The Energizing Effect of Helping Others

This message was shared as the Closing Remarks by Ms. Nancy Caluya-Nicolas, KKFI Executive Director during the 69th anniversary of KKFI on July 18, 2019.
Do you know that the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), formerly the Methodist Social Center, is the longest-running social development-oriented non-government organization in the country?

It was founded in 1950 by Ms Madaleine Klepper, an American missionary, because of her compassion to feed and provide shelter for the orphaned children and widowed wives and mothers after World War II.

Many NGOs came and went through the years. Their number mushroomed after the so-called EDSA Revolt late ‘80s and 90s, when the international funding agencies felt the compulsion to aid a society that suffered from a decade-and-a-half of dictatorship and economic oppression.

But the wind of the global funding for civil society changed from the Philippines towards elsewhere, resulting in the weakening and inevitable demise of many NGOs.

But God blessed KKFI. It has not demonstrated any symptom of fading.
At 69, it still possesses the energy and unfathomable faith to experiment new ways of doing things, to step out of its comfort zone, try out-of-the-box methods of doing things, to blaze the trail for others to follow, and to try again when things fail. Doing these things does not sound old to me.

It looks to me that KKFI is still youthful and, in fact, growing up. Only the young dares to tread untried paths. Only the young has the attitude to make that leap of faith and the stamina to pick itself up when it falls, face first, to the ground. At 69, KKFI is still young.

Perhaps, KKFI discovered the fountain of youth and it drinks from it every day. That explains why it is still vibrant. And I dare to guess what this fountain of youth is. It is… helping others.

Indeed, helping others is energizing. Every time KKFI does it, it is invigorated. That is why every time a pre-school student receives a medal for excelling in a subject or an ALS student is able to pass the equivalency test or a livelihood workshop participants expresses confidence in making a living because of his or her new skill, KKFI seems fueled to do more.

Let us give our best clap offering to God for giving KKFI and the members of the Day-C the wisdom that comes with age and the dynamism in spite of age.

 

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STAYING SHARP AND FEELING FINE @ 69

This message was shared as the Welcome Remarks by Ms. Goodwill Mercado-Lansang, KKFI Chairperson, during the 69th anniversary of KKFI on July 18, 2019.

My esteemed colleagues in the Corporation and the Board of Trustees of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), members of the Day-C whom we are honoring today, our most valued KKFI staff, volunteers, beneficiaries of the Foundation’s various programs, ladies and gentlemen.
Sixty-nine years ago, an American missionary by the name of Madaleine Klepper founded the Methodist Social Center in Sampaloc, Manila, on what we know now as P. Paredes street. The erstwhile Methodist Social Center, which was renamed KKFI back in 1971, is still here, stronger than ever.
In times past, “69” is a dreaded number, especially if it’s pertaining to age. For one, if another year is added, it becomes “70.” If you are in your 60s, you may be old; but once you cross over to 70, you are considered ancient!
A stereotypical 70-year-old person is often portrayed as an emaciated man or a woman, shrunken to uselessness and loneliness, impatiently waiting for the Kingdom to come.
I am here to dispel that fallacy. Such an idea is outright untrue! Just look at our Day-Cs and the members of the Board; do we look ancient to you? Of course not!
I was a widow, but five years ago, when I was 69, I fell in love again. A year later, I got married to a wonderful man who proved to me that there’s life—an even more wonderful one—beyond my 69th and 70th year of existence.
I am 74 now and I’ve never felt more in love with life. Our wonderfully written theme says: “Staying Sharp and Feeling Fine @ 69.” Excuse me for taking the liberty of rephrasing it to suit my particular situation: “Staying Active and Eager for More @ 74.”
But today is not about me alone but also others like me who are in this age bracket. We are many, so don’t underestimate our influence. Don’t count us out because we can still make a difference in the society. We are wise and we are still productive.
We are tough because we lived in an era when nothing was easy. Unlike today, when everything—even morality—is relative, we were raised to see things crystal-clear. The society’s morality was not malleable, unlike today. That is why the society needs us because it needs a sector who will provide an unshakeable moral compass.
Maybe, that’s why God allowed people to age; so that they may accumulate wisdom that they can pass on to the next generation. Without the elderlies’ collective memory and lessons, where will this society end up?
So, to the Day-C members, don’t let others look down upon you. Demand that they look up to you! You deserve every bit of respect and admiration.
Do not let your age weigh because those numbers are only in the mind. Accomplish things because you still can. Your well of creativity has not dried up. Show everyone that there’s more where they came from.
Let us take inspiration from what the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) is doing. At 69, it is still dynamic, creative, useful, and hardworking. The idea of resting on its laurels is far from their mind. They keep pushing for the glory of God!
Congratulations to KKFI for reaching its 69th anniversary and for honoring the elderlies. Thank you and God bless!

