SOS Children in Philippines
The Philippines is a group of more than 7000 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, but the bulk of the population lives on just eleven of them. The terrain is mostly mountainous and subject to earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south are the main islands, and together they make up two-thirds of the country's territory.
With a population of over 78 million, most of whom are of Malayan descent and predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines has enormous social problems. The divide between rich and poor is very wide and over 90 per cent of the population live below subsistence level, many in the huge slums which have grown up on the outskirts of the cities and are some of the largest in East Asia.
The charity began its work in the Philippines in 1964. Today there are seven communities where over 700 children are growing up as well as a number of SOS welfare and educational facilities providing assistance for the local communities.
The charity's Alabang-Manila community was founded in 1989 in a small village near the Manilan suburb of Muntinlupa. The eight family houses each have their own small vegetable patch, and there are two youth houses for the older children learning to live independently. Facilities include a training centre for SOS mothers and staff. Children from the village attend a local nursery school and schools.
SOS Children's Calbayog site is on the relatively undeveloped island of Samar. It has eight family houses and a youth house. An SOS primary school has 600 places for children from the village and from the local community. A social centre provides day care for the children of local families and also a food progamme for over 300 mothers and their children.
SOS Children's Cebu community was built in 1980 in the Talamban district of Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, in an area well served by hospitals and schools. As well as the eleven family houses, it has a youth house and a nursery school for 210 children.
The charity's Davao community is the largest in the Philippines. Built in 1981, it is approximately ten minutes by car from the centre of Davao, the largest city on the island of Mindanao, and has fourteen family houses, a community house and a nursery school. Over 900 children - both primary and secondary level - attend the SOS school. The SOS welfare and social centre provides support and assistance for families living in the surrounding slum settlements. As well as medical and dental treatment, the centre provides hot meals for children and instruction in health care and nutrition.
SOS Children's Lipa community was the first tha charity built in the Philippines, in 1967, and is beautifully situated in an orange grove on the outskirts of Lipa City about 150 km from the capital, Manila. It has eight family houses and two nearby youth houses for the older children and adolescents completing their education and vocational training. In 1989 a day care centre was set up for children and families in the neighbouring community of Banaybanay.
The charity's Tacloban community is in Milagrosa on the island of Leyte, about 4 km from the city of Tacloban and has eleven family houses. The nearby youth village has four houses where students from Calbayog also live, since there are no universities or colleges there. The SOS primary school provides education for 1000 pupils, teaching in two shifts. An SOS social centre provides day care for local children and medical aid for many of the poorest families in the local community.
SOS Children's Village Iloilo is the seventh village in the Philippines. It opened in October 2003 and is in a small town, Zarrago, about ten miles from Iloilo. There are 12 family houses that are home to 120 children and a nursery school, which has 100 children from the village and the local community. The nursery school is also use in the evenings for courses for the local community.
SOS Children in the Philippines
Mindanao Drive / Ayala Alabang Village
Postal address: PO Box 196
1799 Muntinlupa / Metro Manila / Philippines
Tel +63/2/807 0764
Fax +63/2/850 9654
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