Three brothers, along with their wives and children—12 people in all—lived together in one tiny makeshift shack in a slum in Manila, Philippines. The place crawled with mice and roaches. When it rained the house flooded in knee-deep dirty water. The only table in the house doubled as a bed because space was so tight.
The brothers worked hard for their meager incomes, but there were so many mouths to feed they could not afford a decent roof over their heads. Then came a group of fellow Filipinos—Christians who wanted to help. They offered a project called Gawad Kalinga.
Housing is only one component of Gawad Kalinga’s holistic, sustainable approach to community development. Programs teach values, train in livelihood skills, and encourage accountability, and foster neighborly cooperation. Eventually, the dog-eat-dog slum mentality of self-preservation is replaced by the Golden Rule.
Today the three families live together as next-door neighbors, but they each enjoy their own homes, sponsored through Cross International. The sister-in-laws recently told us how they felt about their homes:
According to Lani, her youngest son said, “Oh, Mommy! We don’t have to run with cockroaches anymore!” Fredelynn said, “Now I can have both a dining table AND a bed!” And Mari Lu told us, “Thank you for the materials to build a dream come true!”
Click here to learn more about how Gawad Kalinga turns dirty, dangerous slums into bright and friendly communities, through the transforming love of Jesus Christ.