The Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, signed an agreement which establishes a partnership between the Archdiocese of Manila and "Fazenda da Esperança" ("Farm of Hope"), a special " therapeutic farm" that welcomes drug addicts who, working within the farm, follow a path of drug detoxification.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed with one of the founders of the
Fazenda, Belgian missionary Father Hans Stapel, was signed during the
"Day of Hope" at the end of the Mass held in the Cathedral in Manila on Sunday, January 8.
As Fides learns, the Cardinal said: "For every life there is hope",
referring to the recovery of addicts, especially youth, and their
possible full reintegration into society. "Young people can get out of
the darkness. Jesus Christ is stronger than drugs", said Father Stapel,
announcing that the company - already present in other cities such as
Milagros, Masbate and Naga City - intends to open other centers in the
Philippines. The Fazenda was founded in 1983 in Sao Paulo and now has
over one hundred therapeutic communities in Mozambique, Paraguay,
Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Germany, Portugal.
Father Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, said that
the signed agreement aims to establish cooperation between the company
and a program already initiated by Caritas Manila, in charge of
accompanying drug addicts and their families through a path of spiritual
formation, advice, assistance and professional formation projects.
The agreement wants to also be a response to the campaign of elimination
of crime and drugs promoted by President Rodrigo Duterte that - despite
the criticism of NGOs regarding the attitude of the police and groups
of "vigilantes" - has already killed in six months more than 6,200
The Catholic Church in the Philippines intends to show
institutions that the way to lead a "war on drugs" is cultural awareness
and the rehabilitation and recovery of addicts, not their suppression.