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[February 2007]

I have recently been involved in an evaluation study of the activities concerning street children in the Philippines. Surprisingly, I'm hearing from multiple sources that the major cause that pushes chidlren out to the streets is no longer the poverty, but the dysfunctionality of their families. Domestic violence, divorced parents, physical abuse among siblings...the list goes on.

Although it is too early to draw any conclusion from this study, I am getting a feeling that it might be the time to take a step back from the conventional belief, listen to the voices on the "street", and come up with a new set of interventions that truly reflect the current situation - for the Philippines to reacquire what they used to be known for: strong family bonds.