Life Changer for Children: creating positive and powerful change for children, with children.
Life Changers for Children are inspired by the spirit of bayanihan. Sharing the burden, you support communities experiencing inequality and discrimination. Initially, these are communities from Marantao, Lanao del Sur province, and those of the Bajau ethnic minority in Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines.
In the Life Changer for Children program, communities, children and families co-design solutions to address such challenges as lack of access to learning, undernutrition, and diseases and threats to personal safety. Lives are also changed for the better, when families end poverty through better livelihood opportunities.
As a Life Changer for Children, we encourage you to journey together with children and their communities. As their lives are changed through the better thanks to your continuing support, we hope your own journey would also be ever more fulfilled and full of joy!
Help change the lives of children and communities for the better. Become a Life Changer for Children today!
Bajau Community Settlement in Iligan
The proud and hardworking members of the Bajau tribe from Mindanao are also known as “sea gypsies” since they inhabit coastlines and travel by boat from one island to another. They are often displaced due to ongoing conflict.
Some Bajau have tried to live on land, such as the Bajau community of Iligan City. Located at Barangay Tambacan, Iligan City, the Bajau community is composed of 107 households (averaging 9 members per household) or 268 families with an estimated 450 children. These Bajau families live in makeshift stilt houses at the edge of the sea. They support themselves mainly through fishing and earn an average monthly household income of just Php 5,400, far below the Php 8,500 monthly food threshold of Iligan City for a family of five members.
The Bajau living in Barangay Tambacan continue to have issues in accessing even their most basic needs such as food and clean water, due to lack of income and livelihood opportunities and both natural and human-induced disasters. Children there suffer from malnutrition and undernutrition.
Marantao, Lanao del Sur
Marantao is a municipality in the province of Lanao del Sur and is one of the closest to Lake Lanao. Life Changer for Children is being piloted in Palao Ranaranao and in Pindolunan, Marantao.
This community is composed of 89 households or 240 families with a total population of 1,155, of which 584 are children. The community’s main source of livelihood is farming (rice, corn, banana, cassava, and sweet potato) and their average household income is Php 2,500. More than half the households have no toilets and many get their water directly from Lake Lanao. The community has no functional health facility.
Ranaranao Elementary School in Palao Ranaranao is the primary educational institution in the community (there is also a Madrasah or an education institution for Islamic instruction). The school accepts Kindergarten to Grade 6 school children and over 120 students are enrolled. Lack of classrooms and sanitation facilities, old and damaged school furniture, limited school supplies and equipment, and limited number of teachers, among other challenges, have made it very hard for children to learn there.
Orphaned children living in Torils or informal dormitories in Pindolunan, Marantao also struggle to access the most basic services. Many Torils occupy abandoned private houses or former Madaris schools. The Torils are usually overcrowded and lack basic facilities such as toilets, running water, a cooking area, and a place where children can safely play. In most cases, living rooms are used as classrooms and eating and sleeping areas. Due to the congestion of the facilities, lack of access to clean water and other hygiene facilities, there are observed common illnesses among children. Most Torils heavily depend on donations of food such as canned goods and other processed food including instant noodles.