While the Covid-19 pandemic may have had deadly effects, it has also sometimes been an engine of creativity. The Philippines is a good example.
The challenge of restarting schooling.
The country has recently resumed face-to-face schooling, but the challenge now is to recover lost lessons: many students were disadvantaged because they had no computers and no access to the Internet to be able to follow lessons at home.
With the easing of health restrictions, the Sisters of the Infant Jesus were able to reopen their learning centre to children and young people, a second home where they feel welcomed and loved. This meant that they could offer them nutritious and balanced meals prepared by volunteer mothers and provide them with access to computers and the Internet to do their homework and thus benefit from new opportunities for learning, social interaction and spiritual growth.
Sr Neriza, on mission there, says: "Our days are filled with the love we carry in our hearts for the little ones. Some of the older ones, who are now secondary school or university students and have themselves benefited from the centre, return as tutors. The Centre has come alive again with the laughter of the students and all this makes life beautiful!
When mothers become role models...
The sisters also help mothers: they often have little in life, have to struggle every day, but they have been offering their voluntary services to the parish for almost ten years. They clean the church and make sure that the sanitary measures are respected for the safety of all: a perfect example of self-giving!
Mothers, children and young people expressed their gratitude: "We have experienced God's love and His countless blessings, especially through the generosity, support and kindness of Sr Neriza, the Infant Jesus Sisters, their lay partners and benefactors in Singapore. They have been a source of strength for us and we are grateful to them. Although we have nothing, this does not prevent us from wanting to be at the service of God and his people.
In their own way, and in keeping with the charism of their founder, Father Barré, the sisters have become bearers of hope and encouragement to the disadvantaged families in the community.