Submitted by Sr Paola, fcJ from the FCJ Learning and Development Centre in Quezon City, Metro Manila. The Centre has prepared a video In this video with the experience of senior citizens, voices not usually heard in the climate change debates
Calamiong is one of many informal settlements hidden away in Quezon City, Metro Manila. It is a low-lying area near a river and when the typhoons or heavy monsoon rains come it is totally flooded. At least once a year, sometimes more often, the people’s homes are filled with muddy water, they have to be evacuated and they lose many of their few possessions. When they are able to return they face the daunting task of cleaning up and trying to rebuild their lives. In recent years, because of climate change these disasters have become more frequent and more severe. The impact on the lives of people who are economically poor, especially those who are elderly and living with disability, is enormous.
A group of senior citizens from Calamiong meets every Thursday with FCJ Center staff. They are people of great courage and they are accustomed to hardship. They support each other, share their stories and laugh a lot. Climate change is a harsh reality for them. They live in constant fear, but they cannot move to a safer place. They have nowhere else to go.
In this video clip members of the group share something of their experience. These are voices not usually heard in the climate change debates, but in fact they have something very valuable to contribute. May their experience, and that of millions of people in our world like them, touch our hearts and spur us on to action.
The video was shown as part of the 24 Hours for the Climate prayer vigil during COP26 where hundreds of people around the world joined to learn from communities suffering from climate change, pray for the future of our common home, and write messages that were delivered to COP26 negotiators.