Over the past few years, schools and communities across England and Wales have found a special place in their hearts for the Badjao community. Find out more about the inspiring work they, and the missionaries who support them, are doing and how you can support them too!
Who are the Badjao?
The Badjao people have lived on the shores of Cebu City for generations. They eke out a living from diving and fishing. But the city’s expansion, pollution and marine restrictions are making their way of life increasingly difficult. Most Badjao adults are unable to read or write. So local people openly ignore them, or worse, abuse and actively discriminate against them. They’re refused treatment in hospitals and their children are often bullied at school.
Nobody should ever feel this way. But with your help, missionaries can bring dignity and hope to communities like the Badjaos.
Thank you for helping!
Since we first shared the story of the Badjao people with you – our amazing supporters – you have opened your hearts to the Badjao people through prayer, donations and fundraising.
You are making a real difference to people who are doing everything they can to lift themselves out of poverty, against huge obstacles. More than that, you’re showing them that they are loved, by God and by us.
‘Children helping children’
Through our Together in the Philippines assembly, pupils in England and Wales have discovered more about their brothers and sisters in the Badjao community and how, as a school, they can support the Badjao through sharing and prayer.
Huge thanks go to Missio Diocesan Directors, Canon Paul Watson (Menevia) and Fr Anthony Grace (Shrewsbury), plus our team of school volunteers, for promoting the valuable work of the Nano Nagle Education Centre, and also a greater understanding of God’s global Church family, plus our responsibilities to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
What missionaries are doing to help
The good news is that missionaries have been helping the Badjao community since 1997.
Sister Evelyn, an Irish missionary, began by establishing an education centre for children, and a health centre as many of the Badjao were becoming sick and dying from treatable illnesses.
A community development programme was set up in 2010 and has empowered the Badjao people to become more self-sufficient.
The Sisters respect the Badjao people’s beliefs and culture, encouraging families to take pride in their community rituals and traditions. They are helping the whole community regain its dignity.
Sister Victoria, from the same missionary order, has been with the project for nine years. She shares:
‘The inspiration and motivation that I have is to know, love, serve and to be with the people – especially those who are marginalised by society. Journeying with the Badjao tribe inspires me to continue the mission of Jesus. The Centre… is a place where they feel welcomed, valued and loved.’
Today, the Badjao people have 19 graduates working in the private and government sectors. They are a living inspiration for the next generation! Some graduates have even returned to teach at the Centre.
Thank you for all you do!
Without your amazing support, we couldn’t help communities around the world to thrive. Here are some ways you might like to support Missio and Mission Together.
- Find our Together in the Philippines resources and campaign here>>
- Find ways to fundraise with children here, or with your parish or community here>>
- Every prayer you share counts! Find ways to pray with Missio here, and our prayer and liturgical resources for schools on the Mission Together website>>