They live on what others throw away - the "garbage people" of metropolitan Manila. Sad regional landmark and symbol of the life and work on the landfills have long been the infamous "Smokey Mountains". These unsecured, steaming piles of garbage, which collapsed over and over again with no warning burying the people working there underneath, luckily do not exist anymore - at least not in this form. But even today, the garbage of the developing welfare society ensures tens of thousands of people their survival.
The "housing projects" allow the garbage collectors and other homeless people a new start. As part of this funded from the government and other relief projects as "Sub-Urban San Jose Rodriguez" neighborhoods built with small houses, which provide more safety and quality of life and just give children greater opportunities for the future. As a result, the poorest of the poor have a chance for a better life in a decent environment.
Whole families live in and by the remains of the throwaway society. They are looking in the trash for recyclable items such as cardboard, glass, plastic, metal parts and tin cans, which they sell to the "junkshops". With a lot of luck, they earn in this way up to four euros a day - but usually less.
For me, a visit to the metropolitan region of Manila was one of the most impressive experiences of my life. The cheerfulness and hospitality of the people, who spend most of their life "in the trash", has moved me deeply.
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