Planting PEARLS

Child in Manila © GoErinGoCongratulations  to Project PEARLS! We raised $745 and can feed nearly 4,500 children with hot nutritious meals for 15 days. Thank you for participating!

The nonprofit organization Project PEARLS was brought to my attention by my Facebook friend Rick. The org helps underprivileged children in Ulingan, a small slum in the Philippine capital of Manila, have a better life by giving them Peace, Education, Aspiration, Respect, Love, and a Smile.

Last year, the GoErinGo! Fund sponsored a Project PEARLS scholarship for a child to attend preschool.

A Toxic Home

Ulingan sits on a dump site and is surrounded by charcoal factories, where children as young as three years old work to help their families survive.

The common meal in Ulingan is “pagpag” (leftover food from fast-food restaurants scavenged from the dump site). Translated, “pagpag” means to shake away the dirt and maggots in the food.

Here’s a window into the children’s lives:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Life in Ulingan

A Heartbreaking Life

When I returned stateside, I was able to meet Melissa Villa, the co-founder of Project PEARLS. During our lunch, she told me story after heart-breaking story of the children and their lives in Ulingan.

In one story Melissa told me about a special treat for the children – a trip to see a semi-professional basketball game (their first ever). Where were the kids during the game? In the stadium bathrooms, washing themselves in the toilets because it was the cleanest water they had ever seen.

Here’s Melissa introducing her organization:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Melissa Villa, Co-Founder Project PEARLS

Donate My Dollars!

Project PEARLS GirlThis month, as a nod to Facebook for bringing this wonderful organization to our attention, we’re going to do a one-to-one match (up to $1,000). For every Facebook “Like” the Go Erin Go page receives between February 1 and March 1, I’ll give $1 to Project PEARLS.

“Like” on Facebook Now!

For those of you who already Like the page, please share with a FB friend. (And Thanks!)

Spreading the Wealth

Here’s how Project PEARLS helps provide basic necessities for the children of Uligan:

Feeding Program: Every Saturday morning, a hot and nutritious meal is provided to more than 300 children. Sponsoring a feeding is only $50.

Brain Booster Program: Right after the Saturday lunch, tutorials are offered in English, math, spelling, arts and crafts, and music.

Project PEARLS Boy with HoopScholarship Program: Currently, there are 73 children in a preschool that Project PEARLS built, and between 200-300 students in the elementary and high school programs. Top performing students get the chance to go on field trips.

To sponsor a child’s education, including tuition, school uniforms, school supplies and books, breakfast, and a bagged lunch, costs:

  • Pre-School Student – $100
  • Elementary Student – $200
  • High School Student – $250

Food for Learning Program: If a child attends at least 85% of his/her classes each month, the scholars will receive 3 kilos of rice and 3 canned goods for their families.

Birthday Parties: Each month, the birthday children get a special treat – usually a trip to McDonald’s or Jolibee – to celebrate their birthdays.

Volunteer Project PEARLSWant to help? You can! Go here to:

Project PEARLS is saving children’s lives in the poorest slums of the Philippines. Thank you for your generosity and for sharing their story with your friends.

For more stories about children in need across the globe, read:

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2013 and is filed under Donate My Dollars.

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