The COVID crisis had hit us all in different ways, financial distress, loneliness, grief… The shantytowns of Manila are suffering because of the implications […]
Rural flight is common the world over as ever more people move to urban areas. Shantytowns which spring up around cities as a result of a rapid and unplanned increase in population are often beset by poverty and violence.
Take, for instance, the Bangkok slum called Klong Toey. Migrants flocks here hoping to land well-paid jobs which will enable them to keep up with the demands of a booming consumer society but instead, often end up in practice as day labourers – searching in vain for an Eldorado that does not exist. Many are fleeing the countryside, or are fleeing from the conflict in neighbouring Myanmar. They arrive in Bangkok without any qualifications. Some cannot even read or write. All they can find to get by is poorly-paid work in the black economy. In Klong Toey, most families earn less than £1 per day.
In these lawless places, children are abused, get mixed up with drugs, and are often recruited into gangs where they will later prey on other innocents.
Everywhere we work, Children of the Mekong strives to offer an alternative to these young people, via the provision of an ambitious programme of holistic education and support for employment.
- In 2025, half of the global population (an estimated 8 billion) will live in urban areas and two-thirds will live in Asia.
- The slum population will double within 10 years to reach 1.5 billion.
- In 2017, 4,000 violent crimes were recorded in the slums of Vietnam. They included 100 murders of children and 1,000 sexual offences.
- In Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, 40% of the population lives in a slum (Source: The French Development Agency, Agence Française de Développement AFD). Most of the inhabitants are fleeing the poverty of the countryside only to find that they cannot escape it in the city either.
- With a population of around 20 million, Manila is one of the biggest cities of Southeast Asia.
THERE IS MUCH TO DO IN THE SLUMS - TO IMPROVE EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Children of the Mekong seeks out specialised local partners in order to offer the best possible educational support for children and their families – reaching out to street children, providing secure overnight accommodation for them, and running daycare and nurseries so that parents do not have to take their children with them when they go scavenging on the rubbish tip.
We are also confronting the problem at the source, endeavouring to nip rural flight in the bud by giving people who live in the countryside the hope of a better future via the education of their children.