Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day of Spiritual and Physical Nourishment

When thinking of ways on how to help families from marginalized areas, the first programs that come to mind are usually those that address physical needs-food, shelter, health, and education. Equally important however, are programs that seek to cater to the spiritual needs of the poor. As Pope John Paull II stressed during his Papal visit to the United Nations, “The poor have needs which are not only material and economic, but also involve liberating their potential to work out their own destiny and to provide for the well-being of their families and communities.”

Last November 19, the Men of Sacred Heart of Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish teamed up with the Everest Academy K4J (Kids for Jesus) Club to help the Mano Amiga students and their families develop a more profound understanding of the unconditional love of Jesus and to see His presence in their lives, despite the challenges that each day may bring.

The afternoon began with catechism using games and crafts. The students listened attentively as the volunteer catechists explained how the sins of man deeply hurt God’s heart. Even at a young age, the students could already grasp that God must love us so much to allow Himself to be vulnerable. Afterwards, the K4J members and Mano Amiga students then made heart-shaped cards containing promises and resolutions on how they could show their love for Jesus.

The students and members of K4J and Men of Sacred Heart then gathered outside for the enthronement of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Simplicio of Ina ng mga Dukha Church, a parish near the school, led the prayers. The Mano Amiga teachers and parents joined the students in the solemn celebration.

The afternoon concluded with the sharing of snacks. The Men of Sacred Heart also donated to the school much needed school supplies and uniforms for the children.

Lead activity organizers were Men of Sacred Heart of Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish members Mike Limpe, Jun Rodriguez and Ditto Lesaca, Everest Academy Catholic Formation teacher Christa Huddart and K4J Volunteer Mom Karen Limpe.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Men of Sacred Heart as well as the K4J club for giving this simple yet very meaningful activity,” Mano Amiga Development Director Lynn Pinugu said. “In order for us to be successful in our mission of transforming the community, we need to form these children and families not only intellectually and humanly speaking, but spiritually as well.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

British Alumni Association holds Medical and Dental Missions in Mano Amiga

Early childhood caries, tooth decay and other dental problems were identified as the main problem in the community. To help address this problem, Mano Amiga Academy Development Director Eleanor Pinugu asked the British Alumni Association to hold Dental Missions in the school for the students, their parents, and other families in the community.

BAA organized a one-day Medical and Dental Missions in Mano Amiga as the culminating activity of the RP-UK Friendship week. BAA Executive Director Elcid Pangilinan and his team worked with Mano Amiga Principal Revelyn- Tria Siasoyco in getting volunteers and promoting the activity to the community.

20 doctors and 3 dentists spent the whole morning attending to the medical and dental needs of the families. Over 300 children and adults benefitted from this initiative.

The volunteer doctors and dentists used games to help put the nervous children at ease.

The families were provided with free medicine and multi-vitamins. The volunteers also gave lectures on proper health and oral care.

Adequate health and dental care is vital for the children's growth and learning, as well as for the families' general welfare and productivity. Mano Amiga Academy thanks the British Alumni Association and everyone who volunteered their time and shared their resources for helping us serve the needs of the community.

*Pictures c/o Aileen Siroy Photography