WHAT IS OUR MISSION?
LAHI is a Child-caring institution providing twenty-four hour resident group care service for the physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being of mentally gifted, dependent abandoned, neglected, handicapped or disturbed children, including, abused and exploited children. Our institution includes education of children as part of our commitment to help to the total development of the well-being of these children.
It was last November of 1996 when we were first invited by the HSFC to observe how they help and minister the street dwellers of Malate and Ermita (representative places where street children and families are numerous). As we go on observing them, we were touched by the living conditions of the street dwelling children/families. In Malate, the street people we encountered were dwelling permanently in the park. The park itself is their home, workplace, playground, and the shade of the trees and shrubs are their roof. When rain comes, they scamper to the nearest building overhangs carrying with them their children and personal belongings. It is obvious that the squatters living along esteros and under the bridge are by far better off compared to these unfortunate families. In Ermita, most of the street children we encountered sniff solvents. They do this probably to overcome their hunger and misery. Street dwelling mothers whose ages vary from 14 to 23 years old are all over the area. Usually, they own an average of 3 to 4 children in which most of them have different fathers. It is a pity sight that some infants sleep on the grass with cardboard boxes as their mats.
We also learned that some of the children’s parents including their grandmothers and grandfathers were once street children too who have grown and lived there all their lives.
Without help from the government or the NGO’s, the next generation of street families will continue to emerge and flourish. Existing orphanages are already overcrowded, and cannot accommodate more. These abandoned babies are helpless. They need our help and our love.