John Lyall Charity provides educational and community programmes for street children and families in Wawa, a shanty town in the Philippines.
Wawa has a population of c7,000. 40% of children do not attend school due to dropping out or because they are working/scavenging to help feed their families. These children are vulnerable to the dangers of street living and are often unaccompanied during the day whilst their parents work or beg. 75% of 6-9 year olds are malnourished. Adult illiteracy and unemployment is also high, with 63% of households earning below the minimum wage. Homes are wood and timber shacks, build on a hillside near a lagoon. These are often damaged by typhoons and floods. Up to three generations of a family inhabit a single room, with no sanitation facilities. As a consequence of inadequate sanitation at home, hygiene is poor, leading to health problems. Many children lack opportunities to have a childhood, to learn or to play, in safety.
Without education, the potential to gain a paid job in adulthood is limited. Young people in such disadvantaged circumstances are vulnerable to the lure of Manila in the hope of improving their lives and sadly are prey to drugs, prostitution and street living.
JLC’s projects have the following aims:
• Raising awareness of child protection, health and hygiene to enable children and families to stay safe and healthy
• Providing educational and nutritional support to help young people to reach their full potential
• Offering relevant livelihood skills development to adults to encourage self- sufficiency
• Coordinating social activities to build community resources and relations
• Providing additional relief and support in response to natural disasters.
We believe in empowering the people of Wawa to improve their lives in a sustainable way.
Current JLC projects include:
JLC also works to raise awareness of important issues such as hygiene, nutrition and child protection, to keep people in Wawa safe and improve their wellbeing. JLC has built a community resource centre in Wawa to house our projects and provide a safe place for the community to meet and learn.