Since 1972, we have been working in Calbayog. On the western coast of the island of Samar, the city is a commercial centre in the region.
Samar is also one of the poorest regions in The Philippines, and life is difficult for many.
Families live in makeshift shelters
Signs of poverty in Calbayog include the inadequate housing that many people live in. In these informal settlements, there is very often no safe drinking water or sanitation facilities. Due to the high rates of malnutrition and a lack of health care in the region, the mortality rate is high. Access to education is also limited, and illiteracy is above the average for the country.
Living in these conditions, families often struggle to provide their children with food or the care that they need. Children may miss out on school, as their parents cannot afford the costs. In these circumstances, it is common for children to work so that they can contribute to the family's income. For example, they may sell small goods or beg. Working on the streets, these children are exposed to exploitation, abuse and false promises of human traffickers.
Supporting Calbayog for over four decades
SOS Children has been present in Calbayog for over four decades. During this time we have worked closely with local organisations. We have provided different kinds of support to the local population. The family support programme provides assistance to families who are at risk of abandoning their children.
SOS Children therefore works with the local authorities to assist families and enable them to take good care of their children. We give nutritional, educational and health support. We provide day care, counselling and guidance on parenting skills. The SOS social centre also assists the community by linking families with existing support networks or by forming new ones if necessary.
A loving home for vulnerable children
When a child looses parental care, they can find a loving home in an SOS Children's Village. Here they live in an SOS family, are cared for by an SOS mother and grow up with their SOS brothers and sisters. This family-based environment is full of love, respect and security.
Children from SOS families go to local schools and attend events in the local community. Children in our care are given special support according to their individual needs, for example, with school work or with counselling. Young children go to the SOS nursery, where they receive pre-school education. Day care is valued by parents who go to work, knowing that their children are being cared for by professionals.
As a child grows up into a young adult, they can move into the SOS youth programme. Here they are supported to start vocational training courses, attend higher education and seek job opportunities. There is also an SOS vocational training centre, which can train up to 126 young people and adults so that they can learn a trade and earn a living.
Vulnerable children and young people in Calbayog are cared for in our SOS community. You can help these children by sponsoring a child today.