“I-Witness: Piggy Bank”, a ground-breaking documentary by producer Kara David of GMA Network of the Philippines, has won the 2012 Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award for broadcasting. The award was given out in Seoul, during the ABU Prizes ceremony, which took place alongside the ABU 49th General Assembly.
Filmed in a far-flung village in the Philippines, the 50-minute long film tells the story of 12-year old Anthony, who works hard every day and night to fulfil his dream of getting an education. From catching fish and washing cars to scouring for sea cucumbers at night, he saves every penny he earns in his piggy bank with the goal to be able to go to school.
In the Philippines, there are more than 3 million children who are not in school because of poverty, the demand for child labour, poor health and nutrition and low preparedness for school. Of every 1,000 entrants in Grade One, only seven graduate from Grade Six with sufficient mastery of English, mathematics, and science.
“Poverty, child labour and lack of education are common problems in the Philippines,” said Kara David, the presenter. “Through research, we found out that in Eastern Samar, several minors have little choice but to help their parents earn income --- day and night. When Anthony dives and scours the seabed all night to search for a sea cucumber used in Chinese traditional medicine, every breath he holds when diving for sea cucumbers is worth another penny, which would bring him closer to his dream.”