104.9 MillionSocio-Economic Facts
- 22 million Filipinos live below the national poverty line
- Poverty declined from 26.6% in 2006 to 21.6% in 2015, due to the expansion of jobs outside the agricultural sector
- The poorest households are those dependent on agriculture as their main source of income, living in areas prone to disasters or conflict
Life Skills for Change – Balay Banaag
In partnership with the Australian Marist Solidarity, this project’s objective is to create a protective environment that provides opportunities for girls and women at risk, to flourish.
Balay Banaag is a residential centre providing care and support for the female children of women who, with little education, work as prostitutes to forge an income for themselves and their children. The centre has operated since 2010 and the administration transitioned from a local NGO named Talikala to the Marist Sisters in 2017/18.
More than half of the children born every year in the Philippines are born to single or unwed mothers, and the percentage of illegitimate children in the Philippines is rising at the rate of nearly 2% annually. Whilst not all of these will be as a result of the sex work industry, it accounts for a substantial amount. These children often face a harder time in community and there is a very real risk that the poverty cycle will continue for the next generation. (1)
There are currently ten girls, between the ages of 6-18 years, being cared for at Balay Banaag. These children are at risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. By providing emotional reinforcement, education, food and shelter Balay Banaag supports these children, their mothers and the community.
The project aims to provide a secure home and assist the girls to gain an education to help break the cycle of poverty. It is also works simultaneously with the mothers to overcome their difficult lives and lay the foundation for these girls to rise above a life otherwise destined for the streets.
- Facilitate formal elementary and high school education for the Balay Banaag children.
- Provide psychosocial counselling and values formation coaching.
- Conduct skills training for the Balay Banaag community and children.
- Conduct parenting classes for mothers.
- Collaborate with government agencies, schools and other organisations for resource mobilisation.
1. Jodie Lauren Smith – U.K author.
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