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Care for 20 Children 0-10 Years Old in Philippines

by Angel House Orphanage Foundation, Inc.
Care for 20 Children 0-10 Years Old in Philippines
Joel's family
Joel's family

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have had a tremendous negative impact on the economy and the income of many Filipinos; this has resulted in more families living in poverty and struggling to feed their families. Angel House is committed to assisting these poor families in our local community through our feeding program; here is the story of two families and how your donations have impacted their lives.

Joel is a seasonal laborer who earns $4 a day harvesting coconuts, not enough to feed his family that includes a small baby and his elderly mother. His other two children, Joname, aged 7, and Jemuel, aged 5, have never been to school and their small wooden house has no electricity or running water. Angel House provides one 25kg sack or rice every month to this desperate family and our social worker will also assist the family in enrolling their two children in elementary school; education is the key to breaking this cycle of poverty.

Thirty-one-year-old Liezel is a single mother with two young children aged 2 and 4 years; she tries to make a small income by burning coconut shells to make charcoal while caring for her little children. Their house has no walls, door or floor and no young family should have to live in such terrible conditions. Angel House will donate one 25kg sack of rice every month and we also have plans to make their house habitable by completing the walls and installing a door. This will give her family security and a brighter future for her children.

We currently have ten families receiving sacks of rice every month from Angel House, but this is more than just a feeding program. Through our interaction with the community we reveal other issues of concern that need our attention, such as making sure children are being educated and that homes are safe and secure for young families. With your support we hope to assist more families during this challenging pandemic and give them hope for a better life.

Liezel's house
Liezel's house

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Our children all masked up for protection
Our children all masked up for protection

HOW COVID-19 IMPACTS ANGEL HOUSE

Covid-19 has impacted everyone across the world and has devastated families, communities and economies in every country. The Philippines implemented very strict policies from the start and continues to place severe restrictions on the movement of individuals in the country. The system is not perfect and elements such as testing and contact tracing could have been better, but we have managed to maintain a relatively low daily rate of confirmed cases compared to other countries.

Some of these restrictions have really affected the children in Angel House as they have not been allowed to leave the center since March of last year, that’s fifteen months of being confined inside the walls of Angel House. They have had no Day-care or elementary school classes during that time and are being home-schooled through modules collected from the school each week. It is difficult to assess the psychological impact of not being with their school friends or not being out in the community will have on their young minds.

Looking forward, it is going to be a slow process before we can return to a normal way of living; only 4% of Filipino adults have been immunized and the slow arrival of vaccines continues to be the major obstacle in gaining herd immunity. The government is hoping to achieve that goal by the end of the year, but many think that is not realistic, particularly as 40% of people are still hesitant about taking the vaccine. We can’t see face-to-face classes for our school students happening until next year. Which could have a significant impact on their education.

We are so thankful for your support through GlobalGiving, your funds mean that we have all the staff and resources that we need to educate and care for our children during these very challenging times. We provide them with facilities and activities that keep them happy and safe in the confines of our center; we are all looking forward to a better future for everyone.

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A young mother with her twin newborns
A young mother with her twin newborns

A young mother adjusts her face mask before attending to her newborn twins lying on a cramped cot inside one of the busiest maternity wards in the world. Nicknamed the ‘Baby Factory’, the hospital is in one of the poorest parts of the Philippine capital, surrounded by shanties and the infamous Manila City Jail.

She explains that she had to quit her job as a call center agent to care for her newborns. Her husband’s courier business was closed during one the longest lockdowns of any country, forcing the couple into poverty. The Philippines already has a poverty rate that’s nearly double that of other large countries in the region, such as Indonesia and Thailand. The World Bank estimates that 2.7 million more Filipinos fell below the poverty line last year, defined as someone living on less than $3 a day.

The lockdown also meant that that many women have been unable to access birth control, resulting in even more unplanned pregnancies. Indeed, it is estimated that an additional 214,000 unplanned babies will be born in the coming months, according to the University of the Philippines Population Institute. These children will be born in hospitals already overwhelmed by 1.8 million births a year, mostly into the poorest families.

Getting contraception has always been difficult for women in the Philippines, even before the pandemic. Birth control is taboo in a country where 80% of the population are Catholic. The church has pressurized officials to ban contraceptives and promote ‘a culture of life’. The reproductive health law, envisioned to provide family planning and sex education, took a 12-year battle before becoming law and another two-year fight in the supreme court. Key provisions, including teenage access to contraceptives, were restricted.

The upcoming surge in births will also increase maternal deaths and deepen the crisis with teenage pregnancies, one of the highest in south-east Asia. More children will also lead to increased neglect, malnutrition and abuse among families that are struggling to survive.

We anticipate that Angel House will receive many more abandoned or neglected infants in the coming months as a direct result of this lockdown baby boom. Your kind donations enable our foundation to give these children the love and care that they so desperately need; they are the innocent victims of this devastating pandemic. We will nurture them until their parents are capable of caring for them, or find new families that can give them a better future.

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D's special day to remember
D's special day to remember

In Angel House every child is very special and for each of them the most important day of the year is their birthday, so we always have a special celebration to mark that milestone in their life and give them a memory to cherish forever. This month we celebrated another birthday with boy D becoming six-years old, he enjoyed sharing his birthday cake and ice-cream with all his friends; D has the biggest smile and is a very bright little boy. But he is not one of our residents …..

He is one of our ‘drop-in’ kids that seem to spend more time in Angel House than his own home, we try to help families like his who struggle to survive and have many young children to feed, clothe and educate. Community outreach is an important element of the Angel House foundation, particularly during this pandemic. In the past we have helped the seven Day-care centers in our community and also had a scholarship program for children ages 5-8 years old.

Of course this year is very different as there has been no Day-care classes or school for any children due to the covid-19 virus; all children are being home-schooled and receive ‘modules’ of work from their school every week to be completed at home. But Angel House still tries to help wherever it can, giving out school supplies and supporting families like those of boy D.

Your donations through Angel House not only help the children that stay with us, but also those in the community who desperately need our support during these difficult times; at least boy D will have a happy memory of his birthday and that will give him hope for a brighter future without covid-19.

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Baby M
Baby M

Angel House Orphanage does not usually accept children with special needs as we are more than one hour from the nearest major hospital and although our center is wheelchair accessible, we do not really have the facilities or trained staff to cater for children requiring special care. However, as we do accept new-born babies, we can’t always predict what kind of physical or mental difficulties may arise as the child grows up in Angel House.

Such is the case of a cute little boy that we will call baby M. This little infant came to Angel House when he was only six days old and last month he celebrated his first birthday, a very important milestone for such a special child. He was born with microcephaly, which means his head is smaller than normal, a condition that can result in other physical impairments. He was recently diagnosed as having cerebral palsy and also has problems with swallowing and his vision. We are also waiting for baby M to have a CT-scan to gain a better understanding of his physical condition.

Baby M takes daily medicines to relax his muscles and enjoys being cuddled and tickled! His caregiver gives his arms and legs regular physical therapy and he often has a cheeky smile when he is happy. The future for this innocent little boy is uncertain and so we celebrate every day that we see his happy smile.

Your donations through GlobalGiving enables Angel House to pay for his regular medical check-ups and the CT-scan, as well as his daily medicines that keep him happy and comfortable.

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Organization Information

Angel House Orphanage Foundation, Inc.

Location: San Isidro - Philippines
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
David Donaldson
San Isidro, Philippines
$94,216 raised of $195,000 goal
 
1,944 donations
$100,784 to go
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