Life During Covid
Life During Covid
Manila had a long lockdown in 2020 with people in curfew stuck in their tiny shacks. Scavenger families could not access the rubbish dumps which were closed. Food prices shot up as distribution delays led to localised shortages
With no way to earn money and savings families needed aid to survive. Local efforts centred on Mango House with teaching staff sourcing, packing and distributing food parcels. Staff left their own families to stay at Mango House in quarantine and look after those children with nowhere else to go. Local support ensured enough soap to maintain hygiene. Despite health scares so far everyone is safe.
Education stopped for months. When it restarted, government decreed no face to face teaching until there is a vaccine for everyone. Education switched to home based teaching modules on paper and to online teaching.
The teaching staff are magnificent and adapted to the new reality. Education is a right for all children and must continue.
Weekly education packs have been printed and distributed to the young Cashew children at home. Older children on the Grapevine outreach programme have online support from their schools. Students study in the single room where whole families live and sleep so concentrating is hard. Home support is limited as not all parents can read and write themselves. Neighbours and friends sometimes help.
Computers, tablets and phones are now vital tools for education.
Local supporters sourced old computers and mobile phones that could be given, lent and shared with the children. Unfortunately many children live where there is no electricity to charge devices and without wifi coverage it is a problem..
Mango House is an important hub with wifi access. Students come to learn online during the day but social distancing and equipment shortages means that not everyone can study fully. At least the teachers and social workers can now move around the barrios so follow up teaching and results grading is possible.
Teaching improves all the time but costs have risen and more families find themselves unable to afford to send children to school. Support for Children of the Dump is more important than ever.
If you can give something, then the ESSENTIALS programme is a flexible way to help all the children