The first Good Samaritan Sisters to form community and be neighbour in Bacolod were Japanese Sisters. Now the two communities in Bacolod have Sisters from the Philippines, Japan and Australia. The life and ministry there is very much a partnership of living and sharing resources, supported by the Bacolod Fund from Japan, and the Good Samaritan Foundation in Australia.
In 2004, a kinder school was opened for children unable to access early childhood education because of poverty. The two years spent there prepares them for future schooling. Through the generosity of donors, the children receive a nutritious meal each day.
The Good Samaritan Outreach Centre was opened in 2014. This centre provides a place of hospitality, compassion, learning and collaboration for the families, especially women and children in the local area, including the squatter areas.
One local area of particular focus for the Outreach Centre is the Boulevard, along the waterfront. Dozens of families exist in a very basic conditions, mostly living as squatters along the tidal zone. A two-year project, Clean-up Boulevard is engaging hundreds of local people and even the city council in systematically and regularly cleaning up the extreme pollution along the water’s edge. In a part of the city, where there was previously no garbage collection, the local people collect the rubbish and the council has been persuaded to send a truck daily to dispose of it.
Compassionate neighbourly concern is also evident in the Sister’s outreach to the women’s prison, the orphanage, the rural community of Conception, and nutrition programs for children in squatter communities. One Sister teaches Japanese, an important skill for those seeking work abroad.