Street Child and Orphan in the Philippines

According to my research thru Wikipedia, there are three definitions of street children in the Philippines, according to a 1998 report titled “Situation of the Youth in the Philippines”, there were about 1.5 million street children in the Philippines.

Picture of streetchildren
A picture of street-children in the Philippines, Photo grab from; https://thehesserfoundation.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/poor-children-in-the-philippines/

Defining Filipino street children, According to the “A Better Life” foundation, there are three different categories of street children:

One, children on the streets makes up approximately 75% of the street children in the Philippines. They work on the streets but do not live there. They generally have a home to return to after work, and some even continue to attend school while working long hours on the streets.

Two, children of the street make their homes on the street. They make up 25%-30% of the street children in the Philippines. They often create a sort of family with their fellow street children. Some of them still have family ties, but may either rarely tend to them or view them negatively.

Three, completely abandoned children have no family ties and are entirely on their own for physical and psychological survival. They make up approximately 5%-10% of the street children in the Philippines.

Problems facing of street children are drugs, health problems, and summary execution of street children, child prostitution, sexual exploitation, HIV/AIDS, and STDs.

The definition of the orphan, as per my research in Wikipedia, an orphan is a child whose parents are dead, unknown, or have permanently abandoned him or her. In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents due to death is called an orphan.

Children who have reached adulthood before their parents died are usually not described as orphans, as the term is generally reserved for children whose parents have died while they are too young to support themselves.

Various groups use different definitions to identify orphans. One legal definition used in the United States is a minor bereft through “death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents”.

Famous orphans include world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Andrew Jackson; the Hebrew prophet Moses and the Muslim prophet Muhammad; writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, and Leo Tolstoy; athletes such as Aaron Hernandez or Jacques Villeneuve. The American orphan Henry Darger portrayed the horrible conditions of his orphanage in his artwork.

The lack of parents leaves the characters to pursue more interesting and adventurous lives, by freeing them from familial obligations and controls, and depriving them of more prosaic lives. It creates characters that are self-contained and introspective and who strive for affection.

In literature, orphaned characters are extremely common as literary protagonists, especially in children’s and fantasy literature. Orphans can metaphorically search for self-understanding through attempting to know their roots.

Removing the parents makes the character’s difficulties more severe.

Orphans are common in fairy tales, such as most variants of Cinderella. A number of well-known authors have written books featuring orphans. Examples from the classic literature include Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, and J. R. R. Tolkien’s, author of The Lord of the Rings.

Orphans are especially common as characters in comic books. Almost all the most popular heroes are orphans: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Robin, The Flash, Captain Marvel, Captain America, and Green Arrow were all orphaned.

“God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (New Testament, James 1:27)

Copyright © 2017 The God’s Work to Abandoned Son. All rights reserved.

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