Bagong Silangan Outreach Program Update
On July 18, 2014 the Outreach Program formally began. Prior to this, the Sisters of Mount Cannel assigned in SMCCS (Sisters of Mount Cannel Catholic School) held a meeting on how to continue the mission in Bagong Silangan, Quezon City. Bagong Silangan was one of the places badly hit by typhoon Ondoy in 2009 in which plenty of people lost their loved ones, houses and livelihood. Upon visiting the area, plenty of people gathered together and the huge numbers of children were also present. It was the later that moved the sisters to do a program for them. The Sisters agreed to have an extension program of the school in which the teachers and students of SMCCS can participate through a tutorial and feeding program.
Before its opening, there was a discussion between the Sisters assigned in the school, SMCCS Faculty and the officials in the mission area. The program could not accommodate all the children in the village since funding (by donations) and the venue (mission house) for the program were very limited. It was agreed that it would just cater to twenty to twenty five children for the tutorial. These children would be in coming grade 1 for the next school year. Those children who are not qualified for the tutorial, forty to fifty of them could attend catechism. Right after every class, there would be a feeding program. It would be done every Saturday so that teachers and high school students of SMCCS could participate.
Since the day the program opened, we were overwhelmed by the part of the families in the village who were very supportive. The teachers assigned themselves in teaching the tutees while the sisters and the youth in the village were assigned in catechism. The mothers were responsible in cooking and preparing food for the feeding.
The program ended in February 2015 due to a renovation of the mission house for a more conducive venue for teaching and feeding. Its re-opening will be on July 2015 when classes in SMCCS resume. This program was made possible through the help of some generous people who donated in cash and in kind and the participation of the villagers. The recipients of this program were very active even if sometimes teachers used recycled materials in teaching and the mothers would just prepare what had been given due to a lack of financial resources.
Prepared by Sister Elsie Villason, O. Carm.