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Little Children of the Philippines
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Little Children of the Philippines (LCP)

 

The following is a description of the Current Situation of Little Children of the Philippines (LCP)

September 2000

 

Eleven  years  after  its founding, as  of  September, 2000, LCP now serves a  constituency  of  approximately  3000  low-income  Filipinos, children and parents, in  15  depressed  communities/barangays  of  Negros  Oriental. Based upon information obtained from the sponsorship office, the average annual  family  income  of  LCP  families  with  a  sponsored  child  is approximately $600. During the past three years the number of barangays served  has  increased  from eight  to  15,  and  the  number  of sponsored preschools  from  three  to  eight.  The  enrolment  in   Sunday  school  has increased  from  approximately  300 to nearly 1000. Close to 300 children, ranging  from  age  five  to 20, who are victims of poverty and vulnerable to abuse are sponsored by friends of Little Children of the World.

 

Twenty-four of these sponsored children graduated from elementary school this  year, some  with honors, and 12 graduated from high school. Forty-two youth  are  now  enrolled  in  college,  thanks  to  LCW  sponsorships   and scholarships.  LCP   places   every  sponsored  child  in  school,  provides tutoring  for  those  who  get behind, gives nutritional supplements to those who are underweight, teaches them special skills and Christian values, and assists their parents with decent housing.

 

The  all-Filipino  LCP  staff  has  expanded  to  11 full-time and 36 part-time workers, plus 18 youth assistants on work-study scholarships. This includes eight  preschool  teachers  with one coordinator, eleven Schools on Wheels teachers with one coordinator and one bus driver, as well as 13 paramedics with one coordinator and two part-time nurses.

 

LCP  has  grown  also  in  the  number  of  international volunteers who add considerably to the work force, having increased from only three in 1991 to 30  or  40  each  year. They  come  from  various nations including the USA, Philippines,  Canada,  England,  Ireland,  Sweden,  Italy,  Germany,   Japan, South  Korea,  Australia,  and  New  Zealand.  They  use  their  training  and experience  to  enhance  the  existing  programs  and  sometimes  even   to initiate  new  ones  like  the Lice Treatment Project and the Soup Kitchen. A number  of  Filipino  professionals, especially physicians, provide service to LCP  member families and LCP volunteers for no cost or at greatly reduced prices. The  local   Red   Cross   has   also   been   helpful  in training LCP’s community paramedics.

 

While  all  this  growth  in programs and participants has been taking place, unfortunately LCP’s facilities have remained essentially the same. The fact is  that  the  existing  facilities  at  the  Daro Center are totally inadequate to meet  LCP’s  current  program  needs – let  alone  future  needs.  Crowded offices  with  antiquated  technology  and  inadequate  furnishings  result  in frequent interruptions and reduced productivity. Meeting rooms are virtually non-existent and many groups meet under the mango trees where they are subject  to numerous  interruptions by weather or persons passing by. Rest rooms  are  woefully inadequate for large group meetings, resulting in poor sanitation  and  the  utilization  of  inappropriate  places  for relief. Architect Carlos  Amasula,  after  reviewing  the buildings and grounds, made strong recommendations for enlarging or replacing existing facilities to ensure the safety of the children and their parents using the property. He believes that only the Mission House can be renovated and maintained for the long-term future.

 

The girls’ dorm is unsafe as a dormitory for young women, as it is a firetrap with  only  one  stairway,  dangerously  overcrowded  with  18  girls who are unable  to reside elsewhere. Likewise, homeless boys are living in a shack that  has  been  so  devastated  by termites that it is in danger of collapsing. LCP  has  discovered  that there is an increasing need for dormitory space for  children  and  youth  who  either  come  from  dysfunctional families and crowded  conditions  at  home and/or who need to be closer to their school. The  auditorium/chapel,  which  is  used  for  a  variety  of  large and smaller group  meetings,  is  inadequate  in  size  for  many  meetings and is poorly constructed, utilizing flammable materials almost exclusively.

 

Given the rapid rate of growth of LCP, the anticipated future growth, and the inadequacy  of  the  existing  facilities, it  is obvious that a new multipurpose building  is  LCP’s  greatest  need. The  major  questions  are: Do  we try to squeeze our expanding programs and services into our present inadequate and  deteriorating  facilities, or  do  we  replace them  with a new facility that has  much  greater  possibility for future expansion of our programs? Do we build  for  the  next  few  years  or  do  we build for the next few decades and beyond?

 

LCP  serves  the  following  Communities in Dumaguete: Balugo, Buntod, Cadawinonan, Calindagan, Canduay, Candayong, Looc, Mangnao,  Maslog,  Smoky Mountain, Taclobo, Talay, Ticala, and Timbao.