Salesian priest saving hundreds of street children in Manila
“We aim to be a center of excellence in the reintegration of street children into mainstream society through a comprehensive program of caring, healing, and teaching,” said Father Evangelista who was ordained in 1970 by Pope Paul VI in St Peter's Square and was moved by Don Bosco’s charisma to rescue children from the streets.
Today the Don Bosco Foundation offers a comprehensive programme to ensure a gradual, balanced and systematic approach for children's physical and sexual development, which includes a residential programme, education, medical services and expenses, spiritual and moral formation as well as sports and recreation, music, dancing, singing, acting and the visual arts.
But all this is not cheap. Every month the Foundation needs three million pesos (US$ 64,000) to perform its tasks and help the 598 children whose age ranges from 9 to 18 years.
Father Evangelista can meet these expenses thanks to two volunteer ‘house parents’: Cathy Go, a former senior officer of the Bank of Philippine Islands, and Marivi San Juan, a former vice president and representative of the Bank of New York in the Philippines. Tuloy Foundation, Inc.'s board of trustees consists of 12 Filipinos, an American, a Spaniard and a Briton.
For his work on behalf of street children Father Evangelista has been honoured by Catholic associations as well as public institutions.
Filipino President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo named him ‘Captain’ for the cause of street children.
Since it opened in 1997, the Foundation’s school has graduated over 480 students in basic education and 800 in vocational technology.