The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and the Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish have embarked on a livelihood project for the poor and beggars who are recipients of the feeding program of the church.
Sister Maria Atorino, one of the Italian nuns who manages the feeding program of the parish, said the project aims to stop the begging for food and asking for alms in the streets.
She said that adult beneficiaries of the feeding program are encouraged to join the livelihood project, that involves the making of planters, using discarded pieces of wood from crates. The proceeds will be used to purchase additional materials and to pay the workers.
There are now five workers, two of them female, who are paid P120 per day. A carpenter guides the workers in taking accurate measurements, including the proper way of cutting wood.
Atorino said she assists the carpenter in ensuring the quality of the finish products to attain a good market price. She said she wants the women beggars to learn skills like hand-sewing, crocheting and cross-stitching.
Msgr. Julius Heruela, rector of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, said the project is a welcome development because it will help reduce the number of beggars in the streets. They can use the skills they learn to earn a living, he added.
He said that, aside from the feeding program, the parish also sends children back to school, and the out-of-school youths have regular classes at the second floor of the Marian Priest Center through the alternative learning system of the Department of Education.*MA
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