In year 2013, we celebrated our 29th year of existence as an organization. MQAN also received the CARITAS AWARD last November 2013. This award I offered up to our Mama Mary who is smiling at our work done with great LOVE and under her direction with Jesus and Papa Joseph. Without them, it would be impossible for us to survive and last this long. They provided us with the health and strength, courage and perseverance we need to keep going for the sake of the poor. This year was a year full of challenges and trusts in the Lord. It was the first time ever that we provided the highest funds for one project in the Philippines, that of providing help to many victims of typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda as known to the Filipinos. Compared to big organizations, our funds are just a drop in the bucket, but the number of people that were helped is astonishing. We helped in the Western Visayas, the areas that were not covered by the Relief Services as they concentrated their assistance in the Eastern Visayas where there were many casualties. One month after the typhoon, Sr. Michaela wrote, “The need here is shelter. Nobody yet is distributing materials for rebuilding. You are the first one to provide materials that is why these people are very grateful.”
Through Sr. Michaela Suresca, OP, we were able to provide for the needs of the people in three provinces, Iloilo, Capiz and Antique known as Panay Island. Immediately after the typhoon, 500 families were given rice and canned goods. 80 families were provided with building materials, mostly G.I. sheets for roofing, 5 houses in Antique, 22 houses in Iloilo and 53 houses in Capiz, where most of the houses were flattened by the typhoon. We also provided roofing for 3 schools, St. Martin Academy in Dumalag, Capiz, and Saint Ann Catholic School in Balasan, Iloilo and Parochial School of Concepcion in Iloilo. We also provided roofing and assistance to St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Casanayan, Pilar Capiz. The Parish Priest, Fr. Antonio Arinquin wrote,”This is to acknowledge the amount of P150,000.00 Php you donated to St. Vincent Ferrer Parish thru Sr. Michaela, OP, for the damage brought by typhoon Haiyan. Thank you also for the 50 pcs of G.I. sheets for the church roofing”. The Home for the Deaf and Mute (Bahay Dayonan) in Roxas City, Capiz, as well as the convent of the Dominican Sisters in Dumalag, Capiz were also provided with roofing assistance. We also have provided Sr. Michaela with 9 Balikbayan boxes, each box weighing more than 50 lbs. containing, basic necessities, non-perishable food, clothes, shoes, and diapers for the elderly nuns, books, rosaries, school supplies, kitchen and laundry supplies, toys, games and many other items for distribution to the flood victims. Earlier in the year, we also sent funds for a wheelchair for their elderly nuns and help for a family to restore her kitchen damaged by the flood.
Another Dominican missionary, Sr. Milagros Caperig, OP, was provided with funds to help the Dominican College of Iloilo (DCIL) students, staff, faculty and 23 families who were equally affected by the typhoon. They distributed 25 sacks of rice and other goods in four towns, namely Concepcion, San Dionesio, Batad and Balasan. Two families were also provided with materials to rebuild their houses, one of these families is a couple with 7 children and both parents are jobless.
In this College, we also have been providing Sr. Milagros with funds assisting 15 students in their studies. They are taking two year courses, 8 in Hotel and Restaurant Services (HRS), 3 in Computer Programming, 3 in Computer Hardware Servicing and 1 taking BS in Education in WVSU, a University in Western Visaya. Also five students graduated in 2013.
In Rwanda, through Fr. Bernard Kyoribona, we have assisted those in extreme poverty to become self- sufficient. Fr. Bernard wrote, “I am sending the photos of the goats that I bought. My people are extremely happy and with this they will celebrate Christmas with a smile on their faces. All those that were in extreme poverty are now covered. They can now say thank MQAN, for the concern you showered to us.” 658 parishioners living in extreme poverty were helped with self-sufficiency projects, such as rearing pigs and goats and sewing machines. We provided Fr. Bernard in the past with 8 metal doors, as the parish suffered many robberies. When I asked how the doors were helping, he wrote, “Yes, the metal doors helped me to keep off the robbers from breaking in again, now it is safe. You remember we manage to change 8 doors and today is OK, the house is safe.”
In Bolivia, we have been reaching out to their needs for so many years now, assistance provided through Fr. William Keenan, for the education of the seminarians, this year 15 of them. Funds were provided for the education of high school and college students, through Bishop Juan Vargas. We also provided him with funds for evangelization. Likewise, the Youth Groups of Caranavi and Sorata parishes were provided with funds for their activities. Medical help was also provided to Basilia Bautista as well as emergency fund for the seminary and Mass Intentions for Fr. Mario Alanoca and the other priests, who wanted to receive Mass Intentions.
