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
WHAT DOES HIS FUTURE HOLD?
WHAT DOES HIS FUTURE HOLD?

BEING A DISABLED CHILD IN THE PHILIPPINES

Living in a third world country is challenging enough for anyone, but having a physical or mental disability here in the Philippines makes everyday life even more problematic. Whether it is finding the correct medical treatment, physical therapy, education or residential facilities, it is a challenge for every family with a disabled child.

Things are definitely improving and most buildings are now wheelchair accessible, though the sidewalk to reach them may be impossible for those in wheelchairs to travel along. Medical facilities are slowly improving, though the waiting time for treatment can be agonizingly long and trying to obtain free medical care is often complicated. There are many NGO’s that dedicate their funds and staff to helping various disability groups if you know where to find them and the government does have special schools in most areas that will accept children with a variety of different disabilities.

In our region of the country the government recently opened an excellent residential facility for children with profound disabilities and last year we actually transferred one of our children to that center; the little boy had a severe case of cerebral palsy and was blind, could not swallow food or control his limbs. They have the medical staff and physiotherapists that can best address his special needs.

We also have a special needs school (SPED) in our small town and we have a six-year old boy enrolled there, he was so happy to go to school like his older brother and is excited when he comes home from his morning class. He is deaf and so he is learning sign language and our staff are also learning this method of communication. He also needs major surgery to resolve other medical issues and so we are slowly making our way through the complex process to get that done (six month waiting list). Meanwhile, we will focus on having his hearing tested again to see if a hearing aid will be of any use; again we know an NGO that will gives us a free hearing test and a free hearing aid if he needs one.

So there are rays of hope through the dark days that everyone with a disability goes through, but there are still many families that either are not aware of available treatment that may be free, or choose not to do anything to help their child have a better life. The government does give a small financial allowance to parents with a disabled child, but of course it is never enough to give them the fulfilling life they truly deserve.

We thank all of you that donate to charities that help those with a disability that gives them more opportunities for a fulfilling life without pain and enables them to become an integral part of their community.  

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Another successful adoption
Another successful adoption

ADOPTION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Deciding that a child in our care needs a new family is not a decision that is taken lightly and our social worker will always explore other options, such as finding other relatives that may be willing to take custody or providing temporary care until the parent(s) are capable of caring for their child. Even when the parent(s) voluntary surrender their child, they are given three months in which to change their decision. If a child has been abandoned, our social worker is legally obligated to make every effort to trace any relatives by radio and newspaper advertisements, following up any potential addresses of family members.

There are many people here in the Philippines that do not know the adoption process and think that they can adopt a child directly from our orphanage; I always have to inform them that they have to go to their nearest DSWD office to obtain the requirements to become approved adoptive parents. The process for adoption here in the Philippines is not expensive and only takes about nine months to complete, so we encourage people to consider adoption and becoming the forever family for a needy child.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the government agency that will declare a child legally available for adoption, based on all the paperwork submitted by our social worker. Then the child will be matched by a panel of experts to parents that have already gone through the process to become approved adoptive parents. Sometimes, there are no suitable parents available and the child’s case will go to the Inter Country Adoption Board (ICAB) for international adoption (this often happens for older children).

The Philippines is a signatory to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of intercountry Adoptions – currently ratified by 95 countries. This Convention is an important development for children, birth families and prospective foreign adopters. It sets out obligations for the authorities of countries from which children leave for adoption, and those that are receiving these children. The Convention is designed to ensure ethical and transparent processes. This international legislation gives paramount consideration to the best interests of the child and provides the framework for the practical application of the principles regarding inter-country adoption contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  These include ensuring that adoptions are authorized only by competent authorities, guided by informed consent of all concerned, that intercountry adoption enjoys the same safeguards and standards which apply in national adoptions, and that intercountry adoption does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it. 

For international adoption, the process can take several years and it is also very expensive, but at least you know that the child you are adopting really needs a new family and that very high standards of care and protection have been followed, under the guiding principles of the Hague convention.

Angel House has processed twenty-five adoptions with children going to Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, USA, Canada and Sweden, inclusing six children adopted here in the Philippines. Thanks to your kind donations we will continue to find forever families for our children that need loving parents.

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Caring for vulnerable young children in our residential center remains our primary concern, but our foundation also wants to have a positive impact on the local community that has suffered greatly due to the covid pandemic. Our previous GlobalGiving report highlighted our feeding program and how it raised many other areas of concern and Angel House is ready to tackle these important issues.

As we start a new year, we are delighted to reveal our new initiatives that will have a positive impact on the lives of many families that are living in poverty. Firstly, we are doubling our efforts to tackle hunger and malnutrition by increasing our feeding program to twenty families.

Secondly, we have allocated funds to renovate the dilapidated houses of some of the recipients on our feeding program, giving them a habitable home that provides safety and protection from the tropical weather. Each home will be provided with a solar light and access to clean drinking water (see photos).

We are hopeful that face-to-face classes will start again soon and our third program will provide full scholarships to thirty children with school uniforms, school bags, supplies and payment of any school fees. Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and this initiative will help many poor families in sending their children to be educated. Our program also provides for a free tutorial every Saturday morning at Angel House to ensure these young students achieve their full potential.

Children need a birth certificate to enroll in school and many children of poor families do not have this vital document. So our fourth program will process the paperwork for any child who does not a birth certificate, free of charge. Our social worker will help the parents to process all the required paperwork for the late birth registration of their children.

When the youngest children start their learning journey by enrolling in the government day-care program, it is important that the day-care centers are vibrant and exciting places for these 4-5 year olds. Angel House supports the seven local day-care centers through renovation and providing resources such as books, toys and other basic learning materials to make these centers stimulating places for young children.  

These five effective programs will have a lasting impact on the lives of poor families in the community and are only possible because of your generous donations through GlobalGiving. Together we can give the next generation a brighter future.

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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.

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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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Organization Information

Angel House Orphanage Foundation, Inc.

Location: San Isidro - Philippines
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
David Donaldson
San Isidro, Philippines
$116,515 raised of $195,000 goal
 
2,397 donations
$78,485 to go
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