The American Women’s Club of The Philippines is always doing charities and active work in the community. I had the amazing opportunity to go to Smokey Mountain at the beginning of this month with the AWCP. Essentially Smokey Mountain is the Manila dumpsite that over 20,000 Filipinos live on. They salvage garbage to reuse, sell or make handicrafts with. They also salvage the garbage for food and other resources for daily living.
The Philippine Christian Foundation has played a major role in educating the children in Smokey Mountain. Many can not afford to go to school or simply can not because if they do not dig through the garbage they may not be able to find food for their families. An angel named Jane happened upon Smokey Mountain saw their way of living and the lack of schools. She has since created a foundation that has made 2 schools on Smokey Mountain. In order to get the students to school they receive a bag of rice to feed their families at the end of each school week. They have just started construction on the second school and are using shipping/metal storage units to make the school.
The experience I had there was a humbling experience. I walked away feeling gratitude for my life and my circumstances. I also walked away with gratitude for the people who live there and are HAPPY. They have a constant smile, very friendly and have found resources in the worst of circumstances to sustain life.
More photos here.