Living Her Dream

by Glenda B. Gutierrez

 

“You live in a cemetery?” a member of the panel of judges incredulously asked 18-year-old Wendilyn Aliwalas. That question startled Wendy, who was nervous enough that she thought she would faint. Her thoughts were racing.

“Don’t they believe me?” She thought her dream of being picked for scholarship by the Soroptimist International of Mandaluyong was doomed.

“I never experienced being so nervous as I was during the interview,” Wendy narrated. “There were other applicants and I don’t know if their stories touched the hearts of the judges and mine did not.”

It turned out that her fears were unfounded. Indeed, Wendy’s story moved the judges so much that they picked her for the scholarship. They were impressed with her when she said that her fondest desire was to finish her studies so she will be able to find a stable job and build a house outside of the cemetery for her family.

But her blessings did not stop there. Last, February 13, 2018, Mrs. Ruth Flores informed Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) that Wendy won an award again and became a regional awardee.

Now more than ever, her dream is within reach.

Wendy is now a second year student of BS Office Management at the Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST). Her father, Glenn, 39, is a construction worker with no permanent employer. He sometimes moonlights as a tomb engraver to augment the family income. Her mother, Irene, is a stay-at-home mother. At the time of the LYD awarding, Glenn was unemployed. On top of that, he and Irene were in the brink of separation.

Wendy is the second of four children. Her eldest brother, Robin, 21, is a school dropout who has his own family to feed. Their younger sister, Jenalyn, 14, Grade 8, is also a KKFI scholar while the youngest brother, Rhaizen, 8, is in Grade 2.

Wendy has been a KKFI scholar and she is required to render volunteer services by helping in the implementation of programs such as the Alternative Learning System and Youth Leadership, Educate and Advocate for Development (YLEAD).

Joharrah Eunice Mae Rafanan, KKFI Community Development Worker, describes her as a reliable, industrious, flexible and responsible leader. Wendy helps out in the efficient implementation of the two projects. She is a known as disciplinarian and her authoritative demeanor makes an effective leader among the young people.

Last year, KKFI recommended Wendy to the Soroptimist’s “Live Your Dream” (LYD) Program through Mrs. Ruth Flores, KKFI’s corporate secretary. Mrs. Flores is a member of Mandaluyong Chapter of Soroptimist International, an organization that aims to empower women. It is present in 28 geographic regions all over the world.

The LYD Award is given to financially needy young women to help finance their education.

In her online application to the LYD, Wendy wrote about how hard it was to live in a place such as the Manila North Cemetery that has no adequate supply of water and has no electricity, aside from the fact that it was almost impossible to enjoy privacy there.

Wendy also fears for her safety from sexual abuse due to the proliferation of drug addicts and drunkards loitering in the streets. She wrote that to ensure  her  safety,  her  mother fetches her at the cemetery’s gate when she goes home at night.

The two social workers of KKFI, Vicente Eliver and Flora Mae Tatoy, wrote references that added points to her application. They wrote how conscientious Wendy is as a student, hence garnering good grades. They also related how helpful she is in the implementation of KKFI programs.

Wendy’s wonderful traits and attitude, indeed, allowed her to live her dream.

 

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The Roller Coaster Ride of Being an ALS Teacher

by Joharrah Eunice Mae Y. Rafanan

 

I had no idea what ALS was. In fact, I didn’t even know what the acronym stood for.

All I remember was that our speaker at a youth camp, an officer of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship, approached me and asked: “Gradweyt ka na, di ba? Gusto mong maging IM?”

That was how I came to be an Instructional Manager (IM) of Alternative Learning System in the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) eight months ago.

I’m telling you, it was a roller-coaster ride!

I was truly excited in discovering the wonders and virtues of ALS. I found out it was a holistic approach to teaching children and youth who otherwise could not avail of formal basic education. I really felt like a superhero, saving all those children from certain doom of poverty and ignorance.

Imagine what these little angels picture me to be when I was the one who actually hand to them free allowances for their school supplies and transportation expenses. Plus, ALS provides them a safe place where they can play and act like children that they are.

Aside from the joy of knowing that I’m helping these children, I also enjoy other things that go with being an IM. Like the love that I feel from them when, last October, they surprised me and my co-IM with a Teachers’ Day Party. They gave me gifts and they even cooked “biko” for me.

It was a real blast!

