UPDATE AUGUST 25, 2017

Inspired by  Psalm 116:12  “How shall i make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?”, New East, Inc. (NEI) was formed by us and was given a license to operate as a nonprofit corporation in California. (Ref:www.neweastinc.com)

As the years went by, because of your generosity, the 57  homeless garbage-sorter families that were transferred in 1997  by  Sr. Cora Pacheco, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM), from old Manila to Brookside, Bagong Silangan (BS), have seen much progress.  By  2017, the 57 family-community has grown to 300 families. They now have individual modest homes they can call their own (size of a 2-car garage) built by them and Gawad Kalinga. They are  paying for their individual lots little by little.  Happily, some are now in possession of the titles to their homes and this gives dignity to the poor people therein.

The FMM has established and are running the following programs for the benefit of about 1,500people living in the community of Brookside, Bagong Silangan(BS):

Moral formation

Leadership Training

Livelihood Program

Quality Catholic Private Elementary Education

Scholarship

Pay Forward Program

The FMM also made sure that  aside from the families’  individual homes, the following  community-owned buildings or spaces were provided in the layout of the community as built by Gawad Kalinga:

1.  Multi-purpose Building where they hold meetings such as General   Assembly, livelihood meetings,  parents-teachers meetings, etc.

2.  Chapel

3.  School

4.  Clinic

5.  Cooperative Membership Consumer Store

6.  Missionary house

7.  Basketball court or activity center in the middle of the community

8.  Bakery

9.  Library

 COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

Because of leadership training, the community learned to act as a group and they worked to legalize the Association they formed for the community of Brookside, BS.  They now have what they call “Kapatiran San Jose Home Owners’ Association”.  According to their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),  they hold general elections once every two years and special elections when necessary.   When the community needs help such as solving the floods that happen from time to time in Brookside, the association has the leverage when dealing or getting help from their barangay  and the City government.

CONSUMER, MEMBERSHIP, COOPERATIVE  STORE:

The Association also worked for the legalization of their Cooperative Store.  They now run the cooperative by themselves. Like Costco, the profits of the cooperative are pegged to a minimum;  members obtain rebates whenever they buy from their store.  As of now, thru the help of an outside auditor,  the sales have been mechanized, and the cooperative is being progressively successful.  It gives a few of the community members livelihood by being paid in taking care of the store, etc.  Lately, they began two new programs: (1)”Load na Dito” program where the community may buy cell phone usage cards and the   (2) program of  lending cash at a very low interest solely to the community residents.  Now, the people in the community don’t have to borrow from usurers at very high interests.

BAKERY

With the guidance of one of the two FMM nuns in charge of  Brookside,  there is a bakery operating in Brookside.   The bakery provided another source for employment and profits for the Association. The personnel that run the bakery belong to the community and are paid for their work.

 LIBRARY 

After more than two years that the community library was closed because all the books were damaged by the typhoon and floods, it opened this year through the help of charitable book donors from California. The library books which are mostly new are of excellent choices for children, youths and adults.

Sadly, the library’s roofing has rotten and needs replacement or repair.  However, as of now,  New East, Inc. (NEI) couldn’t afford the replacement/repair expenses.  Hence, the library has to be temporarily moved to a smaller, older room at the Multi-Purpose Building since it is at present the “rainy season” in the Philippines.  It would be nice if New East, Inc. (NEI) could raise the money for replacement/repair of the library roof soon.  Alas, we need to raise about $4,000 for it.

It is being planned by NEI to pay for the daily delivery of a local newspaper for the benefit of the community, especially the adult members.

If the Association will agree to share the library to people outside of Brookside community, it shall be done so.

NEI pays for the monthly stipend of a semi-librarian who is among the youths of the community.

SCHOLARSHIP

NEI continues to pay for the enrollment of youths wanting to further their education beyond high school.  Over the years,  NEI has graduated among others,  five teachers, one accountant, a radio mechanic, a computer programmer and a few Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) course.

Some youths who have finished this two-year course in HRM are abroad and are sending financial help to their elders in Brookside.  All the teachers are gainfully employed. All graduates are financially helping their elders.

One of the five teachers has taken Master’s degree and is now teaching in college! (Isn’t that just wonderful?!)  The other teachers have gone to public schools where the pay is higher than ours.  They are, however,  still helping in religious, educational and civic activities of the old and young people of the community without remuneration.

