KKFI Day-Center for Older Persons

By Pastor Maricel Monceda-Osias

 

According to a recent survey, the Philippine population is aging. It is projected that by the end of 2018, senior citizens (60 years old and above) would comprise 8.2% of the total population. This means that 8,013,059 Filipinos would have been considered senior citizens by year-end.

The pressure for the government and other related agencies is how to cater to the needs of the senior citizens in all aspects of their lives.

With this data, Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), through the Pastoral Care Department (PCD) is responding to the call for the ministry to older people. We have organized the “Day Center for Older Persons” (Day-C) that regularly meets every Friday, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. About 15-20 senior citizens from different churches around Metro Manila attend the meetings. Despite the travel distance and their physical condition, they are very diligent in attending the Friday meetings at KKFI.

The purpose of Day-C is simply to cater to the needs of the senior citizens, especially their emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs. It is our response as Christians to the call of God to administer to these people by making them realize God’s loving presence in their midst as God said in Isaiah 46:4, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hair I will carry you. I have made and I will bear; I will carry and I will save.”

The program tries to nurture the seniors through the following activities:

  1. Disciple through Bible Study

It is our aim to minister to the spiritual aspect of the life of senior citizens through bible study. We call it “Disciple through Bible Study.” As we study the bible, we let the Word of God speak to them and through them.

  1. Care Group/Group Counseling

Care Group is done to make sure that everybody in the group, as they share their lives will be given care and will receive care from every member of the group.  It  is  here that they learn to value and listen to one another. As they share their lives they also share their struggles, fears–especially fear of death–anxiety, depression, frustrations, disappointments (either with their families or with fellow Day-C members), anger, aspirations, lamentations to God and so on. It is here where Group Counseling takes place to meet the psychological and emotional needs of the Day-C.

  1. Physical Exercise

Before we start each meeting, some members of the group lead the morning exercise with Zumba dance. We encourage them to give value to their physical health as they age. In fact, they have the “Health Consciousness Month” celebration every November. Tips to nurture their physical health are emphasized.

  1. Visitation and Outdoor Fellowship

To show that they care for one another, visitation to sick members of the group are often done. In addition, strengthening group relationship is done through outdoor fellowship. “Lakbay Aral” is also where they learn livelihood skills from different companies.

The Day Center for Older Persons is just one of the many ministries KKFI is doing to the last, the least, and the lost in the Philippine society. May God bless the institution in its aspirations for God’s glory.

 

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WELCOME BACK HOME!

By Nancy C. Nicolas

Executive Director

 

A loud cheer greeted the Rev. Olympia  “Oly” Hidalgo’s announcement during today’s (May 2, 2017) morning devotion of Kapatiran staff that she will stay as the chaplain of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI).

The Philippine Annual Conference (PAC), where the KKFI belongs, held its yearly meeting in Tagaytay Mission Camp in Tagaytay City last week. On the last day of the holy conferencing, Manila Episcopal Area (MEA) Resident Bishop Ciriaco “Cerrie” Francisco announced the church assignments of pastors and deaconesses. Some of them had new assignments and some were retained.

“You have to bear with me a little while longer,” she told the KKFI staff jokingly. Pastor Oly is set to go to Iowa state in the United States a few months from now (probably August 2017) to do mission work there as a United Methodist Church (UMC) church worker. It was an assignment she had been waiting for in more than a year.

Bishop Francisco’s decision was what exactly Pastor Oly was praying for.  She needed to be assigned within Metro Manila, at least, to allow her to work on her visa for her U.S. assignment. She was almost assigned to a mission church located in a remote part of Batangas. She had to ask for DS Max Gabriel and Bishop Francisco’s understanding and consideration in order to make her wish come true.

Of course, I am very happy to welcome back Pastor Oly, even if only for a few months more. I am also very glad that Pastor Maricel Osias, Pastor Oly’s replacement once she leaves for the U.S. sometime between this month and August, agreed to wait.

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Rev. Oly Marcos-Hidalgo

Choosing the chaplain for KKFI must be a bit more difficult for the bishop. The chaplain of Kapatiran must possess certain qualities that should fit the position. Aside from the KKFI staff, the “congregation” of the chaplain includes the 300 dorm residents, the beneficiaries of KKFI program such as the students of Alternative Learning System (ALS) and scholars, the senior citizens who gather weekly to join the Day Center for the Elderly and the total population of the University Belt (U-Belt) in Manila where the Kapatiran compound is located.

I also glad to have female pastors as chaplains of KKFI. We are contemplating on coming up with an aggressive campaign against sex predators in the U-Belt. I had a chance to talk to an acquaintance who happens to be active in the fight against human trafficking and sexual abuse. I was aghast when he told me of pastors of the church and professors of universities who take advantage of their young female church members or students sexually.

Hence, a female pastor as KKFI chaplain is a preferred choice. She has a long list of things to do for the Foundation. Only one thing I can assure her: Working in KKFI as a chaplain is an exciting and memorable experience.

Again, I greet Pastor Oly a big “Welcome Back!” I am also looking forward to the time Pastor Maricel will start working for KKFI as the head of its Pastoral Care Department (PCD).

