Every attitude, every gesture has to fight poverty and exclusion. There are many ways to act, regardless of our skills and availability. These messages, these testimonials reflect. Feel free to contribute.

Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.

 

Testimonies
United Kingdom

When you lose your children its like part of your life has been taken away from you.

The reason Social Services took my son and eldest daughter was because they have special needs.  When you lose your children, it's like part of your life has been taken away from you.  You are grieving but the child is still alive.  That is the saddest thing about it.  You shouldn't be grieving for a child that is still alive; you grieve for a child when it dies.  It creates a hole in your life, a gap that can't be filled.  Even today it's a gap that can't be filled because my eldest daughter is like a stranger to me.  I know she is my daughter but I don't know her, she is a complete stranger.  She is not my little girl any more.

When my second daughter was born, a professional said to us, "She could replace her sister." You can't replace a child for another.  They are two different persons.  They also say that after a long period of care or adoption, you can pick up the pieces and make up for lost time.  But the time is lost. That time you can't make up for, it's gone.

We had a family support worker around the time my eldest daughter was adopted.  I said to her that anything could happen in 14 years and (the support worker) turned around, thinking she knew it all, and said "Nothing will happen in 14 years."  But it did, I lost my wife.  My eldest daughter never got to see her mother, which is a great shame.  She would have liked to have seen her mother.  When my wife passed away, I saw my daughter for the first time after 15 years.  She was 18 years old.

POVERTY CAN AND MUST BE ERADICATED!
29/10/2014
Seamus
United Kingdom

Why aren't we heard with our voices?

Oh why, oh why aren't we heard with our voices?

We cry aloud but we are not heard.

Oh why, oh why should we do as we are told by people of authority but we are not heard?

Oh why, oh why do they take our children away from us?

Oh why, oh why do they put our children into children's homes?

Oh why, oh why do they take our parenting rights away from us?

Oh why, oh why do we suffer in silence?

Oh why, oh why do we feel ashamed, as if we have committed a crime?

Oh why, oh why do we hide ourselves from humanity?

Oh why, oh why aren't we heard with our voices?

Oh why, oh why can't we unite and let our voices be heard?

POVERTY CAN AND MUST BE ERADICATED!
29/10/2014
Seamus
United Kingdom

What can we do?

It is hard when you are in poverty; there is a world outside your window of sadness and fear where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.

While we are thinking about October the 17 and people on the street we must also think of those poor families who cannot afford presents as Christmas is near and that every Christmas people on the street only hear the bells.

So what can we do to lighten up the day and bring joy to many people still living in poverty? But what can we do?

So I went out walking to think and I past a lot of trees, then it came to me, I had my note pad with me, and I started to write.....

No more shedding of tears

by Georgina

I went out walking to see if I could find any soil, but not just any soil.

It's got to be soil to help the poor, so it will make things grow and grow.

Something they can be proud of and lift their heads up high, with no more shedding of tears, but joy to a new world which they will make together.

Tired, so tired, I must rest for a while.

Suddenly I wake up.

A man was sitting next to me. I told him about the soil I wanted to get, he said to come with me to fill your dream.

He took me over the hill and there was the cave that was in my dream.

I went in the cave but where is the soil I do not see.  The man said to me "follow the light". I followed the light right to the end, and there, in the corner was a pile of soil.

I ran towards it and put the soil in my hands.

A feeling goes through my fingers and I'm sure this is the right soil.

It will make things grow and grow, where nothing has grown before.

Then it was time for me to go home. But not before the man asks me, "What is your precious thing in life?"

I answered my eye sight.  Without my sight, I could never see the beauty of the world.

I went back over the hill and stood at the top, and I wondered if Father Joseph had the same dream as me?

Now my pen has been put away, and there is nothing more to say.

Just to thank the Lord for this day.

POVERTY CAN AND MUST BE ERADICATED!
29/10/2014
Georgina
Philippines

Life is difficult for them but they help each other.

This testimony exists in English and Tagalog.

Testimony of a group of families who were recently relocated from Metro Manila to a relocation site in Balagtas, Bulacan

Good morning! We are the Sisters of the Good News. We live in squatter-area in Navotas. The persons who have prepared the testimony lived in “Virgo Drive”, Navotas before and are now relocated in Balagtas. Life is difficult for them, but anyhow they help each other.

Pepe

While we're lasting in the housing they provided all of us, it are our belongings that we are now selling one after the other: TV, radio, bed,... everything… and we have a lot of debts at the local store.

Marilou (read by Leomar)

With my family we lived for 10 years in the relocation site in Bulacan. Then my husband was without work for more than one year and we didn’t have anything to eat. That’s why we came back to live in our former place under a bridge in Manila.

Mariafe

All of us here in the relocation site get a share when there is a little ‘blessing’ that arrives, even if it’s only little. Somehow we manage to get by.

Lucio (based on a contribution shared by families in Manila North Cemetery)

It feels good to help. In our community we are used to help each other. Based on our experience it is easier for us to get help from our poor neighbors when we are in need, than from the rich.

