Every Thursday or Saturday morning, the homeless, old and young, from different parts of Tondo, line up at the Arnold Janssen Kalinga sa Kapuwa Center on Tayuman Street, Manila, for free bath and meals. —PHOTOS BY JILSON SECKLER TIU
Tayuman area in Manila is the hub for many illegal settlers who have no access to basic needs such as education and even toiletry. Some—both children and adults—resort to drug use and petty crimes just to get by.
Every day, the homeless face abject poverty and go deeper into depression that goes hand in hand with living an unlivable life.
Some of the elderly homelss have been abandoned by their families. Some of the homeless are young mothers who were victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence.
They are often found traveling around Tondo with makeshift pushcarts made of wood and metal scraps fished out of trash bins and the nearest dump.
But every Thursday, there is a place in Tayuman that opens its doors to the impoverished; it is where children, young mothers, and the elderly can drop by for a little relief—the Arnold Janssen Kalinga sa Kapuwa Center (AJKKC).
It has been a year since the center, whose establishment was spearheaded by Fr. Flavie L. Villanueva, mission secretary and coordinator for justice and peace issues of the Philippine Central Province of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), started helping those in need.
Primarily a feeding and hygiene (toilet and bath) center, AJKKC provides food, bathing and toilet facilities, education, and spiritual guidance to the less fortunate.
People from all walks of life head to the center for some much needed physical, emotional and mental rejuvenation. —CONTRIBUTED