But being an IM is not exactly all bed of roses. There were struggles. Real ones. The least of my problems was the difficulty of teaching children and youth who have gone from formal education so long that learning became foreign to them. One needs to repeat lessons again and again for the students to learn them. I had to adjust to their capacity. IMs. Indeed, need patience. Lots of them.

Being an IM is more than being a teacher, I remember my friend telling me that people “don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  And I am in a perfect place of meeting people from different walks of life who have different stories to tell. I observed that, at their young age, the ALS students are already carrying the burden of earning for their respective families.

Jane, a student of mine, was sexually abused while staying at her employer’s house.  There’s another. JP, 12, doesn’t know how to read and write but he is good at computation since he is a vegetable vendor.   Rhianne, a hardworking student, has been working in canteens since she could remember. She grew up providing for herself.

They are all ALS students, they all have dreams, they all have capabilities but the urgent need to earn money hinders them from attending our classes.

How can you think of graduating from school when you don’t have food to eat?  How can you convince them to stay and finish the ALS program when their families are hungry? You cannot educate a student with an empty stomach.

Important as they are, these concerns are secular. Others may scoff at me, but I am more concerned about their spiritual well-being.

If I have my way, I would certainly like them to attend our care group sessions regularly.  Why? Because these sessions, although they may not change their life-situations, the care group sessions can certainly change the way they look at their lives. That’s a lot, if you ask me.

Free dinner aside, care group is a wonderful emotional support for any person. And there are other similar activities that could help students grow spiritually. For example, the KKFI has this activity called YLEAD or Youth Leadership, Educate and Advocate for Development.  It aims to train leaders to go and help their respective communities.

With all the ups and downs of being an IM, why do I love it so much? One of the many reasons is Zennie.

Zennie is a shy 18-year-old who couldn’t hurt a fly.  She was like an unborn chick too afraid to come out of her shell. But since I was able to develop an emotional bond with her, she began to open up and stepping out of her guarded comfort zone. That’s when she started discovering her potential.

Zennie is a gifted poet. She was as surprised as I was when she realized it. Her confidence grew and along that her circle of friends. Now, she is one of the most adored students in her batch.

Children like Zennie made me love my job. If you have your own “Zennie,” wouldn’t you love to be an IM, too?

 

From Battle Scars to Glorious Stars

by Larren Jo N. Basilio

 

“There will be an ALS exam on October 2016,” it was announced; but it did not take place. It was postponed to March 2017. Later on the exam was moved to April, then July, August, September and October. It finally took place in November 2017.

“There will be an ALS exam on October 2016,” it was announced; but it did not take place. It was postponed to March 2017. Later on the exam was moved to April, then July, August, September and October. It finally took place in November 2017. One can imagine the anxiety the members of the unfortunate batch of Alternative Learning System (ALS) suffered throughout those eight postponements, which spanned two long years. The waiting period usually takes five months, 10 at most.

ALS is a government initiative that aims to help overaged out-of-school youth (OSY) accelerate to 7th grade or 11th grade. A number of KKFI scholars have passed those exams and are now studying in formal school set-up.

Past ALS exams included 50% of multiple choice tests from five learning strands and the other 50% is comprised of essay exams. The passing score for multiple choice exam was 75% and you need to get at least a score of 3 out of the possible perfect score of 5 in order to pass the essay exam. But the most recent one was different. Without consulting the stakeholders, DepEd changed the rules.

There still was the 50% multiple choice exam but, in lieu of the essay exams, the students were made to submit their “portfolios.” This “portfolio” should include 50 essays, 50 answered modules, exams and quizzes, pictures of families and other information about the learner, projects with essays, livelihood seminars or trainings, and arts and crafts.

We were given only two weeks to complete the portfolios, including their required trainings. The alteration totally caught everyone off guard. Some learners had to quit their all-important part-time jobs to spend sleepless nights to prepare their portfolios. It was a total risk on the learners’ part. Their families scolded them for over-extending their studies, aside from the unending requirements, dates and deadlines that tested their patience and purses.

Since most of them came from urban poor communities and broken families, it was a difficult, tumultuous and expensive journey. They were mocked. Their confidence withered. The postponements brought anxiety to a lot of learners. Many experienced depression and some even became suicidal. A number quit altogether but some plodded on.

Finally, 63 learners from Batches 3 and 4 took the exam. The excitement turned to frustration when they found out that the actual exam was totally different from the DepEd-issued reviewers they were required to study.

