Countless memories are kept in my mind, but what mostly left a mark on me is hope.

A trip, an adventure…

Leaving far away from everything during a month and a half, in a foreign country, discover it, offering your services to poor people: that was what, Agathe and I were dreaming of since we have been friend for a long time but also with the will to create a humanitarian project together.

It all started with a Facebook post, from Thomas, a member of the association Full of Hope, and this is the president, Emilien who helped us in the project and who put us in contact with the association OIKOS on site. Activities to prepare, donations to collect, sales to organize: a lot of upstream work but it worth it! Backpack on our shoulders, we left for Samar on the 9th of June 2018. We had so much waited for that trip, what an adventure!

Countless memories are kept in my mind, but what mostly left a mark on me is hope. The hope of a whole people, hope despite ordeals, hope in their day-to-day life and faith in God. Even the poorest of the most isolated village in the forest were full of joy every time we visited them to bring them rice and sugar: a smile was brightening their face; their eyes were sparkling: hope was part of them.

So, the Sisters told us it was thanks to this huge faith and hope that people carried on despite all the natural disasters and the destruction of their houses (made of tile) and businesses: they have nothing else left but hope. I am happy to have helped the OIKOS in their mission, raised funds for the painting and cementing of some destroyed houses; I am happy to have left my mark there during my trip with Agathe. And I am also happy that these people learnt from the person I am. This experience has been more than beneficial to me. I have learnt a lot with Filipinos who taught me all the real lessons. I have also learnt a lot through all the conversations I had, it brought me so much. I now address to you, who are reading my testimony, go! Go, Filipinos are waiting for you.

Clémence Marichez