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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 a country with one of the highest birthrates 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.

ChildFund has served children in the Philippines since 1971.

To ensure healthy beginnings for children in the Philippines, ChildFund emphasizes the integration of maternal and child health, integrated management of childhood illnesses and early childhood stimulation and development.

Now, more than 8,000 preschool-age children have greater access to home- and center-based Early Childhood Development services. Trained community volunteers use ChildFund-created health modules to train parents and caregivers in responsible parenting and nutrition.

Poverty is a barrier against many children completing grade school. Not all villages have secondary schools, and transportation costs are high. Of the nearly 5 million Filipino children ages 6-24 who are out of school, more than half of them fail to attend because they have to earn a living.

ChildFund’s educational assistance has kept in school more than 16,000 who had been at risk for dropping out. In partnership with the Philippines’ Department of Education, ChildFund has also trained peer tutors to provide support in science, math and English. School improvements have made for more child-friendly environments, which also aid retention.

About 60 percent of the nearly 5 million economically active children in the Philippines 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 other partners in a four-year project, called the ABK 2 Initiative, to reduce the incidence of child labor in the Philippines 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 U.S. Department of Labor, the ABK 2 Initiative aims to withdraw and prevent 30,000 children from engaging in these activities by 2011.

ChildFund’s services for youth include livelihood initiatives, as well as education on reproductive health, life skills and counseling — youth are trained to go forth and share what they learn with other young people in their communities. A task force that includes ChildFund and various Filipino government bodies provides policy support and fosters a youth-friendly community through dialog between young people and adults.



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