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As you read through the content on this page, if you are interested in joining us in Manila we are very happy to discuss this with you further. Currently, there are spaces available for new workers to join us in several of the communities in which we live and serve.
One in four of Manila's 14 million residents live below the poverty line. They are spread throughout the city in crowded urban poor settlements or slums. Most have left their home province in hope of a better future in the city but many of the factors that forced their move follow them. In the city they face more hunger, disease, vulnerability to natural disasters and unemployment.
However, the message of Jesus shows that the poor, whom He called blessed, are valuable in the eyes of God. The Good News brings freedom from injustice and oppression and change at all levels of society but especially to people living in poverty.
Our prayer is that we, and our urban poor friends, might be catalysts of transformation in the communities God has placed us in. Just as we are being inwardly transformed so might we also see transformation in our neighbourhood.
The history of Servants can be traced back to Viv Grigg's vision for incarnational teams of workers living in the slums of Asia. Today, in Manila, this vision is realised in our team of Swiss, New Zealand and Filipino nationals, representing families and singles, with many years of experience amongst the urban poor. We are located in dispersed communities across the city and likewise we have each found God leading us into a range of different ministries.
The Servants Manila team maintains strong partnerships with numerous locally-led organisations that were co-founded by Servants people some years back. Some of us work within these groups on a regular basis.
Servants Manila was instrumental in establishing the "Living Springs" network - made up of seven churches in different communities. These small churches in slum areas not only provide a spiritual home but often function as change agents in their neighbourhoods in practical ways. One example is pre-school education for children living in slums, done in the church buildings with teachers from the churches.
Onesimo helps young people whose lives in the slums, or streets, are filled with hopelessness. Onesimo has eleven communities throughout Metro Manila with over 130 young people. Most were drug users, whose lives had been broken by this destructive habit. In Onesimo, they are introduced to a meaningful and restored life through Jesus Christ. Nonoy (14), had to work hard as a little boy, scavenging on the waste dump. His family broke up and he started sniffing glue. He says: "Here at Onesimo, I am experiencing a real family for the first time in my life." For more information on Onesimo, click here to visit their website.
Onesimo Bulilit grew out of Onesimo as a ministry reaching out to younger street children and street dweller families.
Onesimo Bulilit works on the streets of some of the most congested inner cities of Manila, has established drop-in centers for street children, provides educational assistance and non-formal education, runs a residential center for abused children, trains young leaders, and advocates for children’s rights. For more information about Onesimo Bulilit, click here to visit their website.
Educational opportunities for the poor are very limited as are their resources. Lilok is offering practical and innovative courses for youth leaders and community workers to be equipped to work for improvements in the context of their respective neighbourhoods. Through Lilok, Servants Manila is investing in the lives of urban slum leaders and church workers. For more information on Lilok, click here to visit their website. Lilok, Servants Manila is investing in the lives of urban slum leaders. For more information on Lilok, click here to visit their website.
Sakahang Lilok is an organic farm retreat at the edge of Manila offering people from the city special time-outs for rest, reflection, engaging with nature and the Creator. It is an opportunity for poor people to get a holiday from the slums and experience a model of creation care. For more information on Sakahang Lilok, click here to visit their website.
Kamay Krafts is a cooperative that provides livelihood opportunities to over a hundred women who have to work from their home. Through this cooperative, these women export innovative products into several countries. The income generated is shared fairly among its members. Because they are able to work at home, where they can still care for their children, these women now receive an income and dignity through their hand-made items. For more information on Kamay Krafts, click here to visit their website.
Over one thousand children have learned health messages in their child-to-child classes. This benefits them well into their adult life, when they themselves will become parents. Jose(9): "I am no longer scared if my sibling gets diarrhea. I know to prepare a special drink that will make him well soon." Delia (7): "I no longer like soft-drinks. I have seen how it rots my teeth, in an experiment we did in class." Analyn (13): "I like the games and dramas we do in class. I am learning many new things that I can use at home."