Our hope is in the trash.
— San Mateo, Philippines • Community Member

The people that work on the trash dump are hard workers. We have met many of them, and they are no less of a person then you or me. The difference is they scavenge through the trash each day with temperatures above 100 degrees fahrenheit in some areas, and their workday can last up to 12 hours. They are not just rummaging through the trash for no reason; there is money buried in the disarray in the form of potential items that can be recycled.

They look for copper, tin, plastic and paper to collect, then sell it to the nearest junk shop (recycling center). There are times where they not only are looking for income, but also are looking for any sort of food they or their families may be able to consume. The income generated by this type of work is so low that in many situations the whole family, including the kids, have to work to make enough money to live. 

We often see generations of families who grow up picking in the trash dump.

This is most likely the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder globally.
— Micah Albert, Award-Winning Photojournalist

Since their time and resources are spent in the trash dump itself, education and dreams of the future get pushed to the background. Proper nutrition and housing is nearly non-existent, and because these people are in such desperate situations, various types of crimes are prevalent in these communities.

These are forgotten people. They identify themselves with the trash and begin to lose their own identity. The poverty that these people are in perpetuates year after year, generation after generation, but there are people in these communities that desire a change. There are leaders that are wanting to break the cycle but don't have the resources to do so. This is where we can help.

Long-term change can take effect, and we believe that you and I are part of the solution.