Manila (AsiaNews) - In 2010 the 'Hospicio de San Jose" in Manila celebrates 200 years. Founded in 1810 and operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul it is the oldest charitable institution in the Philippines. Here for two centuries the religious have cared and helped orphans, disabled, abused children and the elderly. "We love to help our orphans - says Sr. Maria Socorro Pilar G. Evidente - and give them a sense of love and faith".
Since its foundation the institute survives thanks to the donations of people. Today it houses 167 children and young people, 59 disabled, 118 poor and 26 refugees, for a total of 370 people. Inside, nurses and assistants work among 120 employees, led by 15 religious. The remaining staff consists of volunteers.
In recent years the nuns have developed 4 intervention programs to help assist those in need. These are: the support and development of children and youth, a program for people with special needs, treatment of care for the elderly and a special program of assistance for crisis. The latter was used during the floods caused by typhoons Ketsana and Parma in September and October. On this occasion, the institute distributed basic necessities to refugees it gave shelter to and those in the flooded neighbourhoods.