Street children in Manila

With over 17 million inhabitants, Manila keeps on growing. The city is the capital of the Philippines and one of the most spread out megalopolises in the world. Estimates suggest that in the shadow of unplanned and rapid development, between 250,000 and 1 million children live in the streets. Left to fend for themselves, they are easy preys for gangs and trafficking. Often living one day at a time, they need help, more so than anyone else.

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Sponsored children: 71 of 86


The children we meet in the streets are between 7 and 20 years old. Some of them try to earn a living by doing small street work such as filling the jeepneys (small local buses), begging, gathering clients for vendors in the markets or sorting rubbish. By working thus, they earn in between 50 and 120 pesos every day (£0.90 to £2.25).

However, most of the children we meet loiter in the streets, they often end up sniffing glue. Some of them belong to gangs, trapped in the grasps of adults who are part of trafficking networks. These children are much harder to meet, their gang tattoos allow them to recognise one another, they depend on their gang’s boss, whom their fear, but who can also defend them…

Your collective sponsorship allows street children to be supported through different structures: 

  • A foster house, which allows the children to rest, have a stable environment and have fun in complete safety
  • Access to medical care if needed and to healthy balanced meals
  • Social workers and educators to follow and help each child as much as possible
Support the street children of Manila via collective sponsorship

Since 1999, Children of the Mekong has been working in collaboration with our local partner organisation TNK, Tulay Ng Kabataan (“A bridge for children”) to help children escape the streets. Our mission is to allow them to get a more stable situation, then to help them go to school, which, in time, gives them to the possibility to get a job through vocational training or university. Before any of this, however, it is paramount for us to try to see if the child can go back to his family. Father Matthieu Dauchez, who manages the TNK foundation, surrounds himself with a team of educators and Filipino social workers. He is a liberating role model for this youth: righteous and demanding, he remains very close to them.