Categories: Church newsPublished On: 26 March 2024

It was a fine day in early March, when I (Analyn) along with three colleagues got a ride out of Bacolod city to visit Ginalyn Navarro who had been referred to us by Warlita, our Bacolod-based field worker. It took us an hour to reach Ginalyn’s home in Vista Alegre. She was sitting on a plastic chair outside her unfinished concrete house when we arrived and she greeted us warmly. The beautiful day turned into a heart-wrenching one when I began my interview with Ginalyn. Ginalyn related the story of that fateful day; it was August 20, 2023. Ginalyn and her husband Elf were in their tricycle traveling to the town centre to sell their boiled sweet corn. Elf suddenly lost control of the motorcycle and made an abrupt turn into the other lane of the road and collided with a bus. The last thing Ginalyn remembered was the two of them being rushed to the hospital. She was unconscious for a day and woke up to receive the tragic news; she had lost her husband and her left leg had needed to be amputated. The bus company handed over 50,000 pesos for Elf’s funeral expenses and 20,000 for Ginalyn’s medication. Ginalyn stayed in the hospital for three weeks and her bill reached 200,000 pesos. Thankfully all the costs were covered by financial assistance from the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office) and DWSD (Department of Social Welfare and Development). For two months, Ginalyn wore stainless braces to support her back. Thankfully, she can now walk with crutches. Ginalyn has three children; Jennica (13), Bernadette (11) and Eljohn (7) and they all live together with her mother, Julieta (72). Since the accident, the family has lived off 3,000 pesos (€50) in monthly government aid through a national program for indigent families. With children in school, in 8th, 5th and 2nd grade respectively, Ginalyn struggles to meet their needs. Her older sibling, Joy sends her 3,000 pesos (€50) a month but that is mainly for their mother’s needs. When I asked Ginalyn how we might be able to help her, she started crying, saying that she wanted to have an artificial leg so that she could go back to selling corn and start earning a living again to support her children. There was then a touching moment when Bernadette and Eljohn came up to their mother and asked her “Nga-a naghibi ka ma?” (Why are you crying mummy?) before giving her a big hug. The children are very aware of their mother’s struggles and have even taken to going out looking for scrap materials at weekends to sell at the scrapyard to enable them to contribute to their school allowances. We would like to give Ginalyn a grant that will enable her to have an artificial leg and a revival of her livelihood. We are pleased to report that we have found a reliable maker of artificial legs and the cost will be about 20,000 pesos (€330). While Ginalyn awaits it to be made, her brother Jomarie will have the sidecar of the motorcycle repaired so that she will be able to resume her selling of sweet corn as soon as she is comfortable with her new leg. Jomarie will be the one to drive his sister to her selling space daily. Ginalyn hopes to make a net income of 4,000 pesos (€66) a month from her sales. We are very happy to be able to help Ginalyn in the aftermath of the terrible accident that took the life of her husband. We wish her and her mother and children a brighter future ahead.

Postscript: Some very sad news was received today, March 25th. Ginalyn’s mother Julieta was rushed to hospital yesterday evening because she was vomiting blood and died in the early hours of the morning. We shall of course provide Ginalyn with financial assistance for her mother’s funeral.