Life In Bagong Barrio

Life in Bagong Barrio is a struggle for most, with families finding it very difficult to meet their basic daily needs.

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Rice is the main source of nutrition with a family of up to 9 living off just 1kg of rice per day. Sometimes vegetables and chicken are added to the rice but only when the family can afford it.

Houses are very small and crowded and the conditions are poor. Houses are built wherever there is space and living arrangements are quite haphazard. Quite often it is necessary to crawl or climb into a dwelling through a small entrance. Families generally sleep on the floor next to one another in a very confined space.

There is limited access to running water. Water is also delivered to the slum in a truck but this comes at a cost and the truck usually arrives in the very early hours of the morning before the narrow streets get busy. Additionally, not all houses have access to electricity, making basic living difficult.

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The average family size is over six. Although schooling is free, it is difficult to send children to school because of the loss of help and income that the children bring to the family and also the cost of school supplies, uniforms and transport.

Typhoons are part of life in the monsoon season and can cause significant damage to infrastructure and cause flooding.

Despite the level of material poverty, the people have an amazing spirit and are unbelievably resilient. They also have a great deal of pride and this is evident in the way the children present themselves for school. When you see the children in their sparkling uniforms, perfectly combed hair and big smiles it is easy to forget where they woke up that morning.

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