We, the instructional managers, were speechless with shock. Only one among the 63 passed when the results were announced last February. On the national scale, the passing rate dropped from 55% to less than 10%. Where did things go wrong?

Unexpected things happened, like when the policies were changed mid-stream without consultation; the portfolios, it turned out, had no bearing on the results, of the test questions 50% came from the formal education curriculum, such as math and science; the ALS students were all along taught in Filipino and asked test questions in the mother tongue, but the ALS exam questions were written in English, and the passing score for ALS remained at 75% while that of the formal education was at 50%. There were protests and petitions online demanding that the passing score for ALS exam be changed to 60%.

“Na-train kami bilang isang atleta pero sinabak kami sa giyera,” a learner quipped. But there was no time for moaning for we only had two weeks to prepare for another exam, which was set in February 2018. The DepEd released the topics for the next ALS exam.

To our surprise, the topics were way different from the ALS curriculum. Higher percentage of the learning strands were totally different from original announcement and prescribed reviewers. And there was not enough time to study them.

We had to scramble for the next two weeks, although we knew it was not enough. Three days before the exam, a light came that brightened the dream of every ALS learner. The DepEd granted the request to lower the passing mark for ALS exam to 60%.

Needless to say, we were overjoyed. We have 24 ALS passers as of posting time. The star starts to illumine and the joy is uncontainable. With this rejuvenated spirits, 25 learners retook the exam last February. They may expect the results to be announced two months after. It is still a long way before the end of the journey, but they know the destination is reachable. They still need to master the subject-verb agreement, the difference between planets and stars and other subjects but they learned so much more. They learned how to be patient in real life, to never surrender, to strive and to keep stoking the fire because success can be just around the corner.

No one guaranteed anybody that they would not suffer scars when they journey in life. But one is assured that, if one will display patience and determination, he or she will enjoy the illumination of the stars for the rest of his or her life.

Ang Trahedya at Pag-Asa ni Nene

ni Raquel Fabre

Bilang isang volunteer worker ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), bahagi ng aking trabaho ang magturo ng Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) sa Longos, Pulilan Bulacan. Doon ko nakilala si “Nene” (di tunay na pangalan), apat na taong gulang.
Mahiyain si Nene, bihirang kumibo. Akala mo ba ay takot sa tao. Para sa akin, isang mala- king palaisipan si Nene.

Minsan, inakbayan ko ang kanyang nakakatandang kapatid at ikinagulat ko ang reaksyon niya dahil tila natakot din siya akin. Nahihiya ba sila? Natatakot?

Dahil dito ay nagbigay ako ng aking oras para sa mga batang ito. Nais kong makilala pa sila nang husto.

Isang araw, nabalitaan ko na nagkagulo sa bahay nila. May na-rape daw na isa sa kanila. Hindi ito halos matanggap ng kanilang ina. May mga pagkakataong mas gusto pa niyang magpakamatay. Ngunit nakakuha siya ng lakas upang lumaban mula sa kanyang mga anak.

Sa aking pakikipag-usap kay Nene, ang biktima ng pang-aabusong sekswal, ay may napansin akong mas malalim na sugat. Limang taon pa lamang pala siya ay sinimulan na siyang molestiyahin ng kanyang sariling ama.

Tila nakikipag-patintero siya sa loob ng maliit nilang bahay, parating umiiwas na maulit ang nakakasulasok na karanasan sa kamay ng sariling ama. Dumaan ang ilang taon ay nanatili ang takot niyang mapag-isa. Takot rin siya sa lahat ng lumalapit sa kanya at sa mga humahawak sa kanya.

Si Nene ay isa lamang sa maraming batang nakararanas ng mga bagay na hindi nila dapat pinagdadaanan, lalo pa’t sila’y nasa murang edad lamang. Kaya pala gayun na lamang sila umiwas kung inaakbayan ko sila. Ngayon ay nauunawaan ko na kung bakit.

Nang lumaon, nagkasundo ang magkapatid na ipakulong ang walang-pusong ama. Sa pagdaan ng mga araw ay lalo ko pa silang nakilala, si Nene at ang iba pang dumaan sa kanyang pinagdaanan. Dalawa pang batang babae na nakaranas ng katulad na mga pangyayari kasi ang nakilala ko magmula noon.

