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A costal village in Himaya has become a sanctuary for informal settlers because fishing can provide an income. After Quizalyn’s father, Alvaro, was dismissed from the factory where he worked before, her family moved to this village. “Fishing is [an] unprofitable source of income. But, [it’s] better than having no means to feed my family,” says Alvaro.
Living in shanties, families face challenging circumstances. Houses are only made of pawid (nipa shingles), plywood, and tarpaulin sheets. Some families don’t have electricity or even access to potable water. Many negligent residents use the bay as a trash bin and toilet.
Change-makers. World Vision children from this community saw a need and responded by initiating a coastal clean-up.
Alarming quantities of rubbish thrown out in the bay endanger everyone’s health, especially that of the children. Many children have been suffering from water-borne maladies. Quizalyn herself has had skin rashes. “[It] also hampered my participation in school,” she says.
Families from this community made sure their drinking water was clean, although they failed to realize that even water for hand-washing and bathing should also be clean, creating an occasion for more infection.
There have been waste management initiatives conducted by local authorities yet improper waste disposal is still rampant. Village officials have advised the residents about garbage collection rules but many have refused to comply. “The ordinance will be useless if [they] won’t cooperate,” says Arturo, a village official.
Quizalyn and other sponsored children in the village banded together for a summer project with World Vision’s Children’s Association to campaign for proper garbage disposal, starting with a clean-up drive.
Quizalyn and her companions carried their brooms and dustpans to clear the trash along the streets and coastal zones. They filled several sacks with bamboo, wooden planks, food wrappers, plastic and rags. “We know the pervasive water pollution is dangerous to health. It also ruins the beaches and threatens the livelihood of our fisher-folk,” shares sponsored child Kimberly, 16. “The time for our action is now.”
The sponsored kids also invited other children from their community to join their advocacy efforts and to practice proper garbage disposal and marine litter prevention. “Some parents also picked up their brooms to join our cause,” recounts Quizalyn.
The children also invited local officials to hold talks about waste management. Facts about the causes and effects of marine pollution were also covered. The speakers also warned the kids not to bath in the bay, anymore. As a symbol of their commitment to protect the environment, all participants signed their names on an oversized pledge sheet.
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