Section: News : Philippines

BAGONG SILANGAN, NOW A LAND OF HOPE

Liane Rainville

They are 95,000 people crowded in a small, low relocation area prone to flooding when rain comes. During the Ondoy Typhoon of September 26, 2009 more than 200 persons lost their lives in this place situated by the Marikina River.

Since two years, thanks to funds received from charitable organizations, we have been helping these people. We built the day care center dilapidated by the floods, we distributed food and clothing many times to these poor people striving just to survive. We listened to their stories, shared their pain and honored their desire to help themselves.

Last December,2011, after Bagong Silangan had been hit by typhoons taking lives, causing destruction to infrastructure and sowing fear and panic we received money from the Generalate to assist the best way possible these innocent victims. As we studied their situation and assessed their needs, we agreed to help a group of farmers in want of seeds. How happy they were to receive the precious little bag of seeds that would help bring food on the table.

Their other urgent request was a small boat. As they live close to the river they are always the last ones to be rescued and till now have lost so many friends and relatives. We had enough funds to buy this means of transportation in case of floods and, after countless efforts, we succeeded in buying and bringing the small boat in the area. After blessing the boat and praying for all the people in this environment, we shared their joy and watched the farmers bring the boat on the river to test it. Shouts of bliss!

We cannot forget the reaction of these poor people having lived the Beatitudes, thankfully going back to their work. There is hope in their heart, there are sparkles in their eyes…and the vegetables are growing!

Click on the pictures !

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