As of this writing, three community teachers/leaders are being sent to Graduate studies in Education.  Although these teachers don’t teach anymore in Brookside starting last semester as they have been hired by the Philippine public school system, they still help in the progress/work of the community Association. For the benefit of the youths and the community as well, they initiate activities that are religious/social/civic in nature, such as the  Flores de Mayo,  Sunday masses or anticipated Saturday holy masses, “Nutrition Month”,  ”Buwan ng Wika” (National Language Month)  and other  school activities.  Lately, they established the Prayer Brigade for World Peace.

NEI sent three seminarians to be priests… they have all attained their four-year Bachelor of Philosophy degree at NEI’s expense .  Two are continuing  their seminary studies/work at their individual seminaries, one of whom may soon be ordained in a year or two.  One student, however, is presently on vacation for a year, without certainty of going back to his chosen seminary.

NEI will also pay a CPA review course to be taken by a youth of the community.

The five teachers whom NEI sent to college taught in the elementary school, Stella Maris Alternative School of Brookside, for about ten years.  Sadly, this school has closed down three years ago due to a Philippine government legal requirement  and lack of the necessary funding!!!!  NEI has to find a way to reinstitute these primary grade classes in Brookside!!!  (Please help support  financially  and pray for this intention)

Supported by the Ateneo de Manila University, two resident youths have graduated from Pharmacy course.  Once the graduates pass the Philippine government pharmacy board examinations,  a generic pharmacy might be established on site.

PRAYER BRIGADE FOR WORLD PEACE

When the war in Mindanao broke out, Brookside started a prayer brigade for world peace.  The community association and the former teachers of Brookside joined hands in forming groups composed of  adults and youths  who will pray at the chapel on their scheduled time .  Each of the eight streets’ residents in Brookside opted to hold their schedule of meeting and praying at the chapel to pray for world peace.

Hopefully, this will be a continuing practice by the community.

SUNDAY HOLY MASS (Saturday -Anticipated Mass)

The leaders of the community have arranged with the parish church of Bagong Silangan to have a priest say the Holy mass every Saturday in their chapel for the sake of the community members and other people in the outlying barangays.  The mass attendees and NEI give the stipend for the priest.

 LEADERSHIP TRAINING & BAYANIHAN

Some of the leaders and volunteers from the community worked on the expansion of the roof  of the community chapel when they noticed there were many additional attendees at the Holy mass being held every Sunday or Saturday. Without the expansion,  the mass attendees will get wet since it is the rainy season in the Phil.  The expansion of the roofing was done voluntarily and at the workers’ expense !  This is a Filipino trait or practice called “Bayanihan“, helping each other for a common cause without pay or remuneration.

Before the opening of the school last year, leaders and some youths also practiced “Bayanihan”  by cleaning, painting and repairing (minor) the classrooms to be used by the Kindergarten/nursery classes.

SIBOL or  KINDERGARTEN CLASSES

Since two years ago and continuing presently, the leaders of the community,  thru the help of NEI, operates a kindergarten/nursery school they call SIBOL.  This school-year, it has 69 students and it is funded by NEI and partially by the parents of the community.  The teacher/s are chosen by the community association with the expressed approval of the FMM sister-in-charge of the community and NEI.  The qualified teacher/s are from the community as well.

FEEDING the  SCHOOL CHILDREN

NEI helps fund the “Feeding the school children” program of Brookside.  The parents are asked to contribute a minimal amount for their children.  Volunteer parents do the preparation and cooking of the nutritious lunch provided to the school children.  Maintenance of  the  schoolrooms are also by volunteer-by-parent basis. (“Bayanihan” at its best!)

PAY  IT FORWARD

Community members who are financially able, help fund a student’s expenses, whether kindergarten, elementary, or high school.  Mostly, people who are grateful for having been helped in the past  pledge  and do so.  Thus, the program bears the name “Pay it Forward”.

 DRAINAGE/FLOODS   PROBLEM

The cause of much flooding in Brookside is very poor drainage system.  Recently, the Association or Kapatiran requested help from their Barangay Chairman solve the problem of their drainage system.

Last week, the Barangay started helping.  Here again,  the people of Brookside can be seen practicing the Filipino trait called “Bayanihan”.  Some of  the laborers helping in the project are some volunteering adults of the community.   The City Mayor sent an engineer to supervise the work.

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In behalf of  the people of Brookside, we thank you for your continuous moral and financial support thru New East, Inc.  Please continue to do so as the community still needs your help. If you are not yet our donor,  please contact me (email: galbelda@sbcglobal.net ) or send your check to: 

New East, Inc.

5517 Nordyke St.

Los Angeles,  CA 90042

| September 13th, 2017 | Posted in Uncategorized |

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