First-person testimony with Ana Perea

Ana Perea, Sister of Our Lady of Consolation, joined a meeting of volunteers from Delwende in Madrid. She had just arrived from the Philippines and in a friendly conversation, we had the opportunity to ask her about her life. She is a woman of wide experience in different projects and missions where Delwende cooperates with the help of members and subsidies.

Escuela del Proyecto Makopa, Cebú
Makopa Feeding Program, Manila

Among the different anecdotes she told us about, it grabbed our attention when she explained the meaning of the word “makopa” among native Filipinos. Makopa is the name of fruit which grows in a tree we can find in the Sisters’ house. This is the reason why the Feeding program in Quenzón City, Manila, has such a name, “Makopa Project”. Children came to the Sisters’ house saying “makopa”, the name of the fruit. They only came when the tree had fruit.
The Project not only managed to provide basic nutrition to children but also tried to find them a place at the kindergarten. The food was a lure for the families

She also told us about the origins of another Project: Dreamland
Ana explains that “Dreamland is a Project devoted to children because no one more than them need to have a dream that push them to build up their future. “These children’s dreams turn sometimes into nightmares. We, the Sisters dare to dream with this little place where children can develop their skills through educative, recreational and religious activities. Children can dream their future and have access to it while having dining service and a medical dispensary. We want to provide basic needs: educational, nutritional and medical supplies to children in our neighborhood who live in situations of extreme poverty and social exclusion”.

From there on and answering questions that arouse, Ana told us, for example, that the car the Sisters use to move around and help those in need, comes from Delwende and it also provides educational assistance. When the car comes out from the garage in the mornings, children use it as “school” , especially in rainy days.

Imágenes de Ana Perea en Cebú
Ana Perea in Cebú

When we asked her to show us some pictures, she told us about another unique project which is known as Moser’s lamp or “the bottle light”, a solidarity action that some of us knew thanks to web sites or YouTube (See video in YouTube).

Ana also answered some questions about recent press reports on sexual exploitation of children in Cebú. We were astonished by her reply: she confirmed the press reports and told us that some of these children’s parents don’t consider it as badly as we do. Beyond other considerations we may have in countries like Spain, families see it as a way of earning income and move forward in life.

Among other things, she told us some individual cases: a girl who burnt her face while playing in a landfill; the importance of wearing a school uniform – it means you are learning and will be somebody in the future -; the Sisters devise collaborative projects among known families in their neighborhood so they can move forward in life and benefit from them.

Imágenes del Proyecto Dreamland
Dreamland Project

Those who are reading these lines from the western world will be surprised by the picture of poverty Ana’s words transmit. But even the aspirants that come from other islands in the Philippines are surprised by the poverty they find. They considered themselves poor where they lived but here in Cebú they find more deprived people.

Learn more about our Makopa Project, the feeding program in Manila (Philippines)