Tag Archives: Improvements & Changes

New Life In Don Bosco

We are excited to launch Birthing Better Babies in Don Bosco!

A generous donor has helped launch BBB in this very depressed area of Manila.

Don Bosco is a different world from Baseco, these residents are housed in huge 2 story buildings, no light no fresh air, animals it is often very depressing.

You can watch a video here of Ps Mark in Don Bosco,


But like everywhere people need Jesus, they need the fresh air of God and the good that follows His presence. BBB is one way we can breathe life on the women of Don Bosco.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting photos of new mum’s some very young, who we can love and pray for and speak life over. Light comes in many forms and Jesus said when he was sorting the sheep and the goats in Matthew

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

This is a practical way we can bless women and babies in Don Bosco and it works!

Stay tuned

Cathy Mark and Chris xx

Days for Girls

We have been really blessed to partner with our local chapter of Days for Girls in Kapunda South Australia


Our dear friend Deb has welcomed us with open arms to Kapunda Craft and Hope Sewing Days!

It has been so exciting to meet and sew and be given over 50 kits to take for free to Baseco this year.

I have been able to share the time with my daughter (9 years old) who has enjoyed thoroughly using an overlocker and zooming up liners for Days for Girls Kits…..makes her part of the ministry in Baseco. That is big in her world!

The kits are ingenious, they are fully recyclable allowing girls to wash and reuse their pads without any ongoing costs for sanitary items . They are simply beautiful as well! All easy to use and pretty to look at housed in a discreet cotton backpack!


Here are some beautiful photos of our sewing days with the team!


26. Kapunda

27 Kapunda

And here are the kilos of Kits we are taking over to Manila!

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All I can say is that I am grateful for ladies who love to sew with a purpose!

Not to mention the beautiful quilts made and singlets collected for me.

28 Days for Girls

Every girls deserves dignity and Days for Girls helps us get there!

Baseco 2015

This is an exciting time in the Birthing Better Babies World

This year in April I am going to Baseco with Australian  midwives from Impact Erina Church, this presents the BBB team with a greater and wider opportunity to touch and bless the local community with reaching skills much wider than my own. Very exciting but at the same time challenging.

It has been interesting though, throughout the past two years I have found my heart leaning heavily toward the word PREVENTION….


Prevention rather than cure! Birthing Better Babies is a cure, albeit a worthwhile one, it is a cure to an essential problem which can be whittled down to a few basic facts which are prevalent in Baseco …

  • Unplanned pregnancies for women
  • Multiple pregnancies and fear of contraception
  • Teens getting pregnant
  • Lack of education for women in general
  • General body ignorance

So with more man/woman power we can now tackle at least some of this problem. Every ounce of time we spend educating the next generation will eventually have an impact on the babies they create.This will be our focus.

Even the interpreters we use are young impressionable girls who will hear the message of health, awareness, education advantages and sexual health over and over again! They will speak it and eventually they will become it! They in turn will teach their children a better way and the level will slowly begin to rise, the tide will begin to turn!


So as we travel to Baseco this year we are armed with tools that will open doors of communication for this kind of communication. I have found most of my most impacting times have been one on one with women, door to door sitting in women’s houses and speaking as sisters Days for Girls Kits are a perfect tool to open these conversations as well as bless them with a great resource.

Every girl in the world deserves education, safety, and dignity. We help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene and awareness, by direct distribution of sustainable feminine hygiene kits, by partnering with nonprofits, groups and organizations, by raising awareness, and by helping  communities around the world start their own programs.


These kits will allow us to speak to women and girls and share on principles of

  • Body awareness and correct terms for body parts
  • Hygiene and germs
  • Body respect
  • Schooling and advantages of
  • Sex Education

We will also take part in a General Body Awareness Day with the Youth of the areas and churches, focusing on

  • Finding out what they actually know
  • Body parts and correct names
  • How are babies conceived
  • How can we prevent pregnancy

With these tools we can begin to build a fence of protection around the top of the cliff rather than an ambulance waiting at the bottom.

So pray as we prepare to go. I am sure we will all be challenged and stretched. But above all pray for the women and the girls we speak to that we will make a difference that they will be open to hear!

Thanks and Blessings


Birthing Better Babies News


This is Ugelyn Roxas, she is 21 years old and her husband Joey is 22. This is their second child, they have a small daughter who lives in the province  with the grandmother. They came to manila hoping for a better life, planning to send for their daughter when they found success. Things have been very tough for this young family, but thanks to a birthing better babies sponsor from Australia things are improving! Baby Jerome is a healthy and chubby little boy, he is being breast fed and is thriving. Each Tuesday morning we have a bible study in Ugelyns tiny little house and two weeks ago the 6 people who attended gave their hearts to Jesus. Opportunities and blessings opened to many because of BBB! This week we are doing a big deworming in their area, so more opportunity to bless more people. Thanks to all the BBB sponsors




The Tides of Change….

