One afternoon in May 2005, about 70 squatter children gathered at the basketball court of a compound in Felix Huertas St., in the center of Manila. TLIG volunteers prepared snacks for them and were surprised to discover that they came because someone had told them that they were going to be taught to pray. Since that day up to the present, 30-130 of them have been coming once a week to be fed, pray, sing and play. In June 2006, the compound’s owners generously donated the use of a 3-storey unit for the TLIG volunteers to care for the squatter children. It was then that the first Beth Myriam in Manila came to be.
This street leads to one of the two state-owned Maternity Clinics in this city of 12 million people. The number of births are so many that the inadequacy of the Clinic’s facilities obliges 2-4 laboring mothers to share a hospital bed. Not far is the City Jail with a squatter area surrounding it where the wives and children of the inmates live, some children are left to survive while both parents are in jail.
Feeding the children on Saturdays
In this atmosphere of drug dealers and users, petty thieves and seamen living in boarding houses, the Beth Myriam, a haven of peace and love, welcomes 150-200 squatter children of all ages every Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. The children are happily occupied with drawing and painting lessons, singing Praise songs, dancing, and are fed a hot nutritious meal. They are also taught how to pray and are given Catechism lessons. The BM volunteers also assist 50 poor families in their enrollment into the parochial program for free medical and dental benefits. Other activities include daily Prayer Meetings with children of different age groups and their mothers. Recently, student volunteers from a private school, St. Mary of the Woods, have adopted the Beth Myriam for their Outreach Program for the Poor, helping the TLIG-BM volunteers in their work.
St. Mary of the Woods School volunteers with the Beth Myriam children
Getting to know and help the squatter children
Address: Felix Huertas St., Sta Cruz, Manila, Philippines Responsible:Ramona B. Abundo, Micaela B. Lara, Teresa Escorpiso Tel:+63 927 5511308 Email:,