Got a Quarter?

This homeless guy is able to rent the bicycle cart, sell the water on it for a tidy profit, and eventually work his way off the streets of Manila, Philippines.
This homeless guy is able to rent the bicycle cart, sell the water on it for a tidy profit, and eventually work his way off the streets of Manila, Philippines.

If you were homeless and hungry and all you had was a quarter, what would you do with it? Well, an outreach to those who live on the streets of Manila, Philippines, offers the homeless (among other things) a way to turn chump change into a steady livelihood: Water.

Kaibigan (Friend) Community Center has several vocational training and livelihood programs for homeless folks who want to get off the streets for good. One room on campus holds a water purification system. According to the locals, the city tap water is supposedly purified, but by the time it reaches the faucet it’s contaminated. So drinking water is a hot commodity.

Kaibigan rents out a bicycle cart for 25 pesos (about 58 cents), and fronts the wholesale price of water for the homeless to sell at retail on the streets. They can also just rent the cart and use it to collect large amounts of scrap metal and other recyclable material they can sell. With the cart, a homeless person can turn 25 pesos into 300 in one day. They can also purchase the carts—which are made by other homeless folks in the Kaibigan woodworking shop.

Kaibigan Ministry also provides microloans for participants to set up their own water purification stations elsewhere in the city so they can sell water at wholesale to retail vendors.

This help and more are given in the context of sharing the Gospel of Christ and treating the homeless with brotherly love.  Then true change comes about from the inside out.

-Nola B.

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