Kapayapaang May Kagalakan, Posible Ba?

Ni Nancy Caluya-Nicolas

Executive Director

 

May isang popular na awiting parati kong naririnig na kinakanta ng mga grupong relihiyoso: “Let there be peace on earth….”

Nakakaindak ang saliw ng awiting ito. At kung iyong nanamnamin ang lyrics ay titindig ang iyong balahibo. Bakit? Marahil dahil ang tinutukoy nito ay ang pangarap ng ating puso at kaluluwa—ang kapayapaan.

“Sumainyo ang kapayapaan,” ang bati ng ating Panginoong Jesu-Cristo sa mga apostol Niya nang siya ay muling nagpakita sa kanila matapos Siyang nabayubay sa krus. Kapa-yapaan ang isang bagay na pinakakailangan ng mga apostol nang oras na iyo. Nag-aalala sila para sa kanilang kaligtasan. Walang katiyakan ang kanilang hinaharap. Higit sa lahat, halos masira ang kanilang katinuan dahil sa lungkot na nararanasan nang mawala ang kanilang pinakamamahal.

Kailangang-kailangan nila ng kapayapaan ng isipan at kalooban. Alam ito ng Panginoon kaya’t ang pagba-ting “Sumainyo ang kapayapaan” ang isinalubong Niya sa kanyang mga pinakamamahal na apostol.

Ano nga ba ang “kapayapaan”? Hindi magkatulad o “synonymous” ang kapayapaan at katahimikan. Maaaring maging tahimik nang walang kapanatagan. Kung minsan ay napaparalisa na lamang sa isang tabi ang isang tao o hayop mang natatakot. Pinipili nilang manahimik maka-survive lamang.

Ang tunay na kapayapaan ay katahimikang may kapanatagan ang kalooban at kagalakan sa puso. Ito ang pinakananais ng lahat.

Ngunit mailap ng kapayapaan. Sa buong kasaysayan ng daigdig, uhaw na uhaw ang mga tao at mga gobyerno dito. Kaya’t kahit mababaw lamang ay ipinagmamalaki na ng mga namamayaning uri na naabot nila ang “kapayapaan” o “peace” o “pax” (sa salitang Latin).

Mula noong 27 taon bago isilang si Jesus (27 B.C.) hanggang 180 taon matapos Siyang mamatay ay ipinagmalaki ng Roma na napanatili nila umano ang kapayapaan sa buong emperyo. “Pax Romana” ang tawag nila dito.

Diumano’y nakaranas naman ng “Pax Mongolica” noong ika-13 at ika-14 siglo sa mga bansang nasakop ni Genghis Khan at Mongol army niya. “Pax Britannica” naman ang itinawag kapayapaang naranasan mula 1815 hanggang 1914 sa Europa.

Nang magsimulang ang ika-20 siglo, “Pax Americana” naman umano ang naranasan ng malaking parte ng mundo, partikular ang Western Hemisphere, salamat sa “pagbabantay” ng Estados Unidos.

Sa lahat ng mga nabanggit na “pax” o kapayapaan, may mga kaakibat na pananakot o pagbabanta ng pwersa. Hindi ba maaaring walang ganito? Hindi ba posible maabot ang kapayapaan na may kagalakan at kapanatagan ang mga taon?

Bakit hindi natin subukan ang Pax Cristiana?

Hindi mababaw o “superficial” ang kapayapaang Kristiyano. Ang kapanatagang dulot ni Kristo ay sagad sa buto, ‘ika nga. Tumitimo sa puso’t isipan. Damay ang kaluluwa.

Ito ang kapayapaang “may kaga-lakan” na tinutukoy ng tema ng ika-68 anibersaryo ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI). Hindi ito pulitikal tulad ng Pax Romana at Pax Amerikana.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” ayon sa awitin. Hindi kailangang magkaroon ng alyansa ng mga grupo o maraming indibidwal upang maranasan ang Pax Cristiana. Madali lamang gawin upang makuha ito—tanggapin ang Panginoong Hesus bilang Tagapagligtas dahil inalay Niya ang kanyang banal na dugo upang tayo, bagama’t mga makasalanan, ay maligtas at makaranas ng buhay na walang hanggan.

Ngunit mahirap din sapagka’t hindi kailanman madali ang maging tapat sa sarili na magpakababa at tangga-ping hindi tayo maliligtas kailanman ng sariling pagsusumikap, gaano man ito kabuti sa ating pag-aakala. Mahirap manatiling tapat sa Diyos at matulungin sa kapwa.

