Charity Durano is a journalist based in the Philippines.
Meet the alumni of a pair of programs started in the Philippines that help young people in trouble with the law or who are recovering from trauma and need advocacy and guidance — and the Missionaries of Mary sisters whose ACAY program provides them foundations for life.
A civil engineer built — for free — a new, two-story retreat house for a community of Carmelite nuns in the southern Philippines. The house has multiple guest rooms and serves as a new income stream.
Members-turned-facilitators spread the self-help groups, which guide women to gain self-confidence, financial independence and friendships. The program is part of a network of ministries run by the Oblates of Notre Dame Sisters and their Hesed Foundation in Mindanao.
It is mid-morning on a warm Friday in the Philippines capital of Manila, and dozens of patients are already in the waiting room. A nurse uses a microphone to remind them that there is a queue and everyone will get their chance to consult with the doctor. The Canossa Health and Social Center serves as an oasis of calm and order in the slums of Tondo, one of the most economically poor sections of the city of 1.7 million people.