Heart Solidarity Award in the Philippines
Note: This article is also posted on the official website of ARCORES International (https://www.arcores.org/heart-solidarity-award/)
ARCORES International, the social arm of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, recognizes, giving “the Heart Solidarity Award”, the exemplary efforts of organizations animated by the religious communities and partners during the covid pandemic in the Philippines. The 2020 Heart Solidarity Campaign theme is “Caring for Life, Protecting Humanity”, the awardees exemplified the spirit of the theme in their own acts of communitarian kindness.
Kindness Bakery of the OAR Nuns of St. Ezekiel Moreno Monastery in Bacolod City, a pioneering initiative in the country shepherded by the contemplative nuns by providing the poor communities with free bread products from the monastery bakery. The initiative was started at the start of the covid lockdown in April 2020, and until today, the Kindness Bakery supports ‘community pantries’ in Negros island.
Saint Ezekiel’s Charity Kitchen of the Missionaries of the Beatitudes, a volunteer-led feeding program serving 200 plates per day; started as a concrete act of addressing hunger in Quezon City. To date, the feeding program is on its 229th day or more than six months.
CARES Kindness Station of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary in Baguio, responding actively to the call of establishing community pantries as an effort to make a community-to-people initiative of providing food assistance to the poor communities impacted by the pandemic. It is organized by the team of formators and seminarians of the Recoletos community in Baguio.
Pantry ni San Jose of the community of Recoletos de Bacolod, organized by Fray Ronel Gealon, OAR, executive director of Resource-Handumanan Foundation; opened the door of the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos as a solidarity space for providing food to the families in the communities. The pantry extended the program to the beneficiaries of the Resource-Handumanan Housing Community.
Barbados Kindness Station, a pioneering Kindness Station in San Carlos City, immediately responded as an organized grassroots initiative providing food packs as early as April 2020 to the far-flung communities. Its mobile tricycle of Kindness Station is recognized by both ARCORES and by the CBCP/NASSA Caritas.
Sipaway National High School Pantry & Sipaway Seagrass Guardians, an island-based community pantry in Negros Occidental. Locally organized by a public school teacher, Eric Gonzales, and the school community, with the support of ARCORES International. The area is also the beneficiary of RE-connect-ED program of both the ARCORES and EDUCAR network.
These Heart Solidarity Awards aims to inspire communities to continue making a relevance in the lives of the poor during (and even beyond) the pandemic. In the words of the Prior General, Fr. Miguel Miro, OAR: “Faced with this situation that Humanity is experiencing, we cannot isolate ourselves and worry only about what is mine and what is ours, but about the common good. Now we need to be united. We all have the mission of being in solidarity and of spreading hope” (2020 Heart Solidarity Campaign’s Message).