lots of fun, living the high life in the Philippines. However, through
it all, it's been impossible to ignore the poverty and hardship
in every city, village and community.
with some AIESEC students of the University of the Philippines,
I was invited to the Brookside community, which is part of the Gawad
shanties to colourful homes.
From sickness and malnutrition to health.
From streets to caring schoolrooms.
From slums to peaceful communities.
From poverty to self-reliance.
From a people in despair to a people with hope."
project is currently transforming around 300 slums, and shanty towns
around the Philippines, and turning them into self-sufficient villages.
do not get paid, but work in the village for their houses. In return,
they build other houses. Mothers cook for the workers, look after
children and opt to teach in the provided school. Children are given
an education, with books and even uniforms, whilst their parents
at their age used to scavenge through rubbish tips.
project relies on the contributions of investors to help fund for
the expensive turnarounds, but the work is all done by the people
themselves. The changes are quite unbelievable.
inhabitants of Brookside, openly show their gratitude to everyone
who walks through their streets. Smiles and greetings all round.
Even when I went into a classroom at the school, children as young
as five, put down their pencils and in unison chanted, "Good
contribution was small, and quite insignificant. Along with my colleagues,
I helped break down some foundations of an old building, in order
to make room for a new one.
it was an experience just to stand and look around. It's shameful
to think that as we walk down our streets at home, rarely do we
look around and appreciate our circumstances. The people of Brookside
spend each minute of the day thanking God for their new lives, which
although are very modest, are rich in comparison.
more information you can visit:
by Stevie Cameron
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homes used to look at Brookside