Father Gary Walker

A Safe Haven

By Father Gary Walker

The author, an Australian, is editor of The Far East, the magazine of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand. He has worked in Fiji and Belize and also served six years as a member of the Columban General Council.

Holy Family Home is a cross between a boarding school and a refuge. It is a safe haven of brightly colored walls, plants and peacefulness on the outskirts of Bacolod, a city on the sugar-rich island of Negros in the Philippines. The 40 or so girls who live there and the 15 or so college students who live in a house near the city center are from poor families who cannot afford to educate their daughters or from families in which the girls could be at risk if they were living at home.