Rising from the Ashes – Cristine and Raffy

When a fire destroyed Cristine’s flimsy house late last year, she was grateful that no one in her family was killed. While Christine, her husband Raffy and their two children were unharmed, they were homeless.

Before the fire, life was struggle for the Barbon family. Raffy worked as an occasional farm labourer and earned a weekly income of P200 (HK$35/US$4.50/AUD$5.70). Cristine tried to supplement his income by selling woven Nipa leaves, but her earnings were irregular. On an average day, each member of the family survived on P14 (HK$2.50/US$.32/AUD$.40). With no home and no possessions, Cristine did not know how she and Raffy would rebuild their home and lives.

Hearing of the Barbon family’s misfortune, a pastor in the community invited Cristine to attend ICM’s Transform program. After learning the variety of livelihood options available to her, Cristine decided to start a small business selling “Puto Cakes” – a type of steamed rice cake. Within months, Cristine and Raffy saw their weekly income double.  They have been able to rebuild their home and Cristine is proud to share she has diversified her assets – she is now the proud owner of two piglets, which she will raise and then sell for profit later in the year.

Cristine’s children are now stronger thanks to a healthier diet; Cristine learned to plant vegetables and has a thriving vegetable garden.

Cristine and Raffy are now using family planning methods, herbal medicines and have better hygiene thanks to the health workshops they took part in.

To help a family like Cristine and Raffy’s, please visit www.caremin.com/donate


“I am so thankful you came into our place giving us beneficial basic lessons through VHL. I am given hope and relief to my despair after our house turned into ashes and all our belongings were left as nothing. Thank you ICM and our sponsor.”

The Borbon Family in front of their new home


Cristine’s garden feeds her family


Introducing us to her piglets!


2 responses to “Rising from the Ashes – Cristine and Raffy”

  1. If you have an ICM base in Manila, I may be able to send my donation thru money transfer
    from Australia which I would like to go to this family Cristine & Raffy or to another family
    who may need it.

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