Project Compassion: Archie’s story


A place where I belong

Project Compassion 2014 - Philippines from Caritas Australia on Vimeo.

Project Compassion 2014 Philippines News Story
Through the program, Archie’s mum has learnt to make bags from recycled newspapers to add to the family's income. Photo: Raphael Meting

For most of Archie’s life, he lived with his parents and nine siblings in a one-roomed house beside a flood-prone river in the Philippines. In 2012, a resettlement program supported by Caritas Australia helped Archie's family move to a safer house and take part in skills training.

Archie’s family lived on a steep river bank in a one roomed home beside the Plaridel River in the province of Bulacan, the Philippines. Whenever strong rains or typhoons hit, the river rose and people were evacuated. Typhoons wreaked serious damage.

“Our roof had holes in it. So when it rained, it was like we were having a shower,” he said as he explained that whenever strong rains hit, the houses had to be evacuated for higher ground.

“After this typhoon, our house looked like it had been torn apart by a wild beast. Mud covered every wall and corner, the plywood walls were dismantled, the roof was gone and the posts were bent.”

In August 2012, an emergency resettlement program supported by Caritas Australia helped Archie and his family resettle into permanent and secure housing away from the flood prone river.

“We are now confident and secure in the knowledge that we will not be devastated again by natural disaster,” said Archie. “We are so much happier.”

Through the program, Archie’s mum learnt to make bags and he learnt to make candles which they sell to earn an income. But, as he left school halfway through his first year to assist his family, what he’s most excited about is studying under Caritas Australia’s Alternative Learning System and increasing his future prospects.

“No words can describe how happy we were when we moved to this beautiful place. It was a dream come true,” said Archie.

“Caritas Australia has changed our lives. We are so thankful and happy that we are living in a safe community. I can see myself being able to send my younger brothers and sisters to school. Thank you Caritas Australia.”

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