End poverty by starting relationships

FH's International President Keith Wright and FH Staff Eva Amor with people from Catmon.

Every morning, thousands of Food for the Hungry staff  walk, bicycle or drive into some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.

Ending poverty is ultimately about the relationships and sharing of ideas that happen during these daily exchanges around the world, day in and day out.

Eva Amor is one of FH’s staff building these relationships with the poor.

Last week,  I was in the Philippines and visited the community of Catmon in Manila. Catmon is a slum where FH has been working for several years, partnering with churches and leaders. I met Eva there to see what a typical day was like for her.

Each morning, Eva wakes up at 5:30 a.m., to prepare breakfast for her child. She then walks into the shanty town of Catmon to serve hundreds of children living in improvised houses on stilts over sewage. The narrow pathways are bewildering, but we didn’t get lost. Eva says it took her three months to memorize how to get around Catmon.

We met with two pastors whose churches partner with us. Then, we met with 18 women who live in Catmon. They volunteer to work with Eva in teaching and encouraging the children.

Eva has an education and could be doing many other things with her life. However, when I asked her what motivates her to keep going back, day after day, into such challenging circumstances, she answered, “I love this work…God has prepared me all my life for this ministry, and He has given me a passion for it. I find it so rewarding.”

Catmon Malabon is a poor community built on stilts over sewage

Eva grew up in a slum herself and knows how hard life can be. But she also knows that hope and a better life are possible.

As we moved through the slum, people from the community called out to her in greeting. These are the people she works with, but they are also her friends. One woman asked us to come into her tiny room to pray for her young son who had a fever.

Ending poverty requires each of us to play a role–whether it is to give, go or pray. Ultimately though, it requires boots on the ground, over time, walking with the poor and building relationships. I am thankful for people like Eva. Eva and her team of volunteers are inspiring the 500 sponsored children in this community to know about love and hope. Partner with Eva and the rest of FH staff to help serve the poor around the world today!


About Keith Wright

Keith is the President of Food for the Hungry (FH), with more than 20 years of innovative relief and development leadership and implementation experience in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. He spent 11 of these years working and living in Africa. Keith and his wife Heidi have four children — Denton, Fraser, Brody, and Fiona — and love being a part of the Bend, Ore. community. When not working or traveling Keith can be found fly-fishing in one of Central Oregon’s many beautiful rivers.

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