100 houses were built in St. Ambrose Village in Bato, Leyte central Philippines. How this came about was a great wonder as accounts of selflessness, inspiration, and generosity made known the contributions of people to this shelter community.
“There are many amazing stories on how the project became successful!” shared Levi and Ging Blaquera, ANCOP Area Coordinators of Hamilton, Ontario. The couple coordinated all efforts to put up the village by the CFC community and parishioners of St. Ambrose Parish in Cambridge, Ontario.
A couple who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary donated a house as thanksgiving to God for blessing their married life. A parishioner went door to door to encourage all her relatives to donate some houses. Many parishioners donated more than one house when they saw the progress of the project. A couple gave a huge donation to start the livelihood program of the village. And, many more stories about people’s genuine desire to help improve the living condition of poor families. At the end, 100 total houses were built; 100 poor families were given a more decent dwelling, and a new way of life.
Father Michael McHugh, then the pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, strongly encouraged the parishioners to help the poor in the Philippines. He himself donated some houses. A chapel was put up in the village and was also named after Fr. Michael’s parish.
Levi and Ging are grateful to everyone for their special involvement in the project. Fred Quinto, a CFC member in Hamilton, prepared a miniature village to show the parishioners the progress of the project. This inspired more people to donate. CFC members in Hamilton area also donated houses and sponsored children to show their support.
On October 15, 2015, residents of St Ambrose Village started the ground works and the dike construction for their bangus (milkfish) livelihood project. This is expected to be completed December 30th. The bangus production cycle is 6 months; come June 2016, the families of St. Ambrose village would have their first bangus harvest.
People fully anticipate this day, and are just filled with gratitude for this livelihood opportunity and for the certainty of having food on the table.
For the donors and supporters of the village, this is an affirmation of generosity and kindness blessed. They feel a great sense of joy to be part of it all.
By: Pilar Dimaculangan, ANCOP Canada