Bilang volunteer worker ng KKFI, naging katuwang ako sa paghahanap nila ng katarungan para sa isang baluktot na pangyayari. Sa tulong ng ating social worker ay sumuporta rin ang KKFI sa kanilang pangangailangang pinansiyal.

Habang buhay nang nakatatak sa isip at puso ng mga pamilyang biktima ang mga pangyayaring iyun sa buhay nila. Ngunit naniniwala ako na hindi nagtatapos doon ang istorya ng kanilang buhay. Hangga’t may mga nagbibigay sa kanila ng lakas ng loob ay kakayanin nilang umahon sa pagkakalugmok upang mabuhay nang may kabuluhan.

Ito ang pag-asang pinanghahawakan ng KKFI kaya’t patuloy itong tumutulong sa sa mga katulad ni Nene.

INIIPONG BIYAYA

ni Fort Nicolas

Kuwento ng BPI, Espana

 

“Hanga ako sa mga estudyante ng massage therapy ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI),” ayon kay Ms Melani Villanueva. “Talagang dumadalo sila sa mga klase upang matuto.

Si Ms Villanueva ay ang manager of Retiro-Mayon branch, isa sa 16 na kasaping sangay ng Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) na may katawagang “Espana Group.”

Abot ang pagpuri niya kay Ms Lorelei Joy Amarillo, manager ng UST Branch ng BPI dahil umano sa husay niyang pumili benepisyaryo ng Espana Group sa taong 2017.

Nakapanayam ng Kapatiran Newsletter si Ms Villanueva dahil nagkataon na dumalaw ito sa KKFI Compound isang araw upang mag-obserba sa isang klase ng massage therapy, kung saan ang nagtuturo ay si Ate Lilia Bejer.

Ipinaliwanag niya na taun-taon ay pumipili ang Espana Group ng isang institusyon upang tulungan bilang “corporate social responsibility” ng Ayala Group of Companies, kung saan kabilang ang BPI.

Ipinagsasama-sama umano ng mga empleyado ng 16 na sangay ng BPI sa Espana Area ang kanilang mga personal na kontribusyon at ang kabuuan nito ay itinutulong sa napiling institusyon ng kawang-gawa. Isang pagpapala mula sa Panginoon na mapili ang KKFI bilang benepisyaryo nila.

“Natutuwa ako na mga estudyante ng massage therapy ang tinutulungan namin dahil malaki ang maitutulong nga mga graduate ng training sa sitwasyong pangkalusugan ng mga komunidad nila,” banggit ni Ms Villanueva. “If there’s no doctor around, they are there who are willing and able to help.”

Ikalawang batch na ng trainees ang naobserbahan niya. Sa unang training, na ginanap sa pagitan ng Abril 1 at Hunyo 3, 2017, ay nakapagpatapos ng 25 bagong massage therapist. Naging possible ang ikalawang pagsasanay nang mapili ng BPI bilang natatanging proyekto ang ginawa ng Espana Area.

Bilang awardee ng Bayanihan Para sa Inang Bayan (BPI Bayan), binigyan ng P50,000 ang Espana Area bilang premyo. Ang halaga ay bukas-palad ng inihandog ng Espana Area upang magkaroon ng ikalawang training, na 20 trainees naman ang nabibiyayaan.

Ang mga kasapi ng ikalawang batch ay makakaasang may dulot na benepisyo ang kanilang ginagawang pagsisikap. Tingnan na lamang nila ang mga pagbabago sa buhay ni Allan Eugenio, 21, na kabilang sa unang batch.

“Napapakinabangan ko na po ang natutunan ko,” ani Allan. Nagho-home service na po ako at kumikita ng mula sa P300 hanggang P400 isang araw.”

Siyempre pa, masayang-masaya ang mga magulang ni Allan. Ang pangaral nila sa anak ay pagbutihin ang trabaho upang umasenso at di masayang ang di-inaasahang oportunidad.

Ito nga mismo ang intensyon ni Allan sapagkat matayog ang pangarap niya. Dahil sa kumikita na, plano niyang magtapos ng Computer Engineering course.

Si Allan ang ehemplo ng mga taong nais tulungan ng BPI. Sana nga ay marami pang matulungan ang proyekto nitong BPI Bayan.

Nang itanong ng Kapatiran kay Ms Villanueva kung maaaring manalo muli, sa ibang taon naman, ang KKFI, ganito ang sagot niya: “So far, walang repeat winner, pero dahil maraming programa ang KKFI na maraming magagawa, hindi ko rin masasabing hindi magkakaroon ng repeat winner.”