Precy (read by her husband Jinggoy)

The house of my friend is far away but when one of us is asking for help, we are there for one another.

Loretta (based on a contribution shared by families in the relocation site in Calauan, Laguna)

We know well how to pay back to our neighbors the help that we received : when we have no money, we give rice or oignons, or we propose our services such as getting water at the pump for them.

Gina

All of us help each other, not only financially but also by giving good advice.

Armando (based on a contribution shared by families in the relocation site in Calauan, Laguna)

For example : It happens that a mother is about to give birth and her husband is not there. As neighbors we will help her so she will be able to go to the hospital, we will take care of her children, help her with the paperwork etc.

Dolfo

I was considering to sell my house in the relocation site because life was too hard there for us, and I went to see the Sisters for advice. Finally I decided not to sell the house because they told me : the house is not only for you, but also for your children.

Judy-Ann (junior volunteer)

We're happy because we found and saw a family in the form of Junior volunteers.

Introduction

Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat ! Kami ang mga Sisters of the Good News. Sa Navotas kami, ang isang squatter-area, lugar na noon nakatira sila sa Virgo Drive. Ngayon narerelocate sila sa Balagtas. Mahirap ang buhay nila, pero kahit paano, natulungan sila.

Pepe

1 Habang tumatagal po kami sa pabahay na ibinigay sa aming lahat,

ang mga gamit namin ay naibenta na namin. Lahat TV, radio, papag…

at marami na kaming utang sa tindahan.

Marilou (lu par Leomar)

2 Ako at aking pamilya ay nanirahan ang sampung taon sa pabahay sa Bulacan. Nakalipas ng isang taon na walang trabaho ang aking asawa. Kaya wala na kaming makain. Kaya bumalik kami sa tulay sa Manila para doon na manirahan.

Mariafe

3 Kami pong lahat sa lugar namin kung may konting biyaya na dumarating, kami po ay nagkaroon lahat, kahit na konti lang.

Kahit papaano nakakaraos din.

Lucio

4 Masarap ang pakiramdam kung makatulong. Sa community natin, uso matulungan. Sa aming karanasan, pag may kailangan kami, mas madaling nakuha sa aming mahirap kapitbahay kaisa sa mga mayayaman.

Precy (lu par son mari, Jinggoy)

5 Kami pong dalawang magkaibigan ay magkalayo ng bahay, pero kung isa ay humihingi ng tulong, kami ay nagdadamayan.

Loretta

6 Marunong kami suklian sa kapwa ang tulong: kapag walang pera, magbigay na lang ng bigas o sibuyas, o magigib ng tubig sa iba sa kanya.

Gina

7 Kaming lahat ay nagdadamayan, hindi lang sa financial kundi sa payo ng bawat isa.

8 Armando

Halimbawa: kapag may isang nanay na kailangan manganak at wala ang asawa niya, kami ay matulungan para puwede siya pumunta sa ospital, at may taga-alaga sa anak niya, at maayos ang mga papeles niya etc.

Dolfo

9 Nong gusto ko ibenta yong bahay ko dahil sa sobrang kahirapan, humingi ako ng payo sa mga sisters. Kaya hindi ko na ibenta yong bahay ko kasi sabi nila sa akin: hindi para inyo yong bahay kundi para mga anak ninyo.

Judy-Ann (junior)

10 Masaya kami kasi nahanap at nakita namin ang isang pamilya sa katauhan ng mga Junior volunteers.

Commemoration and Workshops
28/10/2014
Testimony of a group of families who were recently relocated from Metro Manila to a relocation site in Balagtas, Bulacan
Philippines

It is a goal in my life to encourage them to unite and to help each other against extreme poverty.

This testimony exists in English and Tagalog.

Testimony of Edgardo,  St. Luke Reach Out Foundation.

I am Edgardo, 48 years old, one of the volunteers of St. Luke Reach Out Foundation.

I would like to share with you some of my experiences as a person who lived on the street.

I came from the province, rejected by my family but hoping to have good luck in Manila. However, I was not lucky enough and I ended up down on the street.

Poverty, extreme poverty is what I experienced on the street. I even had to eat food from the garbage cans. I slept on the street with a newspaper or a cardboard and my unclean clothes as my pillow.

I became dirty, smelly and the people ridicule me. I become sick and a religious institution welcomed me in their community.

They took good care of me and I became cured. They sent me to a caregivers’ school. When I finished, I became a volunteer in their program and soon I was in charge of that program for the people who had become sick on the street and were given shelter in their community.

My life became beautiful because I received allowances.

However, somehow, something went wrong with their program and it was stopped. This was then also the end of my job.

I went back on the street, but this time not anymore as street people. I went back as a vendor, I sold candies and cigarettes using the money I saved from my previous work.

It was very successful. Then somebody offered me a small business and that I am the one who runs for it. Here my life changed.

