Sponsor a Child in Philippines
- ChildFund came to Philippines: 1954
- Population below poverty line: 33%
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The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands between the Philippine Sea and the West Philippine Sea (also known as South China Sea), east of Vietnam. Located in the “earthquake belt” and “typhoon belt” of the Pacific Rim, it is highly susceptible to horrific storms as well as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides and more life-threatening natural disasters.
As one of the countries with the highest birthrate in Asia, the Philippines is home to more than 36 million children, more than a quarter of whom live in poverty and are vulnerable to sickness, malnutrition and human trafficking.
Responding to Emergencies
The Philippines’ precarious location in a disaster prone region means children and youth are most at risk during times of trouble. To help children, their families and their communities rebound and remain resilient, our Child Centered Spaces provide access to emergency service delivery. They also serve as safe havens so that children can receive nutrition, education and positive psychosocial activities even though the world around them is turbulent and uncertain.
We also work to return areas to pre-emergency conditions. As one youth, who is an EcoScout in the REINA region of the main island Luzon, said, “You’re not able to grow if there’s nothing that supports you.”
Youth-led Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) programs ensure youth participation in the local government unit’s efforts on DRRM. It was initially funded through ChildFund Australia in Quezon province. Additional funding by AUSAID has come through ChildFund Australia in two more program areas: Zamboanga Del Norte and Western Visayas.
Early Childhood and Care Development Efforts
Our focus is on the integration of maternal and child health, integrated management of childhood illnesses and early childhood stimulation and development. We emphasize the care and development of pregnant mothers and children. This was initially implemented in Quezon funded by AUSAID through ChildFund Australia. It is now being scaled-up in Bicol through a grants funding from Fonterra.
“The Philippines’ precarious location in a disaster prone region means children and youth are most at risk during times of trouble.”
Partnerships for Positive Change
With such high population growth, the Philippines is challenged to intensify efforts to protect children against child trafficking, child abuse and child labor. With this in mind, we work alongside government agencies, local government units and diverse networks at all levels to see that children’s voices are not only heard, but are listened to.
Our advocacy work and community education programs help to promote the rights of children and youth so that they can lead the families of tomorrow.
Combating Child Labor
In a national survey conducted in 2001, more than 4 million children, age 5 to 17 years, were economically active in the Philippines. About 60 percent of them are exposed to hazardous working conditions. The Government of the Philippines aims to reduce this number by 75 percent by 2015.
To support this endeavor, ChildFund joined with others to implement the second phase of the Pag-aaral ng Bata Para Sa Kinabukasan (Combating Child Labor Through Education in the Philippines: The ABK 2 Initiative). This four-year project seeks to reduce the incidence of child labor in the country by improving the quality, relevance and accessibility of educational services. It also raises people’s awareness on the risks and losses of human potential caused by the worst forms of child labor, including sugarcane farming, child domestic work, commercial sexual exploitation, pyrotechnics, mining and quarrying, deep-sea fishing and scavenging. Funded by the US Department of Labor, the ABK 2 Initiative aims to withdraw and prevent 30,000 children from engaging in these activities by 2011.
Supported by Child Fund Australia, this project aims to enhance capacity of young people to have a sustainable livelihood and also understand and respond to their reproductive health needs. The project is implemented in Quezon Province and Roxas City. It has helped increase the knowledge and awareness of youth aged 12-24 years in the areas of sexuality, HIV/AIDS and the risks of early pregnancy. It also provided training in livelihoods for out-of-school youth.
One of the major achievements includes building the capacity of youth peer educators to orient, train and inform other youth in the community. This included training on counseling facilitation and basic life skills for a healthy reproductive life and also livelihoods training. A task force with members from the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Village Councils and Youth Associations also was established. The task force provides policy advocacy and support to the project and fosters a youth-friendly community through continued dialogue between young people and adults.
Sponsor a child in the Philippines and enrich an entire lifetime.
Sustainable Health Improvements
Sustainable Health Improvements through Empowerment and Local Development (SHIELD) in the ARMM was a five-year USAID-funded project implemented in the context of the Philippine Government’s Sector Development Agenda for Health. The ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao), home to 3.3 million Filipinos, is widely recognized to have the poorest health and development indicators among the country’s 16 regions. It has one of the highest fertility rates in the country, the highest proportion of women with unmet need for family planning and the lowest rate of contraceptive use. These indicators, worsened by extreme poverty, are directly influenced by the high rates of infant and under-five mortality. ARMM also has high TB and malaria prevalence.
To address these problems and secure the health of women and children, solutions are required to increase the access of communities, families and women in ARMM to enhanced health services, including modern family planning, birth spacing and maternal and newborn/child health. These solutions are packaged under the SHIELD project, which is a health development project supported by the United States Agency for International Development through Helen Keller International. The project will cover five provinces and one city of ARMM.
ChildFund is a part of the consortium in this USAID-funded SHIELD project in the ARMM. ChildFund's role in the project is to build sustainable community partnerships, develop functional health systems and support the local government units.