Blog and video by Paul Pearce, director of international programs department
On a recent visit to our programs in the Philippines, I was invited to spend the afternoon with a group of sponsored aging persons in the Antipolo project. The program organizes sponsored members into small groups called ìKapitbahayanî (neighbor in the Filipino language).
The groups of 15 to 20 members meet regularly, and this afternoon was one of such Kapitbahayan meetings held in the ruins of a small, uncompleted building.
The meetings are a source of camaraderie, support and planning among the sponsored members. They share with each other how things are going in their home life, study scriptures and coordinate project activities.
During the meeting, I asked if they have recreation or talent development activities. That’s when the smiles really emerged on these beautiful faces. Wenceslao quickly stood and said that he would like to sing out of great gratitude to his sponsor and the CFCA program. CFCA staff member Nell joins him as a duet part way through the popular and historic song.
I was now immersed in Filipino pride, beauty and spirit through song. Many in attendance took turns singing. They had turned this ramshackle, tattered shell of a building into a fine concert hall and given our meeting its wings.