Support Abandoned Kids

Update posted by Odilon dela Merced On Apr 04, 2019

April 3, 2019

Grand Knight Danny, Financial Secretary Ave and I visited White Cross after lunch today and were welcomed by Wilma who briefed us about the children.

There are currently 115 children residing in the shelter with ages ranging from a few months old to 12 years old. Under the general supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the children are up for adoption by couples located abroad..

They rely completely on donations to fund their operations and the maintenance of the dormitories, classrooms, offices, stockrooms, and ground amenities including the events ground, chapel, playground and the front lawn inside an approximately 1 hectare property. Like the rest of Metro Manila, they are also having difficulty with water supply.

The facade of the building is currently being repainted in preparation for their anniversary on April 16, 2019.

We are expecting to turnover the funds that we will have raised by end of April, 2019.

Vivat Jesus! :-)

Ody
Deputy Grand Knight/Program Director
Kinghts of Columbus - National Shrine of the Sacred Heart Council 5576
Sacred Heart St. corner Kamagong St., San Antonio Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Update posted by Odilon dela Merced On Mar 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – How many "abandoned" and "neglected" children do you encounter everyday?

According to the Council for the Welfare of Children's (CWC) latest data, as of 2011, there are over 3,000 neglected and abandoned Filipino children. Since 2003, children have had the highest magnitude of poor among basic sectors, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported.



These children do not have enough money to “satisfy their nutritional requirements and other basic needs.”

As of 2011, children made up 52.6% of the country’s total poor individuals, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also revealed. Meanwhile, 30,000-50,000 children are annually displaced by armed conflict, CWC stressed.

These children are vulnerable to abuse – physical, sexual, emotional – trafficking, and hazardous labor. Others get involved in illegal activities either as prey or perpetrator.

Many end up in the streets both in rural and urban areas. Others, however, end up transferring from one shelter to another – provided by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), DSWD, or their relatives.

Families, for them, are only ephemeral.

Philippine laws define “abandoned children” as:

  • Having no proper parental care
  • Left by parents for 3 continuous months

Children are “neglected” if:

  • Their basic needs are unattended for 3 continuous months
  • Physically neglected: Child is malnourished, poorly dressed, no proper shelter, unattended
  • Emotionally neglected: Child is maltreated, raped, seduced, exploited; endures unhealthy labor; forced to beg; exposed to gambling, prostitution, vices

Jeny Villocino has lived in many houses, but never a home.

At 6, her parents separated and she, along with her 6 siblings, were left with their grandmother. Soon after, poverty took them apart.

Each child had to live with a different relative. It was either this or they go hungry, their grandmother decided.

Jeny hopped from one relative to another for years. One weekend, she was in Cavite; the next, in Cubao or elsewhere. “Pasa-pasahan.” (I was passed around.)

She wore several uniforms; she did not stay in one school for too long.

“I hope other kids won’t experience this. It’s always temporary, as if everything’s borrowed,” now 32-year-old Jeny said. “I’m lucky I wasn't abused, but many are."

Some children are forced to shoulder an entire family’s chores in exchange for living with them. Others are maltreated, starved, or ignored – creating a cycle of negligence.

The Philippine Child and Youth Welfare Code of 1974 imposes “criminal liability” on parents who sell, exploit, abandon, or neglect their children – this includes not enrolling them in school and depriving them of care.

The penalty, however, is merely an “imprisonment from 2-6 months or a fine not exceeding P500, or both, at the discretion of the Court.” The Code also states that the government must provide assistance to needy families and solo parents.

In case of neglect or abandonment, children are placed under the care of DSWD, which manages residential care facilities. It may also refer children to licensed child-caring institutions for care or adoption.

Not everyone in these facilities is orphaned; others have parents, but are incapable of support.

“There’s a worrying trend that more and more [Filipino] children are left to government’s social services and to non-governmental child-care agencies,” a 2011 study by Save the Children argued.

The government, however, cannot support all its children; not everyone is reached by social services.

(Excerpts from Fritzie Rodriguez report "A Village for 'Abandoned' and 'Neglected' Children" for Rappler first published 12:03 PM, June 23, 2014).

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Odilon dela Merced

Program Director

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Deputy Grand Knight/ProgramDirector - Knights of Columbus Council 5576

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