. In addition, programs are also on-going for Health Care Services and Skills and Livelihood Training are being conducted for the adults.

In response to the plight of these children, is working with Lighthouse Center For Children Foundation to bring a little cheer to the children this Christmas. is kicking it off with a cash sponsorship of USD 10,000 to enable the children to celebrate Christmas. FusionExcel International has also pitched in a USD 5,000 cash sponsorship. The money raised will help fund the projects already in place, and help fund additional projects aimed at providing better housing, and a means of livelihood for the Payatas community.

It is hoped that by creating better awareness to the plight of these children, more support can be garnered towards their betterment. This is in line with's corporate social responsibility to uplift underprivileged communities worldwide through charity projects.

Together we can bury poverty!

View the official website or see pictures of the children.

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