Diamonds in the Rough

Through my blog I want to be a voice to those individuals and organizations that are not ordinarily heard in mainstream media, but who are committed to being a voice to those who are the most marginalized in our society, those who have no power to change their circumstances. Ron and Joanna Domingo (who we have had the incredible privilege to befriend) is one such couple involved in an incredible work in a region called Tondo in the Philippines. Ron and Joanna went to the Philippines with the intention of living there for a few months before they headed back home to Scotland. However life took a different turn! Today they along with their 2 babies and a team of volunteers serve a community in Tondo, well known for being one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Tondo is notorious for being the poorest and most underdeveloped district in the country. Many of the city's slums are found in this area. However Ron and Joanna choose not to echo these words over the area, rather to speak hope and to see a future for the people in this area. They established the Kalayaan Community Ministries, which works among the people in the dumpsite to restore their dignity and to give them a future.

They serve in conditions where it is a regular sight to spot children salvage half eaten food from overflowing garbage bins. The stench from rotting, unsegregated and fermenting rubbish is what surrounds the air. The dumpsite is infested with toxic waste and contaminated water. For them it is not about making it to the list of the biggest charities or to attract media attention to their work, rather it is about being faithful to serve the people and community that their heart goes out to. They consider it an honor to have a chance to alleviate suffering and to touch and change lives for the better. It is their life’s mission to see justice established where injustice cripples through poverty. Their Dumpsite project works faithfully to improving living standards and providing access to basic needs such as food, shelter and basic health care.

KCM dumpsite kids

KCM has designed and implemented different programs with the objective of ameliorating social problems such as poverty, homelessness and hunger. They have developed a sustainable feeding program called  ‘Food For School/Packed Lunch Program’. This is a feeding program designed specifically for children and young people struggling to stay in school because their families cannot afford to buy them lunch. It involves providing 100 packed lunches on a daily basis.

KCM has also designed an effective program that works towards improving health, hygiene and well being of the people. This venture is called ‘Daily Wound care program’. Every day around the dumpsite area there are children who get wounds on their feet from walking on glass and other sharp objects hidden in the garbage. Their hands are at times wounded from working on glass or playing in it. They get wounds on their heads from cuts or insect bites that get infected from the dirt and intense heat. This program cares for the wounded and brings healing to their body and soul.

Today a significant number of individuals in Tondo area has benefited from all of the above-mentioned programs and many other programs they run. KCM has given the little hearts in this region an opportunity to grow up healthy, educated and prepared to succeed and contribute to society. They are constantly bombarded with a flock of hurting, hungry, homeless children. The harsh reality is that they cannot always meet the needs due to financial constraints.

Every child deserves a chance to survive and thrive. I believe each of us have in us the ability to create a positive influence that can change a person’s life. You can make a difference by spreading the word, volunteer participation, donating or by simply saying a word of prayer. Choose to make a difference in a child's life. As you change their world, you change your's in the process.

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KCM is a non-profit organization that functions solely through donations. The CEO does not take a salary and they work with minimal administrative cost. KCM is committed to being good stewards of the funds entrusted to them and they have set up an online transparency page where everyone who donates is added and can view incoming funds and what the purpose of these funds are for. If you are interested in learning more about what Klayaan community ministries are doing or you feel lead to donate, you could contact them at kalayaancommunityministries@hotmail.com. You could catch their updates through their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KalayaanMinistries?ref=br_rs