This is a project that has been acheiving amazing things for the poorest families over many years. Bringing hope to those living amidst the filth and disease ridden rubbish of the city dumps of the Philippines - places which at first glance would seem to hold no hope at all.
The children who have grown up in the squalid shanty towns by the side of the dumps, and those who have made their homes in the city's graveyards have a resiliance & strength of character which would inspire even the hardest of hearts. Through the work of this project those young characters have been given space, safety and encouragement to flourish. To realise within themselves their true potential & to enjoy the freedom & joy of play within the school's protection. Some of those who have graduated in recent years have gone on to obtain degrees, join professional international ballet companies & taken jobs in the city. These are all futures which would have been almost unimaginable before they joined the school project.
The Philippines is reported to have the largest population of child waste pickers in the world, although the exact amount is unknown. UNICEF reports that over 9.5 million children under the age of 14 years are working in the Philippines.
The poverty is extremely severe as families have worked and lived for over 4 decades on huge rotting mountains of rubbish, collecting pieces of plastic and metal for recycling. Families live in squalid overcrowded conditions, without running water or sanitation in makeshift shacks. They live with the constant fear of disease, eviction, fire, and death.
Families and communities are fighting a daily battle for their survival, children as young as four years of age bear the full weight of adulthood on their shoulders as they work to help support their families’ basic needs. Parents are left with impossible choices, do they leave their children alone at risk from paedophiles and pimps whilst they work on the rubbish dumps, or do they take their children with them onto the rubbish dumps while they work.
This amazing project strives hard to deliver successful and innovative projects by helping children and their families free them from the poverty trap they find themselves in and giving them the opportunity to fulfil their potential and change their futures through our education and development programmes.
Skilled volunteers have a role to play in this important mission. We work with both local and overseas volunteers on short term or long term placements, to help deliver consistently high quality services to the community such as:
- Free Education up to College level and Feeding Programme.
- Special Sponsorship Programme for vulnerable children, e.g. disabled, homeless.
- Special Adult Literacy and Business Skills Classes
- Medical Clinic and Services Distribution of Emergency Aid Relief Family Enhancement
- Programs Employment Training
- Community programme development
What is Included?
- 24 / 7 Support
- Information Pack
- Accommodation: You will stay in a local guest house in Manilla which will be accessed each day by using the jeepneys to the project base. The accommodation is simple but comfortable and safe. You may be sharing a room with a few other volunteers.
- Food: Each volunteer will buy their own food each day. Food is cheap and easy to obtain locally from cafes and restaurants, the project has no capacity for providing meals at this stage.
- Training: All volunteers setting out on an adventure with us receive pre-departure training to help you prepare for the experience ahead. This training covers all the areas you need to think about before you pack your bags. It gives you time to focus and prioritise, and provides you with the knowledge and information you need in order to have a safe, fulfilling and enjoyable adventure. On arrival at your project you will also receive orientation training which will help you to better understand the local culture and support you as you find your way around this new country. On your return we will also support you as you readapt to life back home. We encourage you to keep in contact with us and consider opportunities for you to stay connected to the work you have been part of with Agapé. In addition to all of this training you will also receive a comprehensive welcome pack full of useful information on your project, the country and the culture, as well as detailed safety and communication lists.
- Support: Agapé Adventures respects that each person is unique, and thus has different needs, and we endeavour to meet those genuine needs as effectively as we can. All volunteers are supported by Agapé every step of the way. You will be allocated a line manager to assist you in the day to day aspects of your adventure and staff at Agapé’s main base who will be available 24/7 for any out of hours emergencies. All staff involved in supporting you, work together to provide coordinated, personal and professional support throughout your adventure.
- Airport Collection & Drop Off: When you land into the airport at Manilla you will need to pick up the white taxi to get to the hostel. A member of the staff team will come to the hostel and bring you to the project base on the first day to help you find your way around.
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What Isn't Included
- Adventure Package
What will I do?:
What we need in this amazing project is a variety of skilled volunteers who can spend either short or long periods of time throughout the year.
For individual volunteers the skill sets required include:
- Builders / electrical maintenance (qualified people only please);
- Teachers - general education;
- Ballet / dance teachers;
- Sports coaches;
- Social workers;
- Doctors / Nurses / Dentists etc.
The project also has a micro-finance section for parents of the school children in which they are using recycled materials to make jewelry, bags & clothing, we would also be interested in fashion / jewlery designers & those with specifc up-cycling skills.
If having read about this project you think you have a skill which could be of value then do let us know as we would love to talk to you about your ideas.
We are also able to facilitate groups, and there is a great need particularly during the school holidays in the Philippines (March - May). During this time the children need to be involved in holiday camps in order to prevent them from being drawn back to work on the dump and being further at risk from pimps & drug dealers etc. So if you are part of a group of friends (age 21+) or a community / church group that would consider taking two weeks out to help form a working group to help with mantainance or camp team to lead the children in games, songs, crafts and activities then please do contact us and we can coordinate your team's trip.
The Local Area
The Philippines, the "Pearl of the Orient" as it is known, home for Filipinos who are renowned for being friendly and hospitable and who are always armed with their ready smiles and warm greetings. Where male foreigners are called "Hey Joe!" and the female ones are called "Kana", a street slang for a female .
Manila is infamous for it's monstrous traffic jams, overpopulation and pollution, yet it has it's own charms from its old Spanish colonial past especially evident in the Intramuros and Malate areas. Some parts would be modern and advanced like Makati City or Fort Bonifacio while others would be impoverished. Manila's business districts would be comparable to those of developing countries but in some areas, the realities of being in a Third World country would bite.
The popular "Jeepney" with its baroque style is a unique experience, thanks to it's mix match colorful designs. Although there is no air-conditioning and one is subject to pollution and the sweltering heat, it's still worth the try for the adventurous ones but definitely not for the faint-hearted. The "Jeepney" is not called the "King of the Road" for nothing.
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is located in the northern island of Luzon close to Quezon City. Quezon City was once the capital, from 1948 to 1976, and is actually the most populous city. Manila is the second most populated city with a population of 1,652,171. It is just under 15 square miles, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the Philippines and in the world. It is where the seat of the Philippine government is located.
It's a pity tht Manila is often disparaged, as there's much here to like. For one, all the adjectives often used to describe the Philippines - jovial, laid back, casual, earnest and more are on display here more than anywhere else in the country. It's a truly teeming metropolis that gets bigger each day, both in population, with people pouring in from the hinterlands, and size, as new developments in all directions swallow up villages and rice fields.
The walled Intramuros area was the traditional centre of Manila, but was mostly wiped out in WWII and has never recovered. Binondo, Quiapo, Ermita and Malate have never been more than a supporting cast for a star that doesn't exist. Still, you may well find lots of fun in Ermita and Malate, while Binondo and Quiapo have a certain raw energy and unique markets. And Intramuros is a good place to explore, just to find the bones of its past.
Other parts of town are more lively. At the centre of modern Manila is Makati, the commercial centre for the country. Here, in almost orderly surroundings, you can shop, eat and drink to your heart's content. It transcends the generic-mall syndrome by having its own unique vibe that comes from the hordes of locals who come here to work, relax and play.
For more information read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/manila#ixzz31UbgUMzq