Bulacan is about 90 minutes north of our main center in Tondo, Manila. Our work is spread across five areas of the province, where the government has been relocating families from Tondo and Navotas. Their homes are much safer and secure in the relocation areas and the environment is substantially cleaner. But opportunities for work and income are very limited for them. They do not have social networks or ties and do not have knowledge of the local economies and labor market. As the communities are remote, transportation is costly.
Many male heads of households return to either Tondo or Navotas and remit money back to Bulacan. In many cases, families end up selling or renting their new homes in Bulacan and returning as a family to even less secure housing just to find income in the more productive economies of Tondo and Navotas. In the most unfortunate cases, children in Bulacan are abandoned when both parents go in search for work.
Civil society is an important resource in these communities, as they transition to a more promising yet difficult life. With few government services in place to support them, their chances of making a better life in their better homes and environment are long. The odds are stacked against them. Once populations have reached a critical mass, the local economies and government services begin to develop and grow. But in those gap years, organizations like the Purple Centers are critical.
To help families transition successfully, we help families in the moving process as well as subsistence supports. We support more than 60 students in the public schools, providing them uniforms and school supplies. We visit their families twice monthly to distribute food supplements and have regular medical missions. In 2016-17 school, the Purple Centers is increasing our supplemental education and activities to these student. A new schedule of health monitoring and interventions is also planned. For the first time, the Purple Centers Bulacan will have a full-time dedicated staff.
The Purple Centers Bulacan welcomes organizations and volunteers who can sponsor and be a part of Saturday tutorials and family-centered activities.