Facebook post brings aid to 3 street beggars
TACLOBAN CITY—Reporter Sarwell Meniano was on his way to his family’s farm in Barangay Tambis, 5 kilometers from the town center of Burauen in Leyte province, when he saw a woman and her two children—a boy and a girl, both naked—and all begging for food.
“My heart broke when I saw the kids, so thin, naked and obviously malnourished,” he said.
After giving them bread, Meniano took photos of the three beggars and posted these on his Facebook account on Sept. 17, hoping to draw attention to their plight.
The account generated 702 shares and more than 400 likes, and was eventually noticed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which sent a team to help.
The children were found to have been living with their mother in an abandoned toilet in Tambis.
Quoting villagers, Meniano said the woman fell into depression when her husband left her. She just stayed in the toilet while her children were out scavenging for food.
Their neighborhood was also poor and hardly the place for begging, though bananas and root crops were at times available.
Meniano’s Facebook post opened the door for help to arrive.
Donations in cash and kind came. The municipal social welfare office provided shelter to the children at Reception and Study Center for Children in Palo, also in Leyte, on Sept. 23, while their mother was confined at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center here.
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