The following are quick facts about the Visayans Community Center at Bliss:
- Facility description: The center includes an office, a meeting hall and a classroom.
- Academic year: In the Philippines, the school year typically begins in early June and ends in late March, with a short break in December.
- Extracurricular activities: Children receive tutoring in English and math, and the center also offers arts and crafts workshops. A basketball court serves as a playground for the children and their families.
- Nutrition: Nutrition classes are offered for the entire community here. The center facilitates occasional feeding programs to reduce the number of cases of malnutrition.
- Health care: The center facilitates occasional medical clinics which provide community members with immunizations, checkups and referrals to local hospitals as needed.
The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records. Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation, access to healthcare and access to potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The large port city of Tacloban is no exception to these maladies. In the Bliss Housing Project in Sagkahan — a community established by the Filipino government for Tacloban’s poor — only fifteen percent of residents actually own the land on which they live. Most inhabit concrete dwellings, but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo and castoff boards. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss serves as a beacon of hope.
Founded by the local group Volunteer for the Visayans, the center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare and promoting education. Especially in the wake of the devastation inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan — one of the worst storms to hit the area in a hundred years — in November 2013, Children Incorporated plays a vital role in this mission. Together, we can help provide these deserving children with the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.
Quick Facts about the Philippines:
- Population: 106,512,074 (2018 est.)
- Languages Spoken: Filipino (official, based on Tagalog) and English (official) and 8 other dialects
- Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (2018 est.)
- Poverty Rate: 21.6% (2018 est.)