The sick need care for the body but also for the spirit… and the soul. Here, during a distribution of medecines in a poor area in Quezon City, one of the beneficiaries asked for the Eucharist.
Last June, Melquisedec Abenalla, AA, was appointed full time to Kaloob, the NGO (non governmental organization) founded by the Assumption in the Philippines. After finishing his studies, the congregation asks him to dedicate himself for a whole year to this apostolate towards the poor. This new kind of involvement in humanitarian action underlines one of the consistent priorities of the congregation. Following Father d’Alzon, to serve the poor is a way to answer to the society’s actual challenges. And thus, to make the Kingdom come.
This mission relies on collective work. All the projects are discussed and oriented by a board of trustees composed of a lay professional and of AA brothers. Some lay volunteers, employees and many brothers are also participating to the programs: health, housing, livelihood, education and emergency.
All these actions aim to help the victims of natural disasters (frequent in the Philippines, especially typhoons), to prevent the migration of poor farmers to the city slums and to give a chance to those who are the most vulnerable around AA communities.
A special responsibility in the Philippines
In the Philippines, one fifth of the population lives with less than 2$ a day. Every day, scandals reveal the violence and corruption of those who have power. The religious here have a moral and spiritual responsibility to advocate and to act for those who are victims of environmental disasters, of corruption and of the effects of globalization. In this widely Catholic country, congregations have a strong legitimacy when coordinating with local politicians, companies and administrations. Furthermore, the AA brothers in Manila are mostly Filipinos. They speak the local languages and naturally understand the issues of the people. Among the most vulnerables, who are manipulated, mistreated or abandoned, the sincere and tangible commitment of the brothers allows the people to hope again, in this world, and in the Other. Thanks to all those who support the AA congregation in this mission.