The Philippines’ capital has enormous contrasts.
If anyone wants to know what poverty means – and the enormous task ahead, if this country is to achieve the poverty-busting UN Millennium Development goals – they could do worse than visit Smokey Mountain. One of the women who works there, who gave her name as Bilma, said she tried to feed five children on what she could make.
“I work from sunrise to sunset,” said Bilma. “Sometimes I make enough money, but sometimes I make nothing at all.”
As the rubbish truck approached, dozens of people surged towards it, running through knee-high garbage to reach the fresh treasure.
They scrambled onto the tailboard and roof of the truck even before it opened its rear gate to pour out its stinking cargo. The near-destitute people began foraging amongst the detritus for morsels. They were after empty plastic bottles, scraps of metal or paper – all of which can be recycled by the sackful for a few cents.
You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money. ~P.J. O’Rourke, A Parliament of Whores
A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. ~W.C. Fields
To a man with an empty stomach food is God. ~Gandhi