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October 6, 2009
Filipino children driven to the streets by crushing poverty

UNICEF estimates that one billion children live in poverty — almost every second child in the world.

The Philippines is a microcosm of the problem, with children driven to the streets by crushing poverty.

Worldfocus correspondent Mark Litke and producer Ara Ayer report from the Philippines, where they encounter one man — a former child of the streets himself named Joe Dean Sola — who has dedicated himself to improving the lives of street kids.

Since the story was shot, street children have suffered even more as the result of the severe flooding in the region.

For more on Worldfocus’ coverage of the Philippines, click here.

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Heartbreaking story. Great reporting. Glad to find you. My son Laurence is in Vietnam right now. I want him to get in touch with you. Happy Birthday ! E-mail me.


Great segment and although the high birth rate was mwntioned it really should receive greater emphasis. The poorest nations across the planet continue to produce children only to condem them to the most miserable existence and exploitation. How san and how stupid and how irresponsible.


I was born and raised in Manila. In my 45 years of existence, I have not seen so much poverty as it has been happening for more than 10 years now. I have lived with the poorest among the poor when i was young, but the poor was a lot more fortunate at that time coz they have houses,though small and dainty they were.
Way back in the 70’s and 80’s, there were no people living under the bridges and on carts. There were no people eating the discards and leftovers thrown in trash bins by restaurants.We need to regain morality in our society, especially in the people who would want to be leaders of our country.We don’t need politicians spending P1mio for dinner when so many people are hungry, we don’t need gov’t officials spending on lavish hotels just to watch a pacquiao match when millions of people are homeless.People must not run for gov’t office if they cannot do away with their own interests. They must stay as private citizens.
I believe while we do charity work for these unfortunate street children, we must all band together in helping solve the root causes of poverty: unemployment and overpopulation. Gov’t and private sector must create jobs and must have political will to reduce population rate.
Higher productivity will definitely generate bountiful harvest for all and will surely reduce to minimum this crushing poverty we are currently seeing all over the Philippines.(typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng exposed to all the pervasive poverty in the country and after all the gov’t sales pitch “RAMDAM AND PAG-UNLAD” is a sham)


I watched this clip on PBS with mix feeling and cannot help blaming the people themselves for not getting educated on birth control. I guess it has to do as well with the Catholic Church’s teaching of, “Go forth and multiply.” The poorer the people, the more devout they are, and the more children they have. With poor education, these hapless children can only hope to grow up and be able to work overseas as contract workers or as housemaids to send home a few dollars to support their families — a wishful thinking of many poor parents.(No wonder the Hong Kongers call the Philippines as “Housemaids Center of the World”) With ineffective social security system, this is the only way for the elderly to survive in a country troubled by the inefficient me-first government.
Philippines is still one of the Catholic countries and the only country in Asia that consider taking birth control pills as sinful. Even most Italians are not against the practice inspite of the Vatican’s prohibition.


Hey my brother,Great work! I am so proud of you, seeing what the Lord Jesus can do through the life of anyone that is yielded to him.Keep on adding value to people’s life. Once again, Congrats!


calling all Boholanos who are abroad, we are blessed that we are able to go out from our country and have a better life than those left back in our country, yes we work hard abroad to cope up the high standard of living but let us not forget those less fortunate


it is already my long dream to help the unhappy children in the philippines specially in Bohol, I need your support, thank you and i hope i get idea how to do it


Good work bro. God Bless you and your family!


Thank you to Mark Litke and others for producing this disturbing piece. Mark has done a wonderful job of covering the many issues in Southeast Asia today. His experience and many years of life spent in Asia truly reveals his passion. Thanks to his work we are well informed through his great journalism. Maraming Salamat, my friend…


I agree with # 14 above. Thoughtless people copulate mindlessly, bringing more “victims” into the world. Birth control worked in China where it was crudely enforced but now China is becoming the # 1 world power. They got their explosive population under control and so can other countries. Bleeding hearts need to push for population control rather then finding more means to feed these unfortunate masses. That is TRUE compassion.


Good day. To all those who plan to reach Mr.Joe Dean Sola to help, here can be reached here: Last year, we conducted fund raising activities for his organization and he is very accommodating. He’ll surely be open to your help. :)


If people don’t have enough decency to control their reproductive organs somebody should organize mandatory birth control. We are in 21st cnetury and nobody should suffer becuase some irrisponsible people want to enjoy sex . It is a crime.


The basic problem is there are too many people on Planet Earth. Until women are taught to control their reproduction this problem will only get worse.
Overcrowding causes misery, and Mother Nature is rebelling against man’s excesses. Overuse of water leads to drought, crop failure, famine. If humans don’t do it, nature will reduce population in more
cruel ways. In fact, humans are doing it by wars, violence, murder. We must wake up to this fact.


I want to get in contact with this man and help. How can I do that?



The information for Joe Dean Sola is at


The above link “could not be found” please print the correct email so we can connect with him. Thank you, J


Thank you for this excellent and disturbing story. We need to know more about exploited children. For more information on children-at-risk see the stories on my web site under “General Topics.”


Hey- i was a street kid myself back in Manila in 60’s, I sold cigarrets, and hussled selling dirty IceCream and played sidewalk craps after school, Im here in US now, finished college, owned my business,I like to get hold of this guy Joe Dean Sola, my heart was always for Pinoy street kids 3x i was there,..Church org I go to-dont help much in things like this without blowing the trumphet so to speak,..I like to get involve on hand,..ill try to contact him when i get there,..He’s doing a great job, so jealouse- he found He’s meaning of life!!!..hope to see you Joe!


Dear Sir/Madam
Please ask Joe Dean Sola,and some one from Preda to contact me.



God bless Joe Dean Sola, When I see this kind of poverty anyplace in the world, it saddens me to think that there are people even in their country who have great wealth yet they turn there eyes away so as not to see it. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the free enterprise system and I know many do contribute, but if you have the money, how do you turn your eyes away and ignore this kind of devastation?? answer, You think your more important than they are…sorry, you are not.


Yes, an excellent and touching story on an important and heart wrenching story. I echo the other comments praising Joe Dean Sola for his important humanitarian work. As an American, it’s hard to believe that children in the Philippines are so badly off; though of course I know that many problems for youth exist in the US as well… In any case, I after viewing the story on PBS I was moved to write to praise both the work of Joe Dean Sola and World Focus in bringing this story to my attention!


Everyone! Why hasn’t Mr. Joe Dean Sola been nominated for the NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE! God knows he deserves it! Lets do it! What are we thinking!
Jon B. Shereshaw
New Jersey, USA



You can reach Joe Dean Sola (one of the subjects of our story) through his organization. The website is The address is
11 Acuna Drive Philvirra Homes, Project 8, Quezon City, Philippines

The Preda Organization also works to rescuse abused street children:

Thanks for watching.


I’d like to find out how can I get in touch with the man ( a former street kid himself) so I could donate something…money and/or clothes,food for the children he takes care under his wings. I’ve
been asking the Lord to give me the opportunity to help the abandoned kids and widows in the society specially in the Philippines where the government has nothing to do with them. If the man has an e-mail or a cellphone number wher I could get in touch of him, I would appreciate it.


THANK YOU for this story, and please keep such stories coming. I don’t understand how it can be that cable news wastes so much time when it could be bringing vital stories like this to the public. We must pay attention to the plight of innocent children. Thank you!

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