UK Rubbish Educates Working Children In The Philippines!

Filed in Blog, Guest Posts by on January 28, 2010 9 Comments
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Jane Walker, from the Philippine Community Fund with some recycled products

Jane Walker, from the Philippine Community Fund with some recycled products

I’m so excited to be sharing this guest post today. Yesterday I told you about Ange and Jane who run the Philippine Community Fund which works to bring children and their families out of poverty. Ange, who wrote our guest post, loves reading; especially science fiction. She adores wolves and goes on wolf walks in the forest with 2 awesome wolves every year.
Ange loves cooking and adores her family.

Ange says her ideal day would be to go on a wolf walk with her family, then cook them all a lovely meal before curling up in a big chair reading a great book!

When 45 year old single mum Jane Walker founded the UK registered charity The Philippine Community fund (PCF) in 2002, she could never have imagined that she would be asking people in the UK to send her their rubbish!

PCF works with children and their families who live and work on Smokey Mountain rubbish dump in Manila, Baguio rubbish dump and Navotas cemetery. Children as young as 4 yrs old search through mounds of putrid garbage for glass, metal and paper to sell to a recycling agent for as little as £1 for a 10 hour working day in blistering heat.

3 boys working on the rubbish dumps

3 boys working on the rubbish dumps

Jane soon realised that PCF needed to help not only the children but also their parents, many of whom were unemployed or earning just £5 a week to support a family of 7. For the past 3 years PCF has been perfecting a range of WOW (Winning Over Waste) products made from crisp packets, toothpaste tubes, ring pulls and juice cartons, providing jobs for the members of the communities we serve. All the net profit goes directly to our education programmes in the Philippines for working children and for providing more jobs for the community. WOW employees are paid a good rate per item working in a clean, safe environment and are able for the first time in their lives to provide for their families. It is such a joy to see their self esteem soar.

PCF strives to use products that are difficult to recycle, crisp packets are sterilised and woven into beautiful purses and handbags, toothpaste tubes and juice cartons are flattened, sterilised and stitched into extremely strong shopping bags. pencil cases and coin purses. Glossy magazines are rolled and varnished into beads making unique coloured necklaces, bracelets and earrings, ring pulls from baked bean cans and soft drinks are cleaned, rubbed down, polished and crocheted into amazing handbags, wallets and purses.

The product we have most wanted to remake into a high quality bag is plastic carrier bags. We have encountered a few problems, but we are so happy to be in the final stages of producing a beautiful well made bag which will be available soon.

Janes now lives in the Philippines with her son Josh and her sister Ange runs the UK office in Southampton. We keep UK costs to a minimum, our office is run from Ange’s converted double garage and we send 87p in every £1 donated directly to our projects in the Philippines.

3 beautiful girls in school

3 beautiful girls in school

We would welcome crisp packets, toothpaste tubes and plastic carrier bags (not the bio-degradable ones) and you will be helping to educate working children in the Philippines and their parents. Please look at our Philippine Community website to see the wonderful families you will be helping. For more information on where to send crisp packets etc, our products or information about PCF please phone Ange or Laura on 01489 790219.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (9)

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  1. Also take a look at the PCF website and the online catalogue some good little gift ideas there which would be closing the loop again on the recycled products and supporting the charity more.

  2. So clever! I’ll be in touch with Ange and Laura next week about featuring this in First News. Thanks!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @maisie dalziel: Great, thanks Maisie. Some of their products are really lovely. I’ll make sure I highlight them again towards Christmas.

    @the green gal: brilliant! Thanks Green Gal; any coverage of their fantastic work is most welcome!

  4. Sooz says:

    🙂 This is brilliant! Thank you Mrs Green 🙂 Thank you Ange and Jane! I’m definately going to do this!

  5. Andy says:

    Thank you very much in following up my suggestion about sending the toothpaste tubes to PCF. I’m so pleased that the PCF is getting much needed publicity & help with their brilliant work. Education is the way out of povety in the Developing World, & your help will totally transform the lives of the children & their parents.

  6. After reading Mrs G’s post I got in contact with Ange and she has written a full page article on PCF’s work in the issue of children’s newspaper First News ( on sale tomorrow (Friday 19 Feb)!

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Sooz: Hi Sooz; you are very welcome – it makes such a huge difference to both the UK and the wonderful families in Manilla

    @Andy: Hi Andy – we are so grateful to you for first putting us in touch with the PCF. Thank you!

    @the green gal: Hi – I saw the article on Friday – it was wonderful and I’m delighted there was such a huge spread on the PCF!

  8. Tyleet says:

    Is there also a possibility to collect in Holland? I would like to rearrange with some schools, shops and businesses to collect the bags for some time and sent them over…?

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Tyleet: Hi Tyleet; unfortunately the PCF are no longer collecting crisp packets – it’s only ring pulls they are after. And if you wanted to support them, you’d have to ship at your own expense…

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