WHY WE TELL OUR STORIES
by Nancy Caluya-Nicolas
We have stories to tell and we would like to tell them to you, with your permission.
The Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), also popularly known as “Kapatiran” in the United Methodist circles, has been in existence for 66 years. I am honoured and privileged that I have been a part of this foundation for the last six years.
I’ve known Kapatiran since I was child. The United Methodist Church has been the eco-system where I thrived since birth. That’s because I am a pastors’ kid. (I hope you did not miss the “s apostrophe.” Yes both my parents were both pastors).
I remember visiting the Kapatiran compound in Manila when I was a young UMC leader from Isabela province. I was barely out of my teens then. I was an active member.
I later became the national president of the national United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines (UMYFP). During this period when I frequented Kapatiran since it was a favourite meeting place of young United Methodists.
I was in awe with the history of KKFI, that it was and still is a social development arm of the UMC. Now that I am working with the Kapatiran, I thought it would be a pity if stories of its glorious past and exciting and unfolding present would not be shared with the world. Hence, we—some staff members and I—are doing it now, albeit with much struggle.
The KKFI has many programs for different age groups. Some say it has “from womb to tomb” programs. Well, not exactly. But we do have pre-school education, scholarship for grade school and high schools students, discipleship program for college students, the Alternative Learning System (ALS) for out-of-school youth, the Training for Employment (T4E) for young people who want to earn technical and vocational education degree plus on-the-job training with paid allowance, a program for the elderly and many others.
Stories abound in each and every field of work of Kapatiran. Even an ordinary participant has an engaging story to tell. We are willing to share them with anyone who is interested.
You will read in this blog many stories from different writers or bloggers with different voices. Most of them are members of the program staff who directly implement the programs of KKFI. Hence, you can expect blogs written in the first person.
We are not writers at all. We are just learning the ropes, so to speak, of this noble profession. Writing is out of our comfort zone. Oftentimes, we struggle to articulate what we want to say. However, we are passionate story-tellers for a reason—we want to put a message or two out there.
Kapatiran’s bloggers–the writers of this blog—are the eyewitnesses and the actual program implementers, and direct observers of the events they will write about. They have seen, touched, felt, smelled and heard first-hand the things they will share.
Many of their stories have no ending. That’s because they are still unravelling. What makes the stories exciting to read is the fact that they are seldom told. Let us give them a chance to be told and read.
With your permission, we will write on.