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Information about Philippine Street Children

Almost 2 million of Manila's 2.5 million children younger than 15 years old live on or below the poverty line.  It is estimated that 1 to 3 percent of the children and youth population living in the major cities are street children. In Manila alone, 75,000 children live on the streets after running away from deteriorating conditions in their homes or being abandoned because of death, disease, or survival. It is also estimated that 75 percent of these children return home to their families, and many, after begging, stealing, scavenging for food, selling newspapers, cigarettes and leis (shell jewelry), are still able to go to school.  However, the remaining 25 percent permanently live on the streets, do not go to school, have dropped out, or have never enrolled.  That is nearly 20,000 children that are left to the mercy of this world and to fend for themselves. 

Can you imagine being a little child and being forced onto the streets of a cruel world?

There are organizations and churches that have developed an information, education, and communication program for HIV/AIDS prevention focusing upon individuals who have direct influence upon and are in direct contact with people: clergy, religious and civic associations, educators, and social health workers. However, these organizations are seemingly overwhelmed and have limited funds in which to directly help those children most in need. 

More efforts must be made from human rights organizations and It is imperative that we protect the rights of children and provide them with an environment conducive to their growth and development in which they to can break the cycle of poverty and become productive citizens in society.

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