Growing up in the Philippines, poverty is something that we are used to. We see it all around us. Last Tuesday though, my partner and I headed to Smokey Mountain, and those five hours spent there will probably change my life forever. Tucked away and neglected from the rest of the world, is a community of people who live by trash, make their living off of trash, and even eat trash (pagpag).
For us, walking around there was an eye opener on how we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Above all though, it was an eye opener to start encouraging people to give back. Under our travel blog, Adventure in you, we decided to start a section called The Wandergive Project. Taken from the word wanderlust, we decided to call it Wandergive which we defined as a strong desire to give while traveling.
Our first project is in partner with a Dutch organization, Young Focus who has been working in the slums of Smokey Mountain since 1992. With the help of both donors and volunteers, we are aiming to raise enough money to pledge our support to feed 20 malnourished children for an entire month.
It takes P46 to feed a child for a day and just P1300 to feed them for an entire month. The best part about the program is that Young Focus involves the parents by teaching them how to make their own nutritious meals.They train the mothers to be able to cook nutritious yet budget friendly meals, and in return, those trained mothers will also pass on along their knowledge to others.
Apart from this, we are also having an outreach program on the 17th for those that want to join us as we help out in the different student centres in the slums.If you want to volunteer your time, please email tom(at)adventureinyou.com (replace at with @) for more details. To us, this is a great opportunity to help the people that need it the most.
Our time there was very emotional as we couldn’t help feel for their daily struggles. Imagine living your life with no access to some of the essential basic needs like proper food and shelter? Since we started our crowdfunding campaign, people from all over the world has begun donating. We are both humbled by the support that other people are willing to share for our cause.If you want more details on how YOU can help, please do not hesitate to contact any of us!
Through the spirit of voluntourism, let's bring back the glory of Manila!
READ MORE: 15 Greatest Things We Miss From Old Manila