We continue to be inspired by the Badjao community and the Nano Nagle Community Centre which supports them.
This wonderful community has struggled through COVID-19, dreadful natural disasters, prejudice and disadvantage. But they continue to rise to these challenges and gradually rebuild their lives.
Health and COVID-19 awareness
Our friends from the Nano Nagle Centre, which was set up by the Presentation Sisters (an Irish missionary order), previously shared the difficulties the community faced from loss of livelihoods due to local lockdowns. They also shared how the Centre’s staff have worked to combat the fear and misinformation around COVID-19 and the vaccine.
Edwina, a teacher at the Centre, led health training sessions for community leaders, who then were able to share what they learned with families in the community. They covered everything from basic hand-washing and proper wearing and disposal of face masks to COVID-19 updates, and vaccine education.
Signs of hope with the vaccine
Since the vaccination rollout in the Philippines, members of the community have begun to get vaccinated. The teachers at Nano Nagle led by example and received their shots last August.
Once they witnessed the positive response of members of the community who had been vaccinated, other Badjao came around to the idea of getting their jabs too. They are slowly approaching the teachers to schedule in their vaccinations. The Nano Nagle team tells us:
‘As part of the team’s vaccination campaign, we made sure that the community members got the right information and understand how the vaccines work, and so they are oriented on what to do before and after their vaccination. The teachers are also monitoring their conditions after the vaccination’.
During the entire month of September the team scheduled ‘Health Sessions’ with each family in the community. Since there were city-wide restrictions on big gatherings and meetings, they had to limit the sessions to 30 participants per session. As you can imagine, it took a lot of work to share the training with everyone, but this team perseveres!
Extending the vaccination program
On 19 October, the Nano Nagle team, together with the community leaders who had been part of implementing the Health and Wellness programme in the community, crafted a plan of work for the community.
The team set a regular schedule for vaccinations each Friday. This included a pre-vaccination orientation before going to the vaccination centre – a really important step as the Badjao people are used to suffering prejudice at healthcare centres in the city, and cannot always access information and help.
As of 10 December, 2021, a total of 267 Badjao had received their COVID-19 vaccines. This was cause for celebration, considering the negative initial reaction of the community towards the COVID-19 vaccination.
A walk of faith
One thing is clear: the teachers and staff of the Nano Nagle Centre are instrumental in bringing essential care and guidance to their community. With help from partners like Missio, they are leading these remarkable people with hope, courage and faith.
When the storms hit at the end of 2021, the Badjao people were affected very badly. The team shared:
‘In times of adversity, we need to be the bearers of the light and give hope to the people. The work of the Presentation Sisters in the Badjao area is a living testimony of the charism of Nano Nagle’.
Your help makes all the difference
Thanks to your help and support, the Nano Nagle Centre continues to bring light and hope to the Badjao people, always empowering them to realise their God-given dignity.
With your help we can encourage missionaries as they bring support, solidarity and the healing love of Christ to so many communities struggling with poverty and oppression around the world. Thank you.