Asia is famous for awesome, save and relaxed holiday destinations. Many countries are economically dynamic but simultaneously social very unequitable. Some big landowners control the market and hundreds of workers are dependent to them. A large section of the population has to live from less than one US-Dollar a day. The consequences are undernutrition, waifs, child trafficking and high child mortality as well as high HIV/Aids rates within the ones to suffer. That is where the KNH (Kindernothilfe) helps with their projects.
Other big problems are the periodic recurring natural disasters like tsunamis, floats and typhoons. School tracks or whole schools are washed away, houses have to be rebuilt. Hygiene standard fall rapidly and so new health problem occur – another reason for KNH projects.
In 2012 the KNH had two Self-Help-Groups in Tuy in the south of the Philippine island Luzon. Both groups had problems with big landowners and worked on a strategy to get some land to cultivate. Furthermore the school tracks were nearly unusable during rainy season.
Here is the first story of the two visited groups in Tuy
Tuy is hilly region of Batangas where the partly plain ground is plastered with cultivated land. The land is arid which leads to water shortage in dry period and floodings during rainy season.
The first group in Tuy had to deal with missing day care for toddlers and a destroyed school track during every rainy season. Both problems come from the suppression by the landowners which prevent the self-sufficiency of the population. Only the small and barren verge of the fields can be used for people’s own sustenance. The small daily income and the seasonal work let the population no chance to free themselves from dependency.
So the KNH invented a project to support the cooperation between the village’s families and to develop strategies for more self-sufficiency. In 2012 a daycare center for toddlers with a fountain and a small vegetable garden has already been built with the help of freelancing locals and the financial support of the KNH.
That time the destroyed school track, the arid land and the water shortage in the hills still were problems which the groups discussed in weekly meetings with the local advisors. Many families already teamed up to share some chicken and to cultivate the land between their houses. They also started to save their money together to have a pool of money in case of hardship.
The way to get everything on track is stony but the people I met are highly motivated to develop their own strategies and find their own part in the project.