Distribution Partner: The Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor
The Mission of the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and their founder Mother Joan Clare Chin Loy, is to feed hungry children, care for orphans, teach school, respond to urgent needs of families and now bring mobility into the lives of people near Manila, Naga City and throughout the Philippines.
Since early 2011, Mother Joan and her sisters have imported more than 1,100 wheelchairs, and hundreds of canes, crutches and walkers donated by Knights of Columbus to help the physically disabled people in the areas they serve.
The Sisters run schools, feeding and day care centers around the city dumps in both Manila and Naga where more than 50,000 people live off the refuse. They also have an orphanage that provides loving care for abandoned children from all walks of life.
In what is known as a squatter’s area in Naga City, a 6-month-old boy named James was somehow able to crawl out of his house and onto the narrow gauge railroad track that runs down the middle of his street. The train did not stop and James lost his leg. At the age of 2, James received his first mode of transportation in the form of a wheelchair. Mother Joan explained, “He is a smart little boy and is able to hop for short distances, but he cannot go anywhere without being carried or dragging himself along the ground. This wheelchair will allow him to go to pre-school and start learning.”
Near the Naga City dumpsite, a mother provides for all of her children and husband by scavenging the trash from dawn to dusk for food or anything saleable. Her youngest child was born without the ability to walk and she cannot afford even the time off to take him to a free clinic. Mother Joan gave the young boy a wheelchair so his siblings could bring him to the school and church the sisters created within the dumpsite settlement.
The California Knights of Columbus have initiated “Project Mobility for the Philippines” which will deliver 560 wheelchairs to the Manila and Davao areas of the country. Mother Joan and her sisters will coordinate all aspects of the distribution.
“The needs of the people here are great,” said Mother Joan, “but with continued prayer and the blessings we have received from the Knights of Columbus, we will be able to improve the lives of many families. God bless you all for your compassion!”
“May our love be the remedy that will make our world a better place. May we see all people as our brothers and sisters. Let us reach out to everyone with compassion!”