Philippine LBC

“If we’re sick all we have is a cell phone to take care of us.”

Does economic growth mean the poor get richer? No, the poor still are poor for a long time even after an economic boom. Parents working abroad makes one family richer, only to leave a teenager responsible for the life of her sibling.

A representative from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas published statements on the impact of migration on children (Nicolas). The money sent home from their parents goes towards raising the child and providing an education. Sounds like a great opportunity to provide their children with a life better than their own? Despite finding in a study that migrant children earn higher grades elementary school, there was more to be explored. An “emotional strain” was apparent in a separate survey on school-children. Poor school performance and anger, apathy, and confusion was noted about high school students from this as well as another study. They blame themselves. They think they are unloved because their parents leave. Having an absent mother was shown to create a stronger negative affect on families. The Philippines sees the mother as the nurturer. School-age children from parental migration have good life conditions therefore are healthy some studies say. Further studies among high school students tell of an emotional stress that is associated with poor physical health. Stress deteriorates the body. The mental health of teens suffered as they report anxiety, loneliness, and being unloved.

Interventions such as financial literacy programs to inform families on how to manage their money are put into place for the families left behind. What can we do?

Sources:

http://www.adbi.org/files/2014.01.28.cpp.sess4.3.nicolas.impact.migration.health.education.pdf

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/philippines.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/04/world/asia/china-children-left-behind/

http://icmhd.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/migration-displacement-and-children-left-behind-clbs/

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