Within the bustling city of Tondo, lies a quiet hill-top community on top of an old dump site for the city of Manila. The locals call this place Trash Mountain. It is in the heart of Happyland, metro Manila’s biggest slum, and although it is no longer an active dump site, there is still garbage, broken glass, discarded food, and other remnants of everyday waste lingering beneath the feet of the 100 families who call this place home.
While the joy that radiates from the approximately 200 children living here is palpable, this community is severely poor, high in crime, and lacks basic necessities like clean water, electricity, and proper sanitation.
The average household income is under $1 per day. This is just barely enough for parents to provide a simple family meal of mainly rice once or twice a day.
Most families, often with help from children, make their living scavenging for recyclables and food on the city streets and dump sites. The recyclables are resold for pennies, and the food is dusted off and recooked into a dish called Pagpag. Pagpag is either sold to neighbors or served to their families for nourishment.
In an effort to feed the many malnourished children living on Trash Mountain, Marylu Fryberger, Priscilla Hefflefinger (Thrive Co-founder), and Cindy Bryson have been paying for, procuring and delivering fresh veggies, fruit, protein and water once a week to the children that pack a local community center when they hear food is on the way.
Starting in August, this feeding project will have the exciting opportunity to grow with the help of Thrive’s global donors. It costs about $96 for each food and water delivery. A monthly gift of $10 will allow us to work toward our goal of feeding each child a healthy meal five days a week.
This will be Thrive’s first project outside of Bangladesh. Be sure to follow Marylu, Cindy, and Priscilla’s Thrive adventures in the Philippines on our Facebook page.