A fire tore through a block of raw apartments on 13th Avenue in Cubao, the Philippines. The gutted-out rooms, each one about two square meters in size, housed ten families, roughly six people per unit. Three of the families are regulars at The School in a Cart on 20th Avenue and have gone from owning very little to having only the clothes on their backs.
We are asking for donations to replace the children’s uniforms, basic needs, books, et cetera, and to provide them with some food while they’re being sheltered at a local school. Luckily, no one was hurt, although one family lost their pet dog. If you have been following our progress at The School in a Cart, adding a kitchen and showers, starting a breakfast program, and providing new books, uniforms, and shoes, then you may recognized the names of the affected families: Alice Santiago and grandson Julius Santiago; Lita Avendano and sons Abet, Jolito, and Santiago; and Amy Armingol with children Pia and Joshua.
I’m sure this tragedy is weighing heavy on the children’s hearts. We undoubtedly will see writings from them about the experience and the fear they may live with as a result. Eventually, these street families will find a new spot to call ‘home,’ and can resume collecting trash to sell and scavenge.
The best we can do for all the children of The School in a Cart is see to it they receive an education . . . and that entails making sure they have food, clothing, and shelter.