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 reoccurring 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 problems 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 second story of the two visited groups in Tuy
The second village was in an even worse situation. Expelled from the landowners a group of people decided to move to a region far off the civilization to escape the suppression of the system and to live more autonomously. The houses lay up on a relative steep hill sheltered by a grove.
The idea was good. People own the land they are living on and have the opportunity to cultivate vegetables for their personal needs. But it comes with a lot of disadvantages as well.
First of all problems is the lack of water during dry season. The small river down the hill dries out during dry season and for a fountain people have to dig deeper and deeper every year. But also during rainy season problems show up. The river gets too big to cross. Furthermore distress and long distances to walk let people take the water from lower parts of the river course leading to hygiene problems.
The second big problem is the missing infrastructure. Medical care is hard to get up in the hills which pushes people in the arms of miracle healers. Also the school track is long and exhausting. Children have to walk two hours in the morning and if they are late they pay a penalty of 2 Pesos – too much money for most of the families so that children often stay at home especially during rainy season where the track is muddy and difficult. Another reason to stay home is that families do not have enough rice to supply their kids for a four hours walk per day.
So the KNH invented another project to support the village’s families and to develop strategies for more self-sufficiency. In 2012 the self-help groups already built a bridge to cross the river in rainy season. They organized a podcast for the school kids – so all the children who cannot attend school can follow the classes on radio. Furthermore the KNH achieved explanatory work concerning hygiene problems. During the time of the visit the heads of the group were spinning to work out a plan for a pump which delivers drinkable water during all seasons – a tricky problem in many countries without canalization.
Current projects of the KNH are presented on their website and worth to support.