There are many good charities here in the Philippines (and all are needed) but mostly they serve the ‘easier poor’ where a scholarship or livelihood training program can yield a tangible and swift result. Below this are levels of more intense suffering, that of the scavengers and beggars who have no voice and very few to speak for them or reach out to them.
During the pandemic however, when things were about to become catastrophic for them, a Catholic group stepped in. The Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation run by the Divine Word Missionaries were already running a drop-in center for street people where they could get a hot meal and take a bath and wash their clothes as well as receive instruction in the faith. So it has faith as its primary focus.
They quickly formed partnerships with some Catholic universities whose facilities were opened up to house the homeless and missionaries and volunteers provided the food for several months. They also provided for many others who had lost jobs and fallen on hard times during the lockdown; a local park is still the venue where several hundred people a day queue in for lunch.
Best of all is a new residential community they have opened to enable some to get off the streets and to finish their education and/or undertake skills training to lead them back into work and the mainstream of society. Its first intake are both young and old, each with their own story, from former gang members, or drug users and many others discarded by society. But here their often tragic past can be redeemed and the future infused with a new hope. Like in Luke 19:10 ‘for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.'
|Bahay Kalinga Center|
For more information or to help viait :- AJ Kalinga Foundation