We recently received the following email from one of the recipients of a Human Development Grant.
I am Sr. Maria Grazia D’Amato, ASC, director of St. Maria De Mattias Center, Orphanage. I have been in the Philippines since 1991 and our work here has been always and until now a work of charity. In 2001 we opened an orphanage for girls and the following year a deaf baby arrived in our center so as for now we have two programs for hearing girls and non-hearing girls. The Center got immediately the Licence and Accreditation by the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare). Even though the center is recognized by the government, we do not receive any financial support by the local government so we have to look for abroad for benefactors and foundations that can help us in this charitable work.
I am happy in doing this because for me it is to give life to those children that can’t be enrolled in the school because they are deaf children. In the Philippines the deaf do not have voice and no one understands them. After the first baby deaf that we accepted in 2002 we started to open the door to other deaf girls. We can not accept many because their education is very expensive, because we have to enroll them in a private school and it is the only one in Quezon City. So every day we have to accompany them to school. As for now we enrolled 5 girls in Miriam (SAID) South East Institute for Deaf and we also enrolled a boy in college. I really risked in enrolling them because I did not have enough money to do it, but your positive answer to me has been a confirmation that what we are doing it is good and God will provide in answering to the needs of these special children.
So the money received will be used for:
- Tuition Fee (5 girls in elementary and high school in Miriam and 1 boy in college)
- School Supply (books, notebooks, project)
- Food for 9 months
5 Salary for the house parent for 9 months.
Thank you for this great effort in answering to the needs of our deaf children.
In Jesus’ s Blood,
Sr. Maria Grazia D’Amato, ASC
General Councilor Sr. Barb Smith, ASC also sent this message from Rome:
I received a message from S. Mary Grace D’Amato last week and she was so happy, so full of gratitude for your grant to the ministry of education of the deaf children in the Philippines. Education is expensive but it is so necessary for these young people who are on the fringes of society and really have no future to look towards.
When I received her note I had to stop and think of how unique this Human Development Grant is. St. Gaspar wanted thousands of tongues to proclaim the Word of God…but with your grant you have given those who cannot hear the gift to learn and to speak in a way that other deaf children can see and understand. Their fingers and sign language has become the thousands tongues to proclaim and celebrate.
I had the privilege of visiting the Philippines and their ministries this past November and I was so deeply touched by what they are able to do to help these young women who are already the “unprivileged.” They are so happy and loving and I know that the gift that the Sisters bring to their lives is a profound gift and caring presence.
Thank you for your tremendous gift. I am so grateful that our Precious Blood Family continues to reach out far and wide touching many, many people’s lives, especially those on the peripheries of our world.
You are in our prayers and gratitude!