This morning (Sunday, March 2, 2014) Team Hope Afloat went to Dagat-dagatan in Malabon City to meet the first group of children who will receive Hope Afloat dry bags and school kits.
We met them at a small multi-purpose area across the street from where many of them live in Paradise Village along Letre (Dagat-dagatan) Street in Malabon.
We were all shy at first, but soon warmed up and learned from them what they go through when it rains and floods. Soon we were also talking about what they like to do during their free time. They like to play Tumbang Preso, Chinese Garter and video games too. Some had bikes, too – just like us!
They are kids like us, aged 10-14 years old. They told us how they have to walk to school for 30 minutes each way. When it rains and floods, sometimes they still have class even when the water is up to their knees. This makes the walk to school even more difficult — specially trying to make sure their school things don’t get wet.
When big rains are expected, classes are cancelled. When this happens, they help their families prepare before water comes into their homes.
Gian, an 11 year old boy, showed us his home across the street. When it floods, they have to sleep on top of the cabinets in their small houses to keep their bodies dry, but their feet are still immersed in water.
Now we know how they live. It is not at all easy (in our opinion) but still we saw them smiling and heard them laughing. We discovered that we all enjoy doing similar things as kids! It also taught us that we can be happy with less material things and that it is important to make the best of what we have.
We hope to see them again soon, when we bring them their Hope Afloat dry bags with some extra school supplies. We know that these things will be very useful for them!
Check out the photos we took in our mini-gallery below. Be sure to read the captions of each so that you better understand the photos =)