TUNGO SA MALIGAYANG PAMAYANAN

ni Fort Nicolas

Kuwento ng Manila North Cemetery

Namimili ng mga bote ng Emperador, Ginebra San Miguel at iba pang alak si Aling Dolores “Dory” Cruz, 58, upang kumita. Ipinagbibili niya ang mga ito sa mismong mga pabrikang gumagawa ng mga ito.

dolorespng.png
Aling Dolores “Dory” Cruz, (kanan) kasama si Ma’am Nancy Nicolas (KKFI Executive Director), Rev. Oly Marcoas at Henry Kibambe.

Bukod sa pamimili at pagbebenta ng bote ay may sari-sari store si Aling Dory. Kung anu-anong produktong de-lata, softdrinks, kape, tinapay, shampoo, alak at marami pang iba ang ibinibenta niya rito.

Ang dalawang negosyong ito, na parehong nakabase sa Manila North Cemetery, ang ipinambubuhay niya sa kanilang mag-asawa. Bagama’t may tatlo siyang anak sa kanyang unang asawa ay malalaki na ito at may kanya-kanya nang pamilya.

“Ipinaiikot-ikot ko lang ang kinikita ko sa dalawa kong negosyo,” ani Aling Dory. “Sapat lang, ngunit kung sakaling may kaunting sobra ay iniipon ko ito.”

Sari-sari store din ang negosyo ni Aling Adenita “Nita” Benevidez. Kumikita siya sa pagbebenta ng kandila at softdrinks higit sa ibang produkto. Tulad ni Aling Dory ay mag-asawa na lang nabubuhay sina Aling Nita. Pero, hindi tulad ng kaso ni Aling Dory, may kasama pang iba si Aling Nita, ang tatlong pinakamamahal niyang aso.

“Magastos ang mag-alaga ng mga aso,” pabirong pagrereklamo ni Aling Nita. “Aba’y singkwento pesos ang gastos ko tuwing kainan.”

Parehong benepisyaryo sina Aling Dory at Aling Nita ng bagong programa ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) na may katawagang, “Happy Wives, Happy Community.” Layon ng programang ito na matulungan sa paraang pinansyal ang kababaihan sa Manila North Cemetery na nagnanais na mag-negosyo o nais palawakin ang kanilang existing na negosyo.

Nang makapanayam ng manunulat na ito ang dalawa ay kababayad lamang nila ng balance ng una nilang ikot ng utang upang makautang silang muli sa pangalawang pagkakataon. Noong nakaraang Abril sila unang nakapangutang sa KKFI.

“Minabuti na naming kumpletuhin ang bayad sa unang ikot para tamang-tama ay mas malaki ang kapital namin ngayong malapit na ang Undas,” paliwanag ni Aling Dory. “Malaki ang kita ng mga negosyo sa Manila North tuwing Undas!”

Natutuwa umano sila sa bagong programa ng KKFI sapagkat di-hamak na maluwag silang nakapagbabayad sa pagkakautang.

“Dati-rati,” ani Aling Nita, “ay mabigat dahil ang inuutang namin na P1,000 ay kailangang ibalik namin ang halagang P1,500 sa loob ng tatlong buwan. Kaya’t kung P5,000 ang inutang namin, P7,500 ang ibabalik.”

Malayo umano ang nangyayari sa “Happy Wives, Happy Community” ng KKFI. Sa hiniram na P5,000, ibabalik lamang nila ang halagang P5,500 sa loob ng anim na buwan.

“Ang kainaman nito ay naniningil lamang sila tuwing weekend at hindi araw-araw tulad ng iba,” ani Aling Nita. “Napapaikot namin sa buong linggo ang kinikita namin.”

Ngunit inamin nilang hindi madali ang pumaloob sa programang ito ng KKFI. Kailangang mag-seminar muna ng apat na buwan upang matutunan ang pagtitipid at wastong pagpapalakad ng negosyo.

Kaya’t abot-abot ang kanilang pasasalamat kay Vicente “Vince” Eliver, ang social worker ng KKFI nan aka-assign bilang project coordinator ng “Happy Wife, Happy Community” Program.

Aniya, wala pang isang taon ang itinatakbo ng proyekto, na naimplementa dahil sa ibinigay na pondo ng United Methodist Women na kabase sa New York City sa Estados Unidos.

