ACTS members (in blue T-shirts) serving food to the Aeta community.ACTS members (in blue T-shirts) serving food to the Aeta community.

A Call To Share to serve the Aeta tribal community in Pampanga

ACTS, a multi-parish group which has been doing mission work in Cambodia, is now reaching out to the Philippines.

From March 4-11, the ACTS (A Call To Share) core team visited Pampanga province to finalise plans to serve the Aeta tribal community there this December.

About 60 people from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (OLPS) Family Life Ministry are expected to visit about 150 families living in Calumpang, Mabalacat.

The Aetas, an indigenous people regarded as the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, live in scattered mountainous regions. They are nomadic and live in temporary shelters made of sticks covered with banana leaves.

ACTS says it has plans to fund the development of a multi-purpose hall for Aeta community activities, and is also discussing with Catholic doctors in the Philippines about providing regular medical services to the tribe.

During the recent trip, the ACTS team had to take a 30-minute drive from Clark Air Base, northwest of Metro Manila, cross the Sacobia river, and drive on an unpaved road before hiking up a hill to the community. There they were welcomed with songs and dances by the Aeta children. The team then distributed gifts to the villagers.

Preparation for outreach work began in August and December last year, during which an ACTS team explored the possibility of mission projects with the help of the Salesian nuns there.

During the December trip, the team packed goodie bags for a few hundred children and provided financial support for snacks for 130 children for the 2012 school year. The team also provided medical checkups for poor students in a vocational school.

In addition to serving the Aeta community, ACTS is also planning an outreach programme to the urban poor in Manila in December.

Besides the new initiatives in Philippines, ACTS has also been invited to expand its programme to countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar.

ACTS is a year-round initiative supporting the outreach programme of the Catholic Church in Cambodia. The group has helped to provide sustenance to thousands of children, medical and dental services, as well as computers. It has also enhanced and rebuilt schools and dormitories for girls at risk. n

For more information on ACTS, visit www.acts-singapore.com


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