Children spend most of their time in the dump site collecting materials that can be sold as recyclables or scrap material.

Providing Educational Opportunities to Scavenger Children

Last week I had the opportunity to take some images for the Gift of Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides resources to elementary school children living within the Umapad dumpsite of Mandaue City, Cebu. There are four large dump sites around metro Cebu with more than 5000 people living and scavenging for materials just trying to survive in whatever way they can. Many of the children living within these dumpsites are born into a life of extreme poverty and are often given very little opportunity to escape the cycle. Meagan Kelly, founder of the Gift of Grace, started the foundation in hopes to educate children starting at a young age so that they can follow their dreams and eventually provide for their families away from the dumpsites.

Children playing handball in the street of their barrio.

An Assignment with Share an Opportunity

I spent last week with the folks from Baptist World Aid Australia and Share an Opportunity Philippines (SAO) working on an assignment in Panay and Negros Islands. SAO has a number of programs here in the Philippines focusing primarily on community development using a holistic approach. It sounds complicated, but the basic idea is that in order to improve a child’s life you have to improve all aspects of the community that influence that child.

Lunch with the children of Sapak

I had the opportunity to spend some time with the children of Sapak yesterday during their monthly lunch-in. Sapak is a school and home for over 80 children from the poorest of Cebu’s mountain barangays, whose parents often can’t afford to feed or school them. The facility and program is run by the energetic 85…