Fondacio Philippines animates Youth CLUBS in East Libis

Marginality is what describes the locations (and dislocations) of the people who are not given pertinent attention, care and concern in our society. It is mostly used to describe the underprivileged and the slums and squatter areas they live in. Using rhetoric to describe the Margin, it is, I may say, an area where the light can scarcely touch its grounds while the Center enjoys the bountiful glow and bright ambiance.

East Libis Homeowners Association Incorporated (ELHAI) is an organization of the poor dwellers located just beside North Luzon Expressway – Balintawak Exit. It is an organization of, by and for the people at the margins of our Barangay. It was established by the people who are longing and searching for a “space” in this wide yet limited society. ELHAI is located in a ghetto, a walled terrain, surrounded by empty land properties. It is there we establish our dreams, hopes, and aspirations in life and it is there where we live. The ghetto is our abode. We have our deep-well which provides us water and there are Sari-sari stores and mini-market stalls inside the ghetto selling the basic things we need. In this remark, most of us in the ghetto think that life is complete inside the walls. Many in our community married their neighbors and stay in the humble house of their parents. Some kids and youth stop schooling because of inadequate money and started helping their parents in providing basic necessities for their families. As a marginal space, we barely experience the aid from the Barangay officials. We are only visited by the politicians to solicit our trust and votes and nothing else. As a marginal space, we remain in the dark, unnoticed and unloved.

There was a spark of light inside the ghetto when FONDACIO wished to be with us and stay with us. This is causing a slight yet positive change in our community. Through the presence of FONDACIO starting this February 2019, we can sense humanity back to our senses. It is evident in two ways; First, because of Fodacio’s visitations, our fellow neighbors clean the surroundings, cut-off tall weeds, communicate with the people of different cultures and nationalities, open the doors for strangers, people become hospitable and cooperative. Second, the kids learn the values and the virtues that are rarely taught at home by some parents, ELHAI Officers and members become actively engaged in participating and supporting the programs of Fondacio and lastly, we felt that our morale is boost due to the loving presence of the people from outside the walls.

 “Masaya ako dahil nandito ang Fondacio.” – Minda Ortiz

Happiness. This is what Fondacio provides in their simple acts of charity like teaching proper hygiene, playing with the kids, praying, singing, dancing, and conversing with the people with great honor and respect. Seeing people from the outside visiting us and expressing love and concern give us the impression that we are no longer at the margins – we become the Center where the spark glows bigger and brighter.

If you want to be the change you wish to see in this rapidly changing world, come and join us too. At present, we need volunteers who are willing to teach basic academic skills, livelihood training and support, and benefactors for the out of school youth in East Libis. You may also conduct feeding programs and distribute school supplies. These may be small but we never know what happens in the covert part of the hearts of the people whom you are helping.

By Joenel B. Buencibello (President, ELHAI)

(See our latest Youth CLUBs activity in East Libis: