Ms. Satoko Watanabe was contemplating the issue "How to support" and got awareness through facing the death of the person whom she had been involved with for two years
By (Yamato Church, Yokohama Diocese)
Mr. Olivio lives near AFMET office.
He got paralyzed on one side when he fell down from palm tree two years ago. He was thirty six years old and had a catheter inserted through the urethra to pass his urine. His wife took care of his urination. He had a large body and bad mouth and he was stubborn. It seemed that his neighbors avoided him. He had seven children from one year old to eighteen. His family needed his income. His wife made coconut oil and collected candle nuts to sell and get income. She not only worked but also looked after her children, did house work, farming and laundry, and cared for her husband. She pined away day by day.
We got involved with him because he had to have his catheter changed once a month. First we thought of asking Los Palos National Hospital to handle it. But we knew that he did not have a car and the manpower was not enough. We could not expect a good care if we left everything to him. So we decided to care for him continuously. He was suffering from malaria, diarrhea, the pride as man and father laid out, the role in his family lost, ashamedness and many others.
Every time I visited his house I wondered what I could do for him. I wanted to get his ramshackle house rebuilt, make a low bed so that he could move to the wheel chair easily, provide rice and fresh vegetable once a month, and give a soft bed mat and so on. To us Japanese none of them required much money and we could implement them even tomorrow. However we should not help him in these ways. The effect of the financial support by foreigners would be unexpected. For example if I implement these supports, his neighbors would no longer help him. They would say, "As a foreigner is helping him, we don't have to support him." What would happen if I or AFMET leave him one day? He would be left alone in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact he had another defect. He had been a very bad person before he got injured. He stole others' farm animals and committed violence often. Even after having got paralyzed they said that he was bad. A foreigner who did not know the situation of the village was not in a position to help him easily.
But he should not be left alone. I tried to stand a step behind as a foreigner. As a human, however, I could not leave him alone. Then what should I do?