Written By: Neyzielle Ronnicque Cadiz, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines
GUIUAN, EASTERN SAMAR – “Wala na akong ibang hihilingin pa kundi magkabahay lang kami at makapag-aral nang mabuti ang mga anak ko (I can never wish for more but to have our own home and for my children to have good education),” Balma said as she dug root crops from her garden.Balma Colandog, 47, a widow for two years now and a resident of Barangay Pagnamitan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, struggles to raise seven out of her eight children, alone after their house was washed out by the flood during the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas. Her eldest daughter is no longer living with her because she married four years ago.
As breadwinner of the family, she needed to earn for a living by accepting laundry jobs from her neighbors and doing shell crafts which she sells to her customers in Guiuan Public Market downtown.Balma was very thankful to Operation Blessing for addressing the needs of the people of Guiuan after Typhoon Yolanda, especially by having Pagnamitan Elementary School rehabilitated. Teary-eyed, she said “Sobra ang pagsasalamat namin sa Operation Blessing kasi hirap na hirap na kami pero may papasukan na ang mga anak namin at makakapag-aral na sila nang mabuti (We are very thankful to Operation Blessing because though we are struggling in life; our children can now go to school to have their education).”Balma’s family is currently living in a small house provided by her in-laws. She has already applied for the housing project of Operation Blessing and is patiently waiting and hopefully praying for her grant.Six months after the disaster, Balma and two of her children took advantage of the medical and surgical mission by Operation Blessing (OB) Philippines during OB Team’s annual summit and retreat. Balma was granted free medications for her anemia, vitamins for her youngest daughter, Diane, 6 years old, and circumcision for Vincent Dave, 10, her youngest son, with free antibiotics and pain killers.To further add encouragement to the people of Pagnamitan, OB held “Pagnamitan’s Got Talent” on the third night of OB Philippines’ annual summit and retreat. Balma’s youngest daughter, Diane, won the hearts of the judges and the audience and was hailed as one of the champions!More people in Pagnamitan need such basic help and encouragement like Balma is receiving, and you can help make that possible. Partner with us today and together we could grant the prayers of our fellowmen in the Visayas.