This is nine year old Cassandra. I met her in the Manila North Cemetery. She is one of the homeless who live there. There are over thirty thousand street children in Manila, Philippines alone, and they are in grave peril from human traffickers, hunger and disease. Scavenging is necessary for survival and makes school impossible for most of these children.
B.E.S.T. (Bringing Education to the Streets) is a charitable organization that helps the street children of Manila. They teach reading and math. They work to protect the children from the human traffickers.
B.E.S.T. provides help with food, education, access to medical resources and counseling. The emotional and mental stress on these little ones is immense. This portrait was created to help raise awareness and financial support for this organization and for the children like Cassandra who literally make the grave their home.