Their poverty and level of fragile existence cripples them even from realizing the enormity of the injustice they have to endure. They are deprived of everything decent and human, even the right to be angry at the world, at government and at God. They endure all, they suffer all and they are silent about it.'~Fr.Shay Cullen speaking on a visit to a huge rubbish dump in the Philippines where an estimated 80,000 live on or near the dump known as Payatas
Fr.Shay Cullen is well known for his work with the poorest of the poor. For many years he has been a brave and courageous voice speaking on behalf of those who have no one to speak for them. In this particular dump he talks about how locals wade ankle deep in the filth, struggling to live on human waste and decay. Small children work as hard as adults, scratching the trash with hooks and grabbing anything that might bring them a few coins and a mouthful of food. Working with the poorest of the poor has not deterred Fr.Shay or his fellow workers. Strange as it may seem, they talk about working on holy ground. Somehow in the dirt and smell God is present. When we complain, give out, sulk and make a big commotion about little things, we might well remember those who live and work in the Payatas.