Poverty in the Philippines
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Poverty— seven letters that affect the lives of billions of people worldwide, especially those in my country, the Philippines.
As our car was stopped because of traffic in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, children began to flock in front of our car. They started dancing for some coins that some of the passengers would give. Yes, some warm-hearted motorists would share, but that doesn't mean that those coins are enough for living. I started asking myself many things...Do they eat thrice a day? Do they study? Why do they dance and beg for money? Shouldn't they be attending schools, learning to read and write? Why are they in the midst of traffic where the air is polluted and temperature is very hot?
After we finished eating I noticed that someone was sleeping beside our parked car. It appeared that he was not even bothered by the people walking by and seeing him laying down on those boxes. How could children sleep in the street with the oven-like temperature of the Philippines? How do they live without houses for safety and a proper source of water? Some of the children I've seen are even babies who look only months old or worse, a new born.
As you explore the roads, you'll see some children who do drugs to lessen the starvation they are suffering for days or even weeks. Many live depending on the people who help them, the left over food, and recycling some things that are found inside the trash bin. Some are even sick and do not have enough money to go to the hospital and buy the proper medicine a doctor would prescribe. Unfortunately, some children are born and die in this kind of situation.
Why does it appear that some of these people (it's important to not generalize) are never bothered with the state of their living? First, they are born in the street because their parents live in there. Second, they don't have money to buy food that sustains the nutrients the body needs. Third, they can't afford to go to school because when they do have money they have will use it to buy food. Fourth, some may end up getting pregnant.
While poverty can be an enormous hindrance for an ease of life, some people who suffer from this can be forced to work illegal jobs such as stealing and entering the sex industry. The worst things that I have encountered are parents trying to sell their children in many ways— a new born baby being sold to people who cannot bear a child, a 7-year old being killed to sell his organs to people who are willing to pay millions for a part of a body, and a 15-year old (some are even younger) being forced by parents to become a prostitute. Without having the proper education, these (for some) are ways to make fast money. It becomes more alarming as the time passes by and are also violation to human rights.
These children aren't the only ones that are affected by poverty. Youth can face this seven letter word in choosing the course or the profession their heart desires. For example, a teenager who is confused of what course he should take— the one that he wants or the one that his family could afford?
POVERTY. One word that causes change to billions of people. As I end this, I want to remind you how blessed you are. You are reading this because you have a time to read. You may not have to dance for coins, beg for food and water, and sleep beside the street. These are SIMPLE reasons why you should be thankful for what you have at the moment. Being a part of the youth that still doesn't work and have stable money, all I can do is to share these blessings.
I want you to take time to appreciate what the Lord is giving you, no matter how much you dislike it. Because someone out there is wishing for a simple thing like what you have. Someone out there is wishing for that 'unpalatable' dish that is served to you. And that 'someone' is a person you may not know or care about, but they are a HUMAN that has feelings and a heart.