Pastor Maricel is not new to KKFI. She stayed with us when she, her husband Darryl and their cute one-year-old daughter was still looking for an apartment to rent. Pastor Maricel is from Mindanao, where she and Darryl, the Administrative Assistant of Bishop Francisco, first met.

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Ptr. Maricel Osias with husband, Darryl, and baby

When the bishop was re-elected last year, he chose the Manila Episcopal Area (MEA) and reappointed Darryl to the latter post. Hence, the whole Osias family needed to transfer from Kidapawan City to Manila. And, yes, the bishop also decided to appoint Pastor Maricel to the chaplaincy of KKFI.

So, to Pastor Oly and Pastor Maricel, the whole KKFI family says: “Welcome back home!”

UNILAB: A PARTNER IN SERVICE

by: Nitz E. Nicolas

“We believe we cannot do everything without partners.”

These were the words expressed by Mr. Joey Ochave, EVP-Development Group, during the appreciation lunch for partners of UNILAB, a leading pharmaceutical company in Asia.  The theme is, “Isang Taos-Pusong Pasasalamat sa Ating Samahan at Sama-samang Paglilingkod sa Bayan.”  The ceremony was held at UNILAB’s  Bayanihan’s  Center last February 14, 2017 in Pasig City.

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KKFI Executive Director, Nancy Nicolas, was featured in the video presentation during the appreciation lunch.

According to Mr. Ochave, the celebration was UNILAB’s way of saying thank you to everyone especially its partners.  Partnership are a testament and an affirmation that through the Bayanihan spirit, UNILAB and its partner NGOs, LGUs, CSOs and other related organizations would work together for the common good of all.

“Husay at Malasakit,” UNILAB’S motto would continue to “inspire us as one family to help change the world which has become cruel and forgetting kindness.”

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The author, Nitz Nicolas offers KKFI products to guests and employees

He challenged all institutions and organizations which were present to network with each other; to talk and find commonalities and areas for collaboration; and maybe through this collaboration, we could achieve a better world for the future generation of our nation.

UNILAB’s vision is to promote a culture whose work ethic revolves around family and community, cooperation and sharing.

During the celebration,  Mr. Ochave thanked all UNILAB’s partners including Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. , which was represented by Mrs. Christian Love Daroy-Gagno, Program Director and Ms. Juanita Nicolas, Admin and Resource Director.

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LIlia Bejer, Livelihood Coordinator was also featured in the video.

KKFI exhibited its products at UNILAB’s X-Quadrant, the venue for introducing UNILAB’s new products. KKFI is one of UNILAB’s valued social partners in promoting economic empowerment in marginalized communities in Quezon City.

A video featuring the interview with Ms. Nancy C. Nicolas, KKFI Executive Director, and Ms. Lilia Bejer, KKFI Livelihood Coordinator was also shown during the event.

TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) 

by Rev. Rich Sagun
KKFI Chaplain

The Day Center for Older Persons or “Day-C,” a program of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), is designed to gather a number of elderlies so they may share and meditate on the Word of God and pray for each other regularly.

Every Friday morning starting at 8:30, these “young-at-hearts,” come to KKFI Compound on P. Paredes Street, Sampaloc, Manila, from different points in Metro Manila and even as far as the suburban provinces of Bulacan and Cavite. Here, they share and enjoy the spirit of Christian fellowship in spite of the differences in denominations and religious beliefs.

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Day C members enjoying their Friday fellowship

Everyone in his or her 50s and older is welcome to join this group, which offers them an opportunity to express themselves by sharing their life stories, especially their experiences of the love and guidance of the Lord.

“Dito lang namin nagagawang maibahagi ang aming saloobin. Ito’y nakapagbibigay kagaanan sa amin,” a member once told me. (This is the only place where we can share our concerns. We find comfort here.)

I, as the chaplain, myself is greatly blessed to hear testimonies from them. I am in awe of the members’ commitment to the group. Despite the rains and bad weather, they still come.

Indeed, the “lolas” (grandmothers) and “lolos” (grandfathers) always look forward to Fridays. I can imagine them waking up every Friday morning and screaming as they rise from their bed, “Thank God, It’s Friday!” Not even the monstrous traffic of Metro Manila, the scourge of all, can deter them.

I am not mystified. I have heard them speak about their fellowship and almost all share the same sentiment. “Masarap sa pakiramdam ang balik-balikan ang pagsasama-sama ng Day-C,” they would say invariably. (There’s a feeling of satisfaction when we reminisce our fellowship at Day-C.)

Perhaps, there’s something about the experience of sharing your life experiences that make them come again and again. Sharing is one of the life flavors of all Christians.
We believe in the saying, “no man is an Island.” Therefore, fellowshipping is very important. The sharing of experiences inspires people and encourages them to continue serving the Lord and His people with compassion.

I am personally encouraged by these members. Their stories and care push me to carry on with my ministry at Kapatiran, where the hopeless receives hope and the sick receives not only physical healing but healing of the body, soul and spirit.

So, tell your lolas and lolos, your elderly neighbors and friends to come and join to this group composed of faithful and caring people and be blessed, too.

See you on Friday!