Advisory Board Member Jeremy Mangelson Visits Payatas
I’m Jeremy Mangelson, a new Advisory Board Member of Philippines Humanitarian. I accepted this role because I have a special relationship with the people of the Philippines, having spent two years of my life getting to know the country and its people. Recently, I went back and one of the places I visited was the village of Payatas to meet a student that I began sponsoring just a few months ago.
It was important for me to bring my son, Kyle, on this journey. He was able to experience first-hand the desperate environment that the families of Payatas live in. We saw how they lived, how they tried to support themselves to provide the bare necessities for their families, and how they managed to survive desperate conditions that most people would find shocking and appalling.
The silver lining for these families is KM Foundation, the sister organization of Philippines Humanitarian. Eva Aquino, KM Foundation’s Program Director, is the eyes and ears for Philippines Humanitarian; she graciously gave us a tour of the community and facilities that Philippines Humanitarian helps to support.
I’m happy to report that KM Foundation is doing great work in the community of Payatas, Quezon City, Philippines. They do an excellent job at closely managing the program to ensure the money invested by donors is put to good use and specifically provided to children in need to maximize their educational opportunities. They are very good at selecting those in true need and in critical situations where they would normally not make it to school and not make it through their education. I personally saw the “Scholars” who benefit from the donations with future aspirations on their minds and in their eyes when previously they would have none beyond their current situation at the waste dumps. I could see the path for many to becoming professionals in the areas of Science, Education, Law Enforcement, Architecture, and Engineering, among others. The work that needs to be done is great but for those that are benefiting already, the difference in their life is also great. The KM Foundation works to support these kids and their families but also does a terrific job of holding them accountable.
If the children do not meet the standards for attendance and grades, they are put on probation and eventually released from the program if they do not improve. KM Foundation wants to help these children but if the commitment is not there on their end, they will move to help children whose families are truly committed to their success.
After having spent time in this community, with these children, and with KM Foundation, I have an even greater desire to help build this work. I am very much looking forward to helping in any way that I can to expand the work and get the word out about what KM Foundation and Philippines Humanitarian can do together.
Because beyond the monetary contributions we make as donors, I like to think that we offer something even more important: hope. Hope for a better future, a better life, a better world for the children of the Philippines.