Postcard from the Philippines

Sophie Lyons and Nicola Fitzpatrick from Team SERVE pay a visit to SERVE’s Philippine partners, the Presentation Sisters, who work closely with the Badjao community. Sophie created a short blog on her time in the Philippines before going on to her next chapter after working with SERVE for 12 months.

Visiting the Presentation Sisters Nano Nagle centre in the Philippines and meeting the Badjao community was an experience that I will never forget. I will remember the warmth and kindness that we were welcomed with and the openness of everyone to share and collaborate.  

You can read as much as you want about The Badjao but you will never really have a sense of what life is like for them until you see it with your own eyes. Life is uncertain, challenging, and unsafe in so many ways for the Badjao community.

The Badjao are isolated from the Filipino community, and many are without basic Human Rights. There is no access to clean water and sanitation, there is a lack of livelihood opportunities, they suffer from hunger, and a lack of good health and well-being.  

The Presentation Sisters Nano Nagle Centre in the Philippines has provided a safe space for the community, and it is amazing to witness the level of trust that the community has for the Centre and the people who work there.  

I have left the Philippines feeling incredibly inspired by The Badjao. Much of the positive change that has been seen in recent years is due to the dedication and hard work of The Badjao community, in getting through education and supporting each other.

They are a family like no other and I am grateful to have been welcomed even for a short while into their community. 

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