Ex-addict leads addicts in a rehab facility
By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY---After being hooked into drugs for 29 years, Edward Yosores Jr., 40, has been sober for two years now and the responsibility of running a rehabilitation facility called Facenda da Esperança (Portuguese phrase: Farm of Hope) rests on his shoulders. In a seven-hectare farm donated by the Catholic Church in the outskirts at the foot of Mt. Isarog looking over this city, Yosores runs the rehabilitation facility in partnership with his wife, Joan, overseeing nine drug addicts who had voluntarily committed themselves for rehabilitation. The farm-cum-rehabilitation-center situated in Sitio Caromatig in Barangay Carolina was established in this city in 2009, two years after the same facility was opened in Masbate. Without any psychologist nor doctors to give them professional guidance, Facenda’s philosophy of rehabilitation and healing is founded on what they call three pillars of work, spirituality and community. Originating from Brazil 33 years ago, founded by a certain Nelson who was inspired by Focolare Movement to help drug addicts change their ways through spirituality and work, Facenda has spread in different parts of the world including the Philippines. The Focolare Movement, founded by Chiara Lubich in 1943 in Italy as a means to survive the World War II, promotes the ideals of unity and brotherhood that has spread in 182 nations. Focolare, an Italian word that means fireside, was the movement’s name because during World War II, Lubich’s group read and studied passages from the Bible to live with by the fireside. Yosores said they believe that addicts understand each other regarding their dependence on drugs notwithstanding the different personalities and characters they have. He said what is important is for them to become open about what are inside of them so that they can help each other. Yosores said the daily routine of residents here include at least eight hours of work in the farm, prayer and reflection and exchange and sharing of what is in their minds regarding their relations with each other and their learnings. He said the belief in God and Jesus Christ is the center of everything they do inside the rehab. But Yosores revealed that only about 10 percent of residents complete the one-year rehab program inside the Facenda da Esperança. “Because your number enemy inside the (rehab) is yourself. You overcome yourself first since this place has no fences to confine you.” He said that to complete the one-year rehab program the residents decide for themselves to follow the regiments inside the farm. They wake up at 4 a.m.; take their breakfast at 5:30 a.m.; meditate and reflect on the Bible passage to live on for the day at 6:15 a.m.; then work at the farm until 11:45 a.m. with a break at 9:00 a.m. Yosores said that after lunch the residents take their siesta at 2:00 p.m. after which they start working again until sundown. He said on Mondays, they have sharing activities in the evening about how they practiced the three pillars of Facenda for the past days. On Tuesdays, the Franciscans come to teach them Catechism, he added. When Wednesday comes, they share “the word of life” or the selected passage from the Bible that they have chosen to practice early in the week. “For example, if we have chosen “act of love” a resident can share how he practiced it like if one resident took care of other’s laundry being dried when the rain came,” Yosores narrated. He said on Thursday, they do the same regular routine and when Friday comes, they watch movies together, usually inspirational movies. “But we don’t watch news By Saturday, Yosores said, it will be a half-day work and then on Sunday they attend the mass together. He said the residents’ age range from 23-55 years old who came from Baguio, Dumaguete, Quezon City, Surigao and Masbate but residents coming from Naga City and other nearby areas are not accepted. Yosores said for one year relatives and friends of the residents are not allowed to visit them but they can communicate through letters and can send them food and other necessities through courier services. Joan, who had been recruited by Facenda to help her husband, quit from his factory job in Cebu City, where she and her husband hail in Barangay Lorega. She said the Facenda is self-sustaining from the monthly contribution of residents of P5,000 for their food, basic needs and utility expenses. Joan manages and administers the finances of the Facenda.