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Voices of Sponsored Children and Families in the Philippines

See what life is like in Escopa 3, an impoverished community in Manila, Philippines, where sponsors and donors support children and families. This story originally appeared in Holt’s spring 2018 sponsorship magazine.

Roughly the size of three square blocks, Escopa 3 is part of barangay — or slum neighborhood — home to 7,000 people in Manila, Philippines.

No one here owns the land, so the risk of eviction by the city is high. Escopa 3 residents live in such tight quarters, it’s not at all uncommon for families of 12 or more to live together in less than 200 square feet of rented space. Single room homes are literally stacked on top of one another, and built from any material families can find. Hanging laundry, dishes drying in racks and bags of recyclable plastic bottles fill the thin, dirt-and-concrete footpaths that cut through the barangay.

Jobs in Manila are scarce and many people survive on what they can scavenge, like plastic bottles or tin cans. Many families live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 per day. Some families have access to running water that may trickle in through a pipe or hose, but few are connected to sewage.

One of the biggest struggles families face is providing for their children. Many don’t make enough income to meet their kids’ basic needs, such as shoes, food, medical care or school costs. School is difficult to access and expensive. In Escopa 3, Holt sponsors and donors support children in need and provide support to families, helping them launch small businesses or learn new job skills.

View the slideshow above to hear voices from  Escopa 3  and learn how you are helping to change the lives of children and families in this community.

Billie Loewen | Former Holt Team Member

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