Ngunit ang gantimpala naman ng mga mananatiling tapat ay ang walang katapusang kapayapaang may kagalakan. Ito ang uri ng kapayapaan na matatagpuan sa langit.

Ngunit hindi ibig sabihin nito ay hihinto na tayo sa pagsusumikap na makamit ang kapayapaang may kagalakan sa daigdig na ito pa lamang. Bilang mga Kristiyano, tungkulin natin ang iparamdam sa ating mga kapwa, lalo na ang mahihirap, ang uri ng kapayapaang ito upang mapatunayan lamang na ang Diyos ay sumasaatin sa Lupa at maging sa Langit.

Ito ang papel ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc.—ang ilapit ang Diyos sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan at gayundin ay ilapit ang mga mahihirap at nangangailangan sa Diyos.

Sa tulong ng Panginoon ay tapat nawa nating maisakatuparan ang ating tungkuling iparanas sa tao ang kapayapaang may buong kagalakan na nagmumula sa Diyos.

 

The Habit of Working Hard

By Evelyn Tendero

 

I met Anidel Villanueva in 2002, when she started working at Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) as a dormitory assistant (at the time, we called them “house mothers”). She was assigned in the Main Building and Annex I dorms. The KKFI dorms were exclusive for ladies then.

Anidel, or “Ani,” as she is fondly called was very industrious. As the dorm manager, I always wondered where she got all the energy to do all her daily tasks at that level.

Aside from her official job description, she even had the energy and enthusiasm to accommodate requests from her officemates to run their errands. She would even read the water sub-meter of the KKFI’s commercial spaces and the electric sub-meters of the dormitories.

I, myself, would ask her every now and then to deposit or withdraw from the bank, which was of good 15-minute walk from KKFI.

I always wondered where Ani learned her discipline of working beyond working hours. And she never charged any overtime pay for all those sacrifices! She must have acquired it somewhere.

That long-time question in my mind was answered during the Monday morning devotion of KKFI. Ani shared during her testimonial that 10 years before she got to work in KKFI, she worked in a number of Caltex gas stations in Southern Tagalog area. She said she was the cashier but she would also operate the gas pump and do the inventory of the station’s auto parts store.

She said it was normal for her to work beyond eight hours a day and even on holidays, when needed.

It has become apparent to me that it was inherent to Ani to be hard-working and to walk an extra mile all the time. In that sense, she was and is the ideal worker every employer dreams about.

Before becoming an employee of KKFI, Anidel became one of the scholars of the Foundation during the term of Mrs. Nellie Mercado as its executive director. That was in 1992. Ani graduated  with  a  degree of  Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Banking and Finance from the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA).

She is the second of eight children  of  Mr.  and  Mrs. Alfredo Villanueva of Abra and Ilocos Sur, respectively. Her parents were members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, but Ani herself became an affiliate member of the United Methodist Church when she became a KKFI scholar.

The KKFI became part of Ani  and her family’s  existence,  almost literally. Her younger sister Mary Rose worked part-time as a cleaner in Annex II while her brother, Alfred, has been our janitor in Annex I and Annex II since 2012.

I retired from KKFI in 2015, but came back last November. During last year’s Christmas party, Ani was honored as the Female Employee of the Year.

I could not agree more.

 

Ganito ang Buhay-DA

Ni Rowena “Weng” Gaffud

 

Dati, ang tawag sa amin ay “dorm reliever.” Isang araw, nang narinig ito ni Ma’am Nellie Mercado, dating executive director at member ng Board of Trustees ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), mas maganda aniyang pakinggan katawagang “dorm assistant” o DA.

Ngunit ano nga ba ang DA at ano ang mahalagang bahagi niya sa buhay ng KKFI?

Ang DA ay di lang simpleng tagatanggap ng mga nag-a-apply maging residente ng dormitory. Hindi lang din siya simpleng tagasingil ng bayad ng mga residente.

Ang DA ay isa ring ina, kapatid, janitress at, sa maraming pagkakataon, ay isa ring nurse.

Siya ay “ina” sa mga residenteng malayo sa kanilang mga magulang. Pinapagalitan din niya ang kanyang “mga anak” kung sila ay makukulit o nagkakalat.

Gabi-gabi niyang sinisilip ang mga kuwarto ng kanyang mga “anak” upang tiyaking nandyan na sila. Kung wala pa, tinetext niya sila at sinisita kung bakit gabi na’y wala pa sila.

Walang ipinagