The Philippines

Chins up

The Philippines, consisting of thousands of islands, is home to 87 million people. Cebu is one of the largest islands and Cebu city is the third largest city. It is a busy shipping port with a population of nearly two million Cebuanos.


Our first sisters arrived in Cebu in May 2000, at the invitation of Cardinal Vidal, with the specific aim of working with the most needy and vulnerable people in areas where the majority of people are living as squatters in makeshift accommodation. We have two communities for mission in Cebu, Banawa and Basak and we work in the Basak Pardo area and the North Reclamation Area of Cebu City. The majority of our programmes are focused on women and children who we believe suffer most in poverty situations but who are, we believe, the most powerful means of achieving development within their community.

Sr Anne
Sr Cecilia and friends

Our projects include feeding centre, livelihood assistance such as soap making and sewing, non-formal education, special education, child minding and culinary skills. The day centres, which provide non-formal education for children, are located right in the midst of the sitios (local communities). The Lourdes Centre, one of our first initiatives in Cebu, provides excellent physical/occupational therapy programmes for children and adults who are recovering from strokes. Recently, one of our Sisters has started an “Out of School” youth project for street children which aims at providing an alternative form of learning through the use of computers. It is hoped that this experience will help to reintegrate the young people back into the mainstream education system. A new project on “human trafficking” is about to start, the aim of which is to give IT/skills for life training to young women and children at risk of becoming victims of trafficking. It is also open to former victims of trafficking and it is hoped to link them to possible employment options.

Learning with Sr Maria
Income generation - making soap

Bearing in mind the need to ensure the continuity of the projects, and their future sustainability, a co-operative has been set up at the Shalom Centre which has taken on responsibility for the livelihood programmes run from Basak Mission.

From Banawa Mission a number of programmes were instigated at The Blessed Sacrament Parish in the North Reclamation of the City. A new association “Tuburan sa Paglaum” (Spring of Hope) is now taking on responsibility for these programmes.

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