The courage and devotion of our programme managers who give their time and energy to the poorest children are as many reasons for hope in the future, in this “next world” that is beginning to take shape.
Father Matthieu Dauchez is one of them. In Manila, Philippines, he has been fighting for 20 years to alleviate the destitution of street children. With his foundation ANAK-TNK which we support and his team, they feed and protect thousands of destitute children. He testified about the current situation in the midst of the COVID crisis and we wanted to share what he has to say:
“The density of people in any shantytown is such that the principle of social distance appears as a new “luxury”, inaccessible to the poorest,” explains Father Dauchez. “The refrain most often heard in the streets of Manila is not the fear of dying from Covid-19, but the fear of dying of hunger. Millions of people in Manila live on a daily income earned by the sweat of their brow, through odd jobs that barely allow them to feed their families. They have no savings, no reserves. They don’t live, they survive. So the concern here is certainly not the pandemic the world is going through but rather the hunger. People are desperately hungry and will not last much longer. Today, the government, with the help of the Catholic Church, which is very present in the Philippines among the poorest, can still bring enough to survive to all these families. However, resources are running out … The economic crisis is global. It affects and will affect all peoples and all strata of our societies, but it is obviously always the poorest, on the lookout for the smallest crumb, who will suffer the most. My prayer is therefore necessarily more intense so that all those who have been left behind will not be left behind even more, and that the health crisis will not be compounded by a humanitarian tragedy... which seems to be inevitable! As soon as lockdown eases, we must, therefore, redouble our efforts, our presence and our courage to respond to the needs of all these people. And we will do so” concludes Father Dauchez.
Everywhere the needs are immense. But everywhere too, women and men like Father Dauchez are rising up to take action. We need them to make the world a better place and they need us to support them!