As part of our Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl Series throughout Lent, this past week’s focus was on the Philippines. Instead of our teachers in Grades 4-6 teaching about the country, we were able to get a firsthand look at various areas in the Philippines throughout the teachings of two of our 6th grade students, Ridge and Aly.
They began the lesson sharing a story and video and story from Catholic Relief Services about a family of eleven living in the Philippines who had lost their home due to a typhoon. In the meantime, they had built a shelter, but were not able to protect their family from rain, heat and mosquitoes, and their brand-new babies had grown sick.
Catholic Relief Services and its partners had arrived to help, planning how to rebuild their town and voting that this family should be the first to receive a new house.
Ridge and Aly then went on to share very personal stories and memories of trips they or their family had made to the Philippines to visit extended family. While scrolling through the pictures of children and families less fortunate, Ridge stated “Just be grateful for what you have.” He had been there to visit family for a month this past summer. Both students compared and contrasted the areas where their families were compared to life here. Aly recalls her last visit to family, crying as she had left, “Even though they’re poor, they’re still thankful for their family.”
Based on what both students taught us throughout this lesson as well as what we have learned throughout the Catholic Social Teachings lessons, we see that family and faith is the most crucial part of these families’ lives, keeping them together and doing whatever they need to do to survive. You don’t need to be related to be welcomed into someone’s home or to be treated like a family member, it is just a way of life and a gift for so many who are less fortunate than us.
To learn more about the Rice Bowl Series, please see this SBA news article.