Napagtanto ni Vince na “challenging” pala ang pagsisimula ng lending business. Bago masimulan ay maraming dapat ihanda, tulad ng iba’t ibang dokumento, ang listahan ng criteria ng maaaring humiram at ang iskima (scheme) ng kabuuang programa.

Pangunahin umanong nais tulungan ng programa ang mga miyembro ng Samahan ng mga Manggagawa at Tagapangalaga sa Norte (Samantaganor), isang organisadong samahan ng mga manggagawa. Pangalawa ay ang mga magulang ng mga estudyante ng Alternative Learning System (ALS), day-care school at Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) na iniimplementa ng KKFI at mga iskolar nito.

Naglalayon ang programa na mabigyan ang mga magulang ng mga aktibidad na makadaragdag ng kinikita ng pamilya upang masuportahan nila ang pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak.

Sinabi ni Vince na talagang mahirap ang simula ngunit sa unang batch na 13 nakapasang benepisyaryo ay may limang fully paid na, apat na kaunti na lang ang balance at apat na 30 porsyento pa lamang ang naihuhulog.

“Kapag may pera naman ay kusa silang nagpupunta sa kanilang ang ingat-yaman na si Aling Nita,” ani Vince.

Sa hinaharap ay nais ng KKFI na maging isang kooperatiba ang mga benepisyaryo at sila na mismo ang nagsisinop at namamahala ng nasabing pondo.

“Kailangan silang i-empower,” ani Vince.

Hindi lamang “economic empowerment” ang nararanasan nina Aling Dory, Aling Nita at mga kasamahan nila.

Mayroon din silang Bible study na sinimulan ng United Methodist Church (UMC) na nagpabago sa pananaw nila sa buhay. Halimbawa, aminado si Aling Dory na sugarol siya dati kaya parati silang nag-aaway ng kanyang asawa. Nagbago na umano siya. Nagbago rin ang relasyon nilang mag-asawa na naging matiwasay na.

Kaya’t ngayon, si Aling Dory at iba pa niyang kasamahan ay tunay na “happy wives.”

THIS CEMETERY IS FOR THE DEAD … AND THE LIVING

By Bellarme Milosi Lumbwe

 

Cemeteries are supposed to be where the dead are placed to rest in peace. That is the common and widely accepted knowledge among many of us, including myself… That is, until lately. When I came to the Philippines, I discovered that there can be life in a cemetery. If ever you visit this country, you might come across Manila North Cemetery (MNC).

I have been to Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and even the US of A and witnessed how people struggle with life, but not to the extent of spending it in a cemetery.

Manila North Cemetery sounds like a place for the dead. Well, that’s true, but with a slight difference to the common notion. Amid the daily burial ceremonies and practices there, people were also going about their own lives—working, eating together, celebrating special family occasions, courting a person you are attracted and all the rest of normal human activities.

I was told the relatives of the dead have to pay people to watch over and maintain the family grave, or else the grave might be transformed into somebody’s house.

There are many sorts of reasons why the poor people of Manila prefer to live there. The lot is free and there is available water, albeit unsafe. One can also avail of free electricity; all it takes is the gut and some climbing and electrical skills to tap illegally in an actual electrical post.

What I’m telling you is true and I have seen it with my own eyes. People choose to stay in MNC for a reason—they have raised their families there and to look for another place to stay is tantamount to uprooting their children from their natural habitat.

It is true that children did not choose to be born there. In fact, it is not a very safe place to raise children and families. And the dangers are very real.

Is there anything which can be done? For sure, yes! Throughout the Bible, God encourages His children to serve others. I purposely avoid to use the term “helping others” but I choose “serving others” because as Jesus Christ said in Matthew 25: 40: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Since it is unthinkable for us to help Jesus, we should instead serve others with our talents, resources, and energies.

You can choose to serve others on your own; that’s will still be fine with God, I think. But sometimes, you might choose to join other people or organizations to serve others, especially when you have seen them at work, sustaining lives of people in such areas.

You can join hands with us at Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) to serve others through various programs that the organization implement in this community. Here are some active programs which KKFI runs in MNC to bring hope to the hopeless one, the Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP), Child Development Center (CDC), Alternative Learning System and the newly implemented program “Happy Wives, Happy Community.”

You are always welcome to join our service to God by serving others.