An American anthropologist once said: according to Negrito law, every man and woman is equal. Slavery certainly does not exist among the Negritos with whom I lived (Morice Vanoverbergh 1930)
The Aetas (negritos) live in harmony with their environment. They have a very simple lifestyle, one that is close to nature, one that values family and equality among men
80 years later, does this statement still hold true?
Abril lives in the mountains of zambales. His family used to occupy the foot of Mt. Pinatubo. Aeta children like Abril value the forest and the mountains. To them, the forest is their home. But after the volcano erupted, many Aeta families including Abril's were forced to flee.
Government put them in resettlement areas. While lowlanders encroached on their forests and virgin mountains. Many Aetas now live among lowlanders. But majority of them live in abject poverty. many are illiterate.
Children who want to study are forced to work as domestic helpers. They don't get paid any salary -- food, clothing, shelter and a chance to study are their only compensation.
Abril was only 9 years old when he started working as househelp and shepherd for a family in zambales. He does back breaking work everyday just to be able to go to school. His employers do not pay him anything except for free food, shelter and clothing.
Abril was a Project Malasakit scholar for five years. His determination to finish secondary school is something many Aeta children could only dream of. He graduated from High School and was able to undergo TESDA skills training.
Karapatan ng lahat ng bata ang edukasyon, pero sa kaso ng mga bata tulad ni Abril… tila isa itong mithiin na ang kapalit ay pagpapaalipin
Maraming salamat sa mga tumulong kay Abril.
Abril's life in photo
Please click to enlarge:
How can you help?
With just 1,000 pesos ($20) per month, you can help send a poor Filipino child to school, change their lives and give them a decent future
Elementary and High School
P1,000 per month to cover transportation, food, and school projects
P1,500 per year for tuition, uniform, student “ID”, PTA, etc.
Tuition varies widely P500-1,000 monthly allowance for food, transportation, etc.
Project Malasakit is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered foundation with Reg No. CN 201013987 and TIN: 007-861-739.