Howard from BBC and our Project PEARLS Team met Ranniel, his family and other kids who live in shanties under the bridge.
We spoke with Ranniel about going back to school and he is excited. We just need to get his report card from the school so he can enrol next year; we just need to pay the books he lost so we can get the report cards.
We spoke with Ranniel’s mother, Jennifer (one in blue shirt on the left front) and according to her, the Philippine government is planning to relocate them outside Metro Manila anytime next year. But there is no certainty to the schedule. The government has been telling them about this relocation for at least four years now.
There are 12 people living in their shanty house! Including Jennifer’s sister and family. The immediate help they need is a source of income. They have been planning to put up a small canteen-like shop in front of their house where they can cook and sell various meals for breakfast and lunch. Jennifer said that they used to have one with their mother but they ran out of running capital. For this small business, we may need $500 at least to get them started with cooking utensils, portable stove, pots, pans, chafing dishes, etc. Ranniel and siblings can help in the small business so they don’ need to dive in that filthy water and scavenge.
We treated the kids to banana fritters that same afternoon. This is also something that Jennifer would like to do – cook and sell banana fritters.
We also brought 3 boys to the hospital for an immediate wound care from burns; one is Ranniel’s brother.
Jennifer, Ranniel’s mother also said that she used to keep first aid medicines and over the counter medicines for the community and she doesn’t have any for many months already. We are planning to replenish her medical supplies. Apparently, she is community head.
Our Board Members approved that we will not only include Ranniel’s family but all these 60 families living under the bridge (see picture below) to our Holiday Campaign.
Please check details here: https://2019-adopt-a-pearls-family.causevox.com/. Please feel free to adopt one or many of these families for Christmas.
Please understand that Project PEARLS is just a small non-profit organization compared to big foundations such as World Vision or Red Cross. Most of our programs are run by volunteers. We do not have a staff or volunteer to oversee Ranniel and his family and community needs on a regular basis. If we get enough help, we can hire a social worker who can work closely with them.
We are inviting 40 kids from their community to a sponsored birthday party on December 1, 2019. We will include Ranniel and the rest of his family, his cousins, friends in our outreach events that we think will be a good fit. This way, we can establish a relationship with them based on mutual respect and trust. On Monday, our Project PEARLS Team will register each family living under that bridge so we can create a proper database.
We may not be able to send regular updates but please follow us on our Facebook page and Instagram where we share our outreach events, community happenings and the like.
Our Project PEARLS team is still looking for other educational options for Ranniel and siblings until we can enrol them in the next school year that starts in June 2020.
Please check out our Donate page and feel free to send your gifts to help Ranniel’s family get back on their feet; and to help his community.
Blessings and Peace!
Watch Ranniel’s Story on BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-5037