02/07/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Few centavos a day for 120,000 children, says Cardinal Rosales

by Santosh Digal
A caravan is organized in Manila for next week to raise awareness among people that only 25 centavos per day are needed to save children from malnutrition.
Manila (AsiaNews) – Twenty-five centavos (five eurocents; six US cents) a day is all it would take to feed 120,000 hungry Filipino children, this according to the ambitious goal set out by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales' Pondo ng Pinoy (Filipinos’ Funds) Community Foundation. In a statement, the Archdiocese of Manila said that the Foundation, which was set up in 2004, is organizing a caravan on February 10 to raise greater public awareness of the problem of malnutrition.
The ‘Theology of the Crumbs’ is the Pondo ng Pinoy project’s inspiration. It is based on the idea that if every family could put aside 25 centavos per day, the archdiocese would have enough funds to help the neediest children.
Since it was launched in 2005, the Foundation’s Hapag-Asa or Table of Hope program has “graduated” 6,000 kids from malnutrition and currently has 65,000 children from 37 dioceses under its care, the Manila archdiocese said.
“These figures, however, are just a drop in the bucket considering the project's goal of saving 120,000 children from [. . .] malnutrition by the end of 2007,” Foundation officials said. “They are smaller still considering the millions of children who are now experiencing hunger. This is why Hapag-Asa is bringing its cause to the streets.”
Next Saturday, the caravan will be held from 7 am to 5 pm. Participants will converge on Market! Market! at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and at the SM North station of the Metro Rail Transit.
Both groups will meet at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati for a 1 pm mass to be followed by a three-hour program.
According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, three out of ten Filipino children under the age of 5 are underweight, small for their size, and suffering from “chronic malnutrition.”
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