Charity Durano is a correspondent for Global Sisters Report based in the Philippines.
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.
Thousands marched on the International Day of Peace Sept. 21 to protest the extrajudicial killings under President Duterte and the 1972 establishment of martial law under the Marcos regime.