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Laptop appeal launched by Elmswell charity for children of Manila slums




An appeal has been launched to help pay for laptops for children living in an impoverished region of the Philippines.

The drive has been launched by Elmswell-based charity The Purim Trust, which currently supports more than 100 children in Manila, the country's capital city.

The charity was set up up by Esther Branco Dias, 43, from Ixworth, after she first visited slum districts in the region in 2014.

Esther Branco Dias with some of the children she is hoping to help. Picture submitted
Esther Branco Dias with some of the children she is hoping to help. Picture submitted

She was so moved by what she witnessed she has been helping children there ever since.

“There were children eating leftover food out of bins and it was terrible to see. The experience moved me immensely,” said Esther.

“I knew I had to help them and for a long while, I did what I could on my own before founding the charity in 2017.

The slums of Manila
The slums of Manila

“Our appeal has been ongoing for extra funds during Covid-19, as many of the families have lost their livelihoods and have been struggling for money and food.

“But now we face a new challenge as the government has said that children cannot go to school for the foreseeable future and they must use online schooling.

“That needs a laptop and online access which is impossible for them to afford.”

So far, sponsorship has raised enough money to buy 66 laptops. Another 44 are needed.

School children are in desperate need of laptops for their education
School children are in desperate need of laptops for their education

The total cost is £10,000.

“The laptops would normally cost around £130 but by using some reserves we have been able to reduce the cost to £91 each,” said Esther.

“We have worked hard to see that all of our sponsor children receive the education they so badly need in order to progress in life and we don’t want them to fall behind in their studies.”

For the Covid-19 Appeal, providing food for the sponsor children and their families over the last three months, the trust raised £6,230.

For a second appeal, it raised £6,339 to help rebuild the homes of children which had been burnt down in a fire.

Anyone who wants to help generally, or with the new laptop appeal, can visit www.the purimtrust.org

“We want to keep hope alive for these children if we can,” added Esther.