In Palawan, Philippines, through Fr. Zoilo R. Deslate, Jr. we provided funds for the education of two seminarians and Mass Intentions. We have sent him 3 Balikbayan boxes, containing basic necessities, vitamins, razors and personal items for his own use, non-perishable food items, school supplies, Catholic Almanac for his rectory and school library, chasuble, clothes, shoes, books for the school library, learning CDs, rosaries, office supplies, many other items for distribution to the poor parishioners and students.
Fr. Joseph Ssebyala in Uganda was provided with funds for the education of the orphans under his care and Mass Intentions. We received accounting of the funds provided and report, “Now as I have some who are already in college, they more or less took the Lion’s share of the money for school fees. But I am happy because two of the orphans are in college and will complete their college studies in two years time to come and am sure if they will finish well, they will be able to get jobs and live a dignified life. 4 orphans are candidate for Senior Four and 20 are in lower classes.” In the past, we have provided Fr. Joseph with water tanks to water his coffee plantation during dry season and funds to buy a little more land to plant more coffee trees. With this he now has 400 coffee trees. He was hoping to buy the neighbor’s land, who was going to relocate, that was for sale, big enough to reach his target of 2000 coffee trees, for which we hope to give, but could not for lack of funds. When the time comes that he would be able to harvest the coffee trees, by then they will be self-sufficient and would be able to stand on their own without our help. But this will take a few more years. In the meantime, we continue to help them.
In Uganda also, through Sr. Teddy Joyce Adaku, we have been assisting 5 girls in their education. One of the five has completed her two years vocational training and graduated last Nov. 12th, 2013. Two will start vocational training in 2014, one is promoted to Senior 3 and the other to senior 4. With the education provided to them, they will one day become self-sufficient, able to support themselves and their families.
Fr. Kasipogu Balaraj from India was provided with funds for the education of 40 students, attending different schools, in primary and high school, as well as funds to provide 3 widows with sarees and bed sheets, also a young, unmarried orphan lady was given a sewing machine for self sufficiency and funds for her left eye retina surgery. A sick elderly man was provided with funds for food and medicine. The students at Sitaramapuram village were provided with school fees, uniforms, school bags, textbooks, pens, notebooks. We received detailed accounting, receipts and reports as well as pictures of these students, some in their new uniform, the widows, the sick elderly man and the young orphan lady. One of the pictures has this caption. “Children are standing in the classroom. As this school does not have benches or chairs, they sit on the mat. They are happy with the minimum they get. I also bought for them charts, (as you see on the wall) to learn English as well as local language, Telugu.” “The children are given an opportunity for education. It is possible because of your goodness and donors generosity.” Two High School students were also given uniforms and foot wear. As regards the eye surgery, Fr. Kasipogu wrote, “After the surgery she could see better now. She could not control her tears. She wept aloud in the hospital. She was really happy and grateful to you. She told me to thank you. I have taken her pictures in the hospital.” Fr. Kasipogu was also provided with Mass Intentions.
Also in India, we provided educational assistance to ten students in college to Fr. Paul Vijaya and Mass Intentions as well. Bishop Moses Prakasam with Fr. Joseph Pidatala, was provided funds for education of 10 students in the primary. Fr. Showry Raju Yarasapu was provided Mass Intentions. He has been requesting for funds for construction of toilets with urinal for the 3 mission schools, for the pilgrims of the Shrine of Our Lady of Health and drinking water facilities in his new parish where he was transferred. We do not have the required amount and has to wait until we are able to collect enough funding.
In Garissa, Kenya to Sr. Sarah Tari and Bishop Paul Darmanim, we provided funds for food for the nutrition center that we built in 1991 that was also used as classrooms for informal education, to help care for young children from age 3 – 13. Over the years, the center has grown into a formal primary school now known as St. Mary’s, to respond to the emerging needs of the poor and disadvantage children. They provide food, education, faith formation and other special needs or care for those affected and infected by the HIV/AIDS and are with them at the center. The learning continued along side with the feeding programme (breakfast and lunch). The school has grown steadily and is now up to the 8th Std. where the pioneer pupils will sit for the Kenya certificate of primary education just like and with other pupils in the country for the 1st time. Sr. Sarah is also requesting assistance to build bigger classrooms/library, reading materials, food and special needs subsidy. We were able to provide for food but do not have enough funds for constructions of classrooms and library.
