The Privilege of Serving

Halie DeGuzman

 

Since being in the Philippines, the homeland I never knew, many people have asked me how I’ve enjoyed my stay.

I’ve been living with a host-family and interning with Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) for nearly three months and I have learned more during this time than I ever have before.

My experience with KKFI thus far has been educative, enlightening, and inspiring in many ways. I have learned not only about the way an NGO functions both organizationally and relationally but, more importantly, how those who have a heart for the poor and marginalized turn their “calling” into tangible work that improves the lives of families and communities.

I have been able to observe several of KKFI’s ongoing programs in various communities including the Livelihood Training in Tigbe, Supervised Neighborhood Play in Manila North Cemetery, the CDC kinder classes, and the ALS youth class.

While these programs are unique, the commonality between them is the beauty and authenticity of the people they involve.

The women in the Livelihood Training program, most of them mothers, are intelligent, eager to learn, and encourage one another.

The children in Manila North Cemetery have wonderful laughs and marvelous minds and their devoted parents only want the best for them.

The children in the CDC are so very malikut but bright, happy, and good learners. The ALS youth are incredibly cool teenagers who I admire for their desire and dedication to continue their education.

From spending time with each of these groups, I have learned that there is something to learn from everyone, regardless of their age, gender, or background. I am also extremely thankful for the welcome, hospitality, and care everyone here at KKFI has shared with me. I am thankful for those who have brought me with them into the communities or allowed me to observe their classes despite my limited capacity to truly help since I can hardly speak Tagalog.

All of the staff members have been very kind and patient in answering all my questions, taking the time to explain things, and, of course, making sure I eat lunch!

I love the way the staff and volunteers relate to one another like a family, as family is surely the most important virtue and value of life in the Philippines. And these relations are extended to the communities as everyone works together to bring about the peace, social justice, and progress of the Filipino people.

Maraming maraming salamat to everyone at KKFI for a wonderful experience so far.

I count it a privilege and blessing to learn from you and be welcome here.

 

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Economic Opportunity Given to Women of the Manila North Cemetery

By Vicente V. Eliver
Yesterday, March 8, 2017 the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) launched the “Happy Women, Happy Community” Project to benefit the women and single mothers of the Manila North Cemetery, particularly the members of SAMANTAGANOR (Samahan ng Mga Manggagawa at Tagapangalaga sa Norte). This was held at the KKFI Prudente Hall.

Happy Women, Happy Community Project aims to empower women by providing them training and development.

Women are oftentimes left at home, some being subjected to abuse and exploitation due to their limited capacities to address the needs of the family.

This project is a boost to their self-worth. The economic engagement will give them the opportunity to be key actors of change in their family and community as well.

The United Methodist Women of the United Methodist Church under their International Ministries with Women, Children & Youth granted KKFI ample amount of money last year 2016. Said grant will be used to provide of capital for the small scale business of Manila North Cemetery residents.

The KKFI management and recipients were excited with the initial kick off of the project. After a series of personality and small scale entrepreneurial trainings, 12 project proponents received certificates and the initial capital worth five thousand pesos (P 5,000.00) each giving them the opportunity to start a new or to expand their business activities.

The program started at 10 am, with the short devotion officiated by KKFI Chaplain Pastor Olympia Marcos.

She read the message from the book of Matthew about the Parable of the Talents that inspired and blessed the project proponents and staff who attended the service.

She cited the major point in her short message saying “All of us was granted by God a talent or talents. By using these talents and trying to improve them more, more talents will be granted. Using money in the right purpose will help you gain more and will make your life better.

Ms. Nancy C. Nicolas, KKFI Executive Director, in her short message also cited the importance of this project in relation with KKFI concerns on community building, economic and family well being of the residents in Manila North Cemetery.

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Ms. Nancy Nicolas, left, encourages the women recipients to use their talents to earn for themselves and their families.

 

She also encouraged the proponents to collaborate as a cooperative to better handle these projects and earn more.

We praise God for this opportunity to help the women and single mothers of the Manila North Cemetery. Special thanks also to the United Methodist Women for approving our proposal, and to Ms. Nancy C. Nicolas and Sir Rexan Dayao who authored the proposal.