Now, I live in a bachelor pad. It is clean and pleasant. I have a good life. Unlike a street people who live on the back of other people, I am now a productive person of the society.

Here I learned that our experiences are shaping who we are. They became the stairway towards success in life. Let us not stop our efforts, our trust and belief in God, hard work and perseverance is what we need to change and correct the direction of our lives. We must remember the saying that “With God is blessing, with man is action.”

Above all, we learned to appreciate what we have, small or big, we value it.

I remain a volunteer of St. Luke reach Out Foundation so that I can help them. It is a goal in my life to encourage them to unite and to help each other against extreme poverty. Together we can “graduate out off the street”.

Through my volunteerism, I can inspire others to help more sick people who sleep on the street, so that they can receive care and medicines for their serious illnesses.

It is not an easy task, there are many obstacles or barriers in my goal. I learned to be flexible, humble, listen and understanding. I know that I must be first a good model. Then they can leave the street with its poverty and live a pleasant life of being a productive person in our society.

My brothers and sisters, I hope I inspired you, and I hope we successfully eradicate the poverty through perseverance.

Thank you very much

God bless

Ako po ay si Edgardo Mahidlaon, Apatnapu’t walong gulang, isang volunteer ng St. Luke reach Out Foundation.

Gusto ko pong ibahagi sa inyo ang aking mga karanasan noon sa aking buhay langsangan.

Ako po’y isang probensyanong naglayas at nakipagsapalaran dito sa Maynila, ngunit ako’y hindi pinalad kaya sa lansangan ang aking bagsak. Kahirapan, matinding kahirapan ang aking naranasan sa lansangan. Naranasan kong kumain ng pagkain galing sa basura. Natutulog sa bangketa na dyaryo o carton lang ang sapin at ang aking maruruming damit ang siyang nagsisilbing unan ko. Naging marumi at mabaho ako, iniwasan, pinandirihan at nilait lait ng mga taong aking makasalubong sa kalye. Ako po ay nagkakasakit at napadpad sa isang religious institution.

Kinupkop at inaalagaan nila ako hanggat ako’y gumaling. Pinag-aral nila ako ng care-giver course, nang ako ay makatapos ako’y nag volunteer bilang isang caregiver na nangangasiwa sa isa nilang programa para sa mga taong maysakit sa kalye at kanilang kinupkop. Naging maganda ang buhay ko dahil tumatanggap din ako ng allowances. Ngunit sa hindi inasahang pangyayari nahinto ang kanilang programa, kaya ako’y nawalan ng trabaho. Bumalik naman ako sa kalye, ngunit hindi na ako isang yagit, bumalik ako upang magtinda ng mga candy at sigarilyo, gamit ang konting kong ipon na pera.

Lumago ito hanggat ako’y inalok na mamuhunan sa maliit na negosyo at ako ang magpapatakbo. Dito na nabago ang takbo ng buhay ko.

Ngayon po ako’y nakatira na sa isang bachelor pad, malinis at kaaya-aya, maayos na ang aking pamumuhay. Ang yagit noon na salot sa lipunan, ay tao na nagyon na kapakipakinabang ng lipunan.

Dito ko natutunan na ang ating mga karanasan ay ang siyang humuhubog ng ating pagkatao, at ito rin ang naging hagdanan ng ating tagumpay sa buhay. Huwag tayong huminto sa pagsisikap, ang pagtitiwala at tunay na pananampalataya sa Diyos, sipag at tiyaga ang ating kailangan upang mabago at maitama natin ang direksyon

ng ating buhay. Dapat din nating tandaan ang kasabihan na “Nasa Diyos ang Awa, Nasa tao ang Gawa. Higit sa lahat marunong tayong magpapahalaga kung anong mayron tayo, maliit man o malaki, sinupin natin ito.

Nagpatuloy po akong mag volunteer sa st. luke reach out foundation upang makatulong at matupad ang aking adhikain na hikayatin sila na magkaisa at magtulungang harapin at labanan ang matinding kahirapan at sabay-sabay umahon at lisanin ang buhay lansangan

At dahil sa pag boboluntaryo ko naging inspirasyon ko ang pagtulong sa mga may sakit na natutulog sa lansangan ang pag aalaga sa kanila ay sapat na upang sila ay mabigyan ng kalinga at gamot na lulunas sa kanilang mga malubhang karamdaman

Hindi po madali ang ganitong gawain,maraming mga balakid o hadlang sa aking hangarin, natutunan ko dito ang makibagay,magpakumbaba ,makinig umunawa at umintindi sa paniniwalang dapat ako ang unang taong maging magandang halimbawa at kanilang tularan upang makaalis sa tanikala ng kahirapan at makapamuhay ng maayos na may pakinabanang sa lipunan.

Mga kapatid sana nakapagbigay ako ng inspirasyon sa inyo, na sana matagumpayang lisanin ang kahirapan sa pamamagitan ng patuloy na pagsisikap.maraming salamat po

GOD BLESS….

Commemoration and Workshops
28/10/2014
Edgardo