Sr. Bertille Lizy Ezeh in Nigeria with Bishop Lucius Ugorgi was provided funds for food for the nutrition center in Nkporo. When we visited in Nigeria in 1992, I brought with me the funds to build this nutrition center to help feed and care for the children. This nutrition center was also used as clinic as well as for informal education of the children. Over the years it now has grown into a nursery and primary formal school for the children of Nkporo. As many of these children lives far from the nutrition center/school, they are requesting for assistance to buy a used school bus but we do not have the funds to provide.
In the Manila, Philippines, Sis Rosario Denoga was provided funds for the Rice Subsidy Program to assist 80 families living in the depressed/squatter areas of San Jose Manggagawa parish. (St. Joseph the Worker Parish). We are also assisting a bedridden poor lady named Anita. She lives outside the wall of a building, exposed to the elements. When it floods, her wooden bed floats on the water. We provided her with a metal bed, a wooden chair, a raincoat and a tarp to protect her from the weather. She has asthma and need oxygen which we provided her. We also provide her monthly allowance for her basic needs and twice a month rice subsidy. Her Parish Priest, Fr. Roberto “Bobby” Titco was provided with a chasuble given to us by a donor. Also at San Jose de Trozo Parish, we are assisting 10 High School students in their studies. Sis
Rosario is now elderly and has been sick and needs medical care, we also provide her funds for her own medical needs.We sent Sis Rosario 2 balikbayan boxes containing basic necessities, non-perishable food items, school supplies, clothes, foot wear, rosaries, vitamins for her and for Anita, many basic items for distributions to the poor.
In Quezon, Philippines, Sis Adoracion Abuel was provided with funds to assist 63 families with Rice Subsidy. The Sinag Kalinga, a Home for the Destitute, is also provided with rice. We are also providing tuition fees to 8 elementary, 24 high school and 7 college students and 2 seminarians. In mid year 2013, when typhoon Maring hit the area, many places were flooded, some died and many livelihoods were destroyed. Assistance was provided to those who were affected. Families who are in need due to circumstances such as death in the family leaving orphans to care for, are also provided with some assistance. We sent Sis Adoracion with a balikbayan box containing basic necessities, non-perishable food, vitamins for her own use, clothes, shoes, rosaries, other items.
All over the Philippines, our lay prison minister, Manuel Navoa, was provided funds for his transportation to go visit all the prisons, rehab centers, jails, all over the country, from the north to the south, east and west. He distributes basic necessities and religious items, holy cards and prayer leaflets to the prisoners. He also gives them rosaries and teaches them how to pray. He also goes to the schools and talks to the students to encourage them to study hard and to avoid drugs, alcohol, vices and evil things. He tells them the goodness and love of God for them. He sent us reports and pictures of his prison ministry. Before he visits a prison, he goes to the Bishop or the parish priest in the area and asks for their blessings and for permission and sends us pictures of him with the bishop. We sent Manuel a balikbayan box containing basic necessities, rosaries, religious items, prayer cards, and non-perishable food for Manuel, paper and envelopes so prisoners could write to their families, clothes and many basic items for distribution to the prisoners.
In India, Fr. Matthew Uzhunnalil was provided with funds for 25 seminarians and also Mass Intentions. Since he has been ill and is now up in age, he had given Fr. Cyriac Malayil the responsibility of corresponding with us, receiving the funds and giving us reports and pictures, as regards our sponsorship of the seminarians at Kristu Jyoti College in Bangalore. Each year many seminarians are ordained.
In Uganda, through Fr. Pontius Bandua, we provided him with funds for sewing machines and carpentry tools. This will give the youth under his care, the skills and knowledge they need for their livelihood. The girls will learn how to make dresses and be able to earn a living. The boys will learn how to make furnitures and from the sale of them, they will be able to support themselves and their families. Fr. Pontius was also provided with Mass Intentions.
To conclude, I would like to thank all of you, a million times once again, for your love, kindness and generosity. All of you are our partners in this Ministry of Love to reach out to all those in need, particularly in the third world countries where people live in extreme poverty and do not have the resources that we have in the first world countries. I want to reassure you that 100% of all that we have received goes to help our poor brothers and sisters in many poor countries. Our funds are very limited but despite of it, so many are being helped and many are already able to rise above poverty. The little we have, we give with great LOVE and the good Lord multiplies them so that many benefits from it and have a chance for a better, healthier life. The good Lord also sent us new members to help with the work of the Alliance and also new donors to help provide for the needs of God’s favorites, “the poor who have no one to turn to”. We provide for Jesus as well, for HE said, “Whatever you do for others, that you did it for me.”
May Mama Mary, the Queen of All Nations, keep you in her loving care. May Jesus bless you abundantly and Papa Joseph provide for all your needs. GOD BLESS AND LOVES YOU ALL!
Your loving and caring sister, Merla