UCCP Community Ministry in Smokey Mountain II: Stories of Transformation & Hope
Smokey Mountain II Garbage Dumpsite is located in Tondo, Manila near the North Harbor. It was opened up in 1998 and since then people started moving there because there is money in the garbage. The people in Smokey Mountain (numbering more than 500 families) search through the garbage in order to find items they can sell. This might be old bottles, plastic bags, tin cans or metals. Everyday the people work many hours in the hot sun, amidst thousands of flies, bad smell from the garbage and smoke from fires that have been started in order to get out hidden metals. Usually, after long hours of hard work a family would earn around 150-200 pesos (3-4 US dollars) a day. The dangers of this environment are obvious, especially the threats to the health of the many children. They suffer from chronic lung/breathing and skin diseases. Young at that (ages 5-10 years old) many of them already have to help their parents literally scavenge for food and garbage. Sometimes someone gets pulled over by the garbage trucks or falls of a running truck as what had happened recently to our 8-year old pupil who tragically died in such accident. In addition to that, many of the children are malnourished.