Poverty— seven letters that affect the lives of thousands of people especially in my country, the Philippines.
As our car was stopped because of traffic in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, children began to flock in front of our car. They started dancing for money that the passengers would give. Some motorists would share but that does not mean that those coins are enough for living. Now, I started asking myself many things. Do they eat thrice a day? Do they study? Why do they dance and beg for money when they should be attending schools, learning to read and write? Why are they amid traffic not minding how polluted the air and hot the temperature is?
After we finished eating, I noticed that someone was sleeping beside where we parked and was not even bothered by people who walk and see him laying down on those boxes. How could they sleep in the street with the oven-like temperature of the Philippines? How do they live without houses for safety and a proper source of water? Some are babies who looked only months old or worse, a newborn.
As I explored the roads, I saw some who do drugs to lessen the starvation they are suffering for days or weeks. They live depending on the people who help them, the leftover food, and recycling some things that are found inside the trash bin. Some are sick and do not have enough money to go to the hospitals to buy the proper medicine prescribed by a doctor. Unfortunately, some are both born and die in this kind of situation.
These are not the only people who are affected by poverty. Youth, especially those who belong to an average family, face this issue in choosing the course or the profession their heart desires. For example, a teenager is confused about what course they should take— the one that he wants or the one that his family could afford. We all have seen that education is not as accessible as the mass thinks it is. Free state college tuition fees are given to those who excel in school, where standardized tests are implemented. Scholarships are mostly limited to the poor. If you belong to an average family, most of the time you are not qualified for any of the choices for these grants.
POVERTY. One word that causes change to thousands of people. For a very long time, I was wrapped up in a shelter of the privileged. Now that I can think and understand what is happening in my society, I would never just close my eyes again. I cannot be silent knowing that people suffer for things that they cannot control. No one should ever be deprived of their rights. They deserve more. We deserve more. I hope as this generation transitions from being the youth to taking charge for the development of the society, this place would be fair to everyone- where it is accessible to all who need it, human rights are respected, and no one endures the pain of something they did not do nor have a choice about.