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Donate €30 to support young people to fight poverty.

Meet Silna.

Silna lives in a stilt house on the shores of Alaska Mambaling in Cebu city.

Silna’s home is a one-room house made of light materials and galvanized iron roofing. Silna says, “We use an open pit toilet. My mother, my siblings, and their families live with me. I am the youngest of four siblings. My father, a fisher man, passed in 2008 due to heart conditions – and so I have been working hard since then to support my family.” Despite this, Silna achieved something incredible this year, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. This is something not many have achieved in the Badjao Tribe, but she has paved her own way and she is a role model for young people in her community now. 

For Silna playtime is a luxury that she does not have. Silna’s everyday life is filled with dreams, hopes and curiosities. 

“The point is we all face incredible challenges; we do our best to overcome them and then we’re able to live our best life. I wake up at 6:30am, do the chores, fetch water, and get ready for school to go straight to my class. From school, I go home. Rest a little and prepare for dinner. Wash up and lights out. On Saturdays, I do the laundry and go to Nano Nagle Centre for the weekly assignments. Sundays are for sorting laundry from the previous day’s work and being at the little store.” – Silna, Badjao tribe, Philippines

Silna’s dedication and commitment to improve her life is no short of an inspiration.

SERVE began working with the Presentation sisters in the Badjao community in 2003 in the area of community development. One of the biggest challenges of the Badjao community is access to education for girls especially because they are expected to marry at a very young age.

The Nano Nagle Childcare and Learning Centre was officially opened in 2008 and is the home of education inside the Badjao community. The Presentation Sisters and Nano Nagle Team offered Silna a scholarship to finish her studies.

“Who would have thought that someone like me could finish college and not get married at my age? For me, it was a dream come true. My greatest achievement so far in my whole life.”

Silna explains, “They guided every step of my way in achieving my goal. They were very instrumental in shaping my values and goals in life. They helped and guided me in developing myself into becoming who I am today. They are like my second family. SERVE plays a big factor in my life. I was excited every time a group of SERVE volunteers arrived from Ireland. SERVE is like an aunty that always brings surprises, hugs, and smiles. It is with SERVE that I feel valued, loved, recognised, and accepted for who I really am, aside from the love and care given by the Nano Nagle Centre.”

SERVE’s work with the Badjao tribe is focused on improving housing, access to healthcare, supporting educational initiatives and sending volunteers to offer their time and skills where needed.

When you donate €30 to SERVE, you will be giving many youths like Silna the chance to prosper, to feel confident and achieve their dreams.  Please donate to SERVE to support young women like Silna or buy a Solidarity Gift of Resilience.

every Gift Matters

Donate to SERVE

“I know that so many people in Ireland support SERVE to support girls like me. And I am very thankful for all their support; may it be money or moral support.

Just keep on believing that there are people like me who needed not just your money for support but also your presence.

This will give us a lifetime of inspiration and that is something that money cannot buy.” – Silna, Badjao tribe, Philippines