I have been back two weeks now in the beautiful Australia and the Barossa Valley.

Leaving Baseco is always bittersweet for me, I feel like I leave a bit of me behind with Pst Marivic and Marco, Pst Manny and Rolinda, Precy,  Allan, Rodellio, Riza, Liezel, Kat Kat, Irene their families are part of my heart……but of course my family is here back in Australia so my place is here. But I treasure my times in Baseco.


My times with the mums, talking laughing and nursing babies………nothing thrills my soul when I see mothers growing learning and wanting to change.

The interesting thing about Baseco in 2013 is there seems to be a slight shift in the way the wind is blowing……

It is slight but I feel like it is HAPPENING.

Most ladies I talk to seem more tuned into Health, Eating Well, (schools now tell the same story) Birthing a Baby safely….even contraception/family planning has become almost acceptable, thanks to the tireless work of the women at Likahaan and the Lying in Centre…….I feel like I was not (for the first time) preaching a completely NEW message but one they had at least heard SOMETHING about before.

Did I repeat myself? YES

Did I find women who knew nothing? YES

Were there still little girls getting pregnant who still should be at school? YES

Did I find some tragedies? YES

But I did sense a change, NICE!!

Is it physical, spiritual, or political?

It could be all three, facilities are improving, fresh water and electricity nearly reaches the whole of Baseco now (thanks to Jn 14:12 and churches in Australia) , there are schools and a Heath Centre, drains are being built to drain the refuse away, roads, infrastructure and business is improving.

The Government has passed new laws pertaining to Women’s Health and Family Planning despite the resistance of the Catholic Church, it is now LEGAL to supply women with Contraception and discuss family planning. The Mayor who originally came from Baseco has bought about many many positive changes as well.

Yes, this is all true

But I really believe that through the preaching of the gospel and the subsequent blessings that follow (not just the work of Jn 14:12, but other evangelical churches in Baseco as well) the tide of devastating poverty and despair is being turned. As I was thinking about it it is like a massive ship turning in the sea…it cannot do it alone it needs to be shunted, shifted and tweaked and towed by the small but powerful tugboat, it is slowly being turned around…….


Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

The giant ship moves, it changes direction and is set on a new course!

The gospel works!

There is no way I can now deny it. I have seen over 5 years the shift in Baseco……

Slight but real!

Not that there is still not a  long way to go, not that the work is finished.

But the tide is beginning to shift in my humble opinion.

I for one am glad and grateful that God came to Baseco.

My Birthing Better Babies will grow up in a different Baseco than that of their parents!


Jesus Christ through the Living Church has made a difference, He has changed the tide of death and destruction into hope and deliverance for those who want it!



New Friends in Baseco…..Likhaan

We have met new friends in Baseco……

I have been fairly committed and prayful about seeing some professional “legs” in Baseco, many many times help is needed when we (Mark, Christine especially) are not there. If BBB is to be truly effective there must be nationals that can impart to their own woman……we have found them!

In our old house we affectionately knew as White House, it has transformed and become known as Purple House…..it is now home to a NGO Family Planning organisation called Likhaan. There are midwives and community workers that live here permanently in Baseco, dedicated to women’s health and family planning. What a blessing!

Check out their website it is truly inspirational

Likhaan Website

This is also a very informative video by a person who met Likhaan workers and their work in Manila

These girls and women blessed my heart they have dedicated their lives to the lives of others, they are Chistians and now attend Jn14:12………

I will be blogging about them and their input in Baseco more in the future I just wanted you to meet them.

God is good, He provides all things in the right time!

Blessings Cathy

Mentoring and Mothering

Anything alive will grow, it will be adjusted and tweaked

Birthing Better Babies is no different

In Baseco there are many needs that yell for attention especially with the woman, who are primarily the caregivers of the children.

Now we have started the journey with these women we are realising that there are sub groups that require particular attention

There is a large amount  of teen pregnancies in Baseco

There is no sex education, and girls find their first sex education lesson is sometimes their first pregnancy, with a person they do not know or who do not care a rip about them.

Many girls have had no parents/mothering or very deficient role models in each!

Sex education is non existent either from parents or at school, often stories from peers are woven with old wives tales and fallacies which colour a wrong way of thinking.

There is a desperate desperate need for mentoring and mothering with our teen and mothers

So we have begun the journey!

Len Len is our first teen in our mentoring program.

She is 17 years old, she lives with her alcoholic father. She has no mother.

Last year she was very involved with the Jn14;12 youth however she had some edgy friends who were not friends at all!

She ended up pregnant, the father has disappeared and was probably only a lad as well!

