The Philippines are a country with an extreme disparity of income distributions. Less than 10 per cent of the population owns 90 per cent of the resources. Many children suffer under the consequences of the great material poverty of their parents. The children do not attend school because they have to work. They are working under hazardous conditions, for example, they have to work in dark mining shafts or on plantations where toxic fertilizers are used.
In families, children often experience violence and sexual abuse, also due to the widespread use of drugs. Nobody talks about these facts; the shame is too big. Those who flee usually end up on the streets and are completely defenseless.
In 2001 the sisters established on the islands the Salvatorian Pastoral Care for Children program (SPCC) together with a parish in the Manila metropolitan region. The goal was to build parish communities in which children are respected and can live well.
Children need a voice with which they can stand up for their rights and interests. But they also need someone they can listen to and trust. SPCC, therefore, trains "child rights lawyers". There are now more than 3.000 of these volunteers, around 2.000 of whom are themselves, children or adolescents. The child rights lawyers are familiar with all relevant laws relating to child protection. They advise and accompany the children and support them in any form.
Beneficiaries are all the children and families in and around the parishes, about 750,000 people.
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