A TOTAL of 400 less fortunate children will officially be Catholic Christians as they will be baptized in Manila on Saturday.

The baptism will be presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Manila Cathedral at 9 a.m.

The 400 beneficiaries of the Tulay ng Kabataan (TNK) Foundation are from the slum areas of Navotas City; and Tondo and Baseco, Manila.

The foundation and the Archdiocese of Manila are working together to bring these children closer to the Lord through the Sacrament of Baptism.

According to Rev. Fr. Matthieu Dauchez, executive director of TNK, the baptism aims to eradicate the impression that poverty hinders them from receiving the grace of the different Sacraments given by God.

"When it is so difficult to bring our wounded children to God, it is, on the opposite, very easy to bring the Lord to them through the Sacraments," he said in a statement.

Dauchez will be assisting the cardinal in baptizing the children.

TNK has been serving the poorest children of Manila since 1998.

The foundation developed four programs aiming at giving back the dignity of street children, street children with special needs, scavenger children, and children in slums.

They have 24 centers, which welcomed a total of 1,300 young people each year and helped thousands of children left the street in the past 18 years. (FP/SunStar Philippines)