The Official Car Sticker

The Official Car Sticker

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas For Payatas

I get so irritated when people try to act like a saint on one side but a total opposite on the other. Recently, I have the unpleasant privilege of meeting one such company who, on the front side, talks and acts like a saint but on the back side, behaves like some china-man crook. This company I am referring to is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company or commonly known as a direct selling company. Their latest community project they embarked onto is the "Christmas For Payatas" in Phillipines.

The landfill in Payatas, The Philippines, is notoriously known the world over as Smokey Mountain. For over 35 years, the smoking dump site has grown to become a stark and heart-tugging reminder of the desperate conditions of humanity. On a daily basis, children pick through newly arrived garbage to collect material to sell. The earnings made by one child is not enough to even buy food for the day. Hence, entire families are forced to climb the mountain each day, hoping to earn enough to feed everyone. Children as young as four years old are forced to work in this daily struggle for survival.

The Lighthouse Center For Children Foundation currently provides food to these underprivileged children, now numbering over 500 children daily. This figure used to be 2000 children per day but support and donations have been getting harder and harder to obtain. The foundation hopes to be able to feed 5000-10,000 children every day if it can raise additional funds. There are over 20,000 children living on Smokey Mountain. Intending to function as more than a soup kitchen, the foundation embarked on a Literacy Program for the Payatas children. Most of the children are not attending school, but helping, at their tender age, to support families. Nevertheless, most of the children dream of becoming teachers, nurses or doctors. Sadly, their dreams are hindered by the reality of poverty and its vicious cycles. Through the educational component of the project, the Foundation hopes to break the cycle.

In response to the plight of these children, this particular MLM company, with a few million US dollars turnover every month, pledges...USD5,000 to the foundation, towards bringing a little cheer to the children of Payatas this Christmas. USD5,000 man!!! That is not even 1% of what the company makes every month! Sigh!!! Why bother to appear on headlines and make announcements as though you are such a saint!!!

I have a personal friend, a Bumiputera, who pledged USD5,000,000,000 (that's five billion US dollars) towards rebulding the devastated province of Sichuan, China. And he wants to remain anonymous and absolutey no mention of his name. He just want to help. To me, that's a real hero!

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