Len Len’s future is very unsure, she is already facing a financial burden (although BBB will sponsor her pregnancy)

She will definately be a burden on her father, so she probably will have to work, but what will happen to the baby?

Alone and pregnant in Baseco is a different matter though





There are hundreds like her!

But we care.

She may be a drop in the ocean, but we can make a difference one teen and one baby at a time!

So we need to mentor these teens

Len Len  will be mentored by one of our leaders Belinda Castro.

Already Len Len loves and adores Belinda, she calls her Mum.

Len Len watches Belinda with her newborn Prince with avid eyes, she watches how Belinda cares for and nurtures her baby and thankfully Len Len will use her as a Role Model.

How exciting!

Belinda is a good mother, she adores her kids and  is a committed Christian, she is a Leader in Jn14:12

Already Len Len hangs around Belinda’s  home and cares for Prince with her, this is tremendous practice for Len Len who has no mother or sisters.

Belinda makes sure Len Len takes her vitamins and goes with her to the Hospital for check ups.

Len Len will be closely mentored and cared for after the baby is born and the girls will ensure she is breastfeeding and the baby is being cared for properly.

We will, if need be, place her on contraception, unless she shows real signs of commitment to God and moral purity.  BUT until then we can protect her and her new babe from further poverty, if we must we will guard her against herself until she meets someone who will marry and commit to her.

This is a great great thing for Len Len, when the baby is born she will have strong women of faith as her mothers, NOT teens her own age who have NO idea.

She probably does not realise how significant this will be for her and her unborn baby, but that does not matter, in the long run we help a life……in this case 2 lives!

I would say Len Len’s life has been touched  and changed because of the women at Jn 14:12……like Belinda who actually do care for her!

What a good change, an exciting development

To give life, health and education to these girls is a wonderful thing!

Thank you Jesus!

Birthing Better in Baseco

Since my  first trip to Manila in 2009 I have seen some differences in our Baseco slum……Mark and Chris have seen much more!


There are now roads and drainage, in concrete,  not dirt,

There are schools, there are new buildings such as a local market…..

There is even a playground!

But significantly there is a new Medical Centre and a midwifery and birthing unit.

It looks great doesn’t it? So clean and rich looking, but through those bars in the background they are STILL surrounded by the slum, rubbish, open drains and sewerage…just outside the door!

However,  this is a major improvement in the local area.

For a women who lives in an urban slum even travel to and from Maternity Hospital (on two tricycles and a jeepney) is costly.

The choice then becomes food for myself and family to eat that day or an unborn unseen unwanted baby that may not live anyway? Often ,and unfortunately, the women (with a “live for now” mentality) choose food today, not the  baby!

This new centre opened by the Mayor is vital to the success of BBBabies…….midwifery care is now in the neighbourhood, a mere 5-10 minute walk TOPS.

The centre offers women and their babies regular check ups (including blood pressure, babies heart rate/growth) , referral to other places if ultrasound or blood tests need to be taken, there is help most of the day….

But most importantly to our BBBabies ; a small 6 bed Birthing Unit staffed by midwives and a doctor in the building. They can have 3 women birthing simultaneously and 6 women can stay in residence for up to 3 days in the “Lying in Centre” which it is known as in the Community.

Women who have any complications are transferred to the nearby hospitals, but non-complicated births are facilitated actually in the Birthing Unit here in  Baseco.

Pastor Marivic and I were pleasantly surprised at the clean, tiled  floors and the 6 freshly made beds, curtains and the beautiful air conditioning in the WHOLE unit…even when the women was birthing they have fantastic air conditioning……a far cry from labouring in the stifling heat in their small confined and crowded houses, often with only a small candle to see with!

This is the normal conditions women birth in note house, open to the elements, mosquitoes ants and vermin scuttle across the floor! No electricity just candles and sunlight, in the day!

The Unit has it’s own Birthing room which was equipped with oxygen and various life saving labour devices (which we tend to despise here in our cascade of interference orientated birthing community) however in Baseco they are used in a real emergency, as they were designed to be.  To tell you the truth the instruments/oxygen etc were in fact a relief to see, I felt that these women were finally being  protected and cared for…….amazing, how in different settings our opinions vary!

We have been encouraging our ladies to birth here, as it is infinitely better than home and actually far superior to the  Maternity hospitals I have been in,  believe it or not it is an uphill battle!  Many women still prefer home and only after much compulsion hospital……..and the prejudice extends to this new Birthing Unit (even with air conditioning!!) but slowly as the Unit’s reputation increases the women will come! I believe!

Changing preconceived ideas and life patterns is a hard thing, but it simply takes one birth at a time, if just one pregnant women changes her mind, we have won! Better still the precious little ones get a better start in life!

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale
US clergyman (1898 – 1993)
Blessings from Cathy, Mark and Chris