I’m so glad the government is now more actively supporting programs to help shelter Filipino streetchildren. If you haven’t been to Manila before, you can’t imagine how awful it is to see these kids going from car to car, begging for alms from drivers and passengers who pretend not to see them. You can’t give to them, because it just encourages them to beg more, but you can’t just leave them in the streets with nothing. The part that gets me really angry is that many of these kids’ parents make them do it, to sustain their income, often because they don’t try to find work themselves — or can’t find work. More annoyingly, other kids just do it for fun, to make an extra buck.
This is a terrible social ill that needs to be solved on a systemic level. You can’t just keep giving these kids handouts of coins; you need to make an economy that can sustain livelihoods for their families and provide for their basic needs. These shelters (if they ever push through; you know how government can be) are a step in the right direction: get the kids off the streets! Stop supporting a culture based on pity handouts, and provide for these kids’ needs while getting their parents some decent financial support!
How to do that? I don’t know. It’s late and I need my sleep.