How the Street Children of Paranaque City Attain Happiness Despite Poverty

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HAPPINESS AMONG STREET CHILDREN1

CHAPTER 1
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
Introduction
Looking at the streets of Manila, it is never new to see street children kicking around. These street children engage in different activities, such as begging for money or food, selling Sampaguita and cigars, collecting scrap metal and plastics with value and sell them, doing small tasks form merchants, dusting car windows, park boys, and some just lay silent in the corner. They do these activities to survive each day due to the lack of resources in their families. They are obliged to work day and night so that they can pass starvation. At other times, the scarcity of resources is so severe that some children are forced to move out of their families and make their own way to survive in such situations. Moreover, these children also experience discrimination from other people due to the preconceived notions of street children as drug users, thieves and criminals, making the harvesting of resources more difficult for most of them.

Yet, despite living in such deprived situations, these children seem to still enjoy a fair amount of play in their lives. These children often create a sort of family among their fellow street children. Other children while begging for money simultaneously play tag with their friends. Some can even afford to happily sing and dance in front of strangers. Even discriminated, these children can still be heard laughing and can simply put a smile on their faces.

In this research, the researchers aim to question the source of happiness in the midst of scarcity and poverty of these street children. The researchers will find out the reasons of these children for being in the streets and how can happiness be attained and their necessities. HAPPINESS AMONG STREET CHILDREN2

Conceptual Framework
Discrimination
Poverty

Problems:
- Health
- Home
- Family
- Safety
- Money
- Lifestyle
- Education

Street Children

How can happiness be attained?

Poverty is the primary cause of the street children crisis. Because of this, the street children are facing a lot of problems, primarily with their health. These problems increase discrimination of the people with the street children. But despite all these problems, how can happiness still be attained by these children?

Theoretical Framework
According to the 1998 report, entitled "Situation of the Youth in the Philippines," there are about 1.5 million street children in the Philippines. 75% of street children in the Philippines spend the night in the homes of their families, but spend the rest of the day working in the street. Between 25%-30% of street children often create a sort of family among fellow street children, and some of them may maintain an interrupted relationship with their families and the homes of their families. 5%-10% of street children are completely abandoned (The Street Children in the Philippines, Wikipedia). At least, a street child is seen walking along the streets, looking for a place to stay.

HAPPINESS AMONG STREET CHILDREN3

While according to Social Weather Stations (SWS), in the important aspects of life and personal satisfaction of the Philippine youth in April 1996, all youth consider what is important in their lives; having a good family life, having good education, finding meaning and purpose in life, being religious, making contribution to society, having plenty of time for recreation and hobbies, and being politically involved; the way you get along with your parents, yourself, the neighborhood you live in, your standard of living, your personal safety, and your educational experiences. But these street children who are also part of the youth doesn’t get this important aspects of life and personal satisfaction. They are deprived to what most people have because of their current situation. The lifestyle of these children are mostly working, begging and hanging out of the streets. Spending time on the...
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