Child abandonment is one of a number of problems affecting the plight of children in the Philippines. This lifesaving orphanage on the island of Bohol provides a home and dedicated care for infants who have been abandoned at birth.
These children have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves in the most distressing circumstances.
One of their admissions was put in a zipped up bag and abandoned by the side of a highway. Another was discovered by a passing taxi driver who found him buried alive in a disused latrine. Many more of these infants have been discovered in equally shocking circumstances. The orphanage is full and has reluctantly been unable to admit referrals over the last 3 years because of the lack of space.
BuildAid is addressing the critical need to increase their capacity and improve conditions in the existing accommodation space. The first phase of this project is the construction of a new children’s accommodation building with a 21 bed dormitory. This will effectively double the orphanages capacity. The next phase is the refurbishment of the existing facility which we will be undertaking this year.
With the help of our incredible regular supporters and the generosity of our trust partners and event sponsors, Trinity phase 1 has now been completed. We are now moving to Trinity phase 2/3 which will be undertaken in the autumn of 2017 through to December 2018.
The Philippines is the number one global source for webcam child abuse. There are horrific stories of children as young as two years old being forced to perform acts on their friends, siblings and parents. These acts are directed and paid for by paedophiles via webcam, in countries all over the world. Local law enforcement are working in partnership with a range of organisations to combat this problem and rescue as many children as possible.
This year we have partnered with CURE Foundation Philippines to work on a vital shelter project on the island of Cebu. We are constructing a group of small ‘cottages’ on an agricultural property to serve as a safe haven for girls rescued from child sex abuse. Each ‘cottage’ will be home to 10 girls, with 2 house parents.
This shelter has been in operation since December 2013 and is now at full capacity, with 21 girls aged 2-13. Construction is currently underway to complete 3 extra cottages, the third of which is now only made possible by the incredible generosity of The Toy Trust, who have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to child protection and welfare by supporting the building cost in full for 1 children's refuge cottage. Our project goal is to construct 10 cottages in total, which will provide homes for 100 girls. At the shelter, the girls receive education, emotional and psychological support. They are monitored 24/7 and there are dedicated social workers available full time.
We have joint plans for many more future projects together to benefit those affected by the online sexual exploitation of children.
BuildAid have just launched a wide-scale sanitation campaign in partnership with Rotary International. We recently identified that the toilet facilities in a number of primary schools on the island of Panglao were not only substandard, but extremely filthy and dangerous. Almost none of the schools have handwashing facilities or fully functioning plumbing.
At one of the schools, the children seemed embarrassed by the state of the toilets, asking us not to go in because of the smell. The children rushed ahead of us and tried to clean the toilets before we entered.
The main concern here is that the two main diseases that affect school-aged children are diarrhoeal and worm infections. Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. Diarrhoeal episodes among school aged children are known to cause:
• School absenteeism
• Chronic undernutrition and growth retardation
• Reduced resistance to infections
• When prolonged, impaired growth and development
Something as straightforward as hand washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease by up to 50%. Correct hand washing and proper hygiene practice is a vital skill that all school aged children should have the right to. We want to build gender-separate toilet blocks, with fully-functioning plumbing and hand-washing facilities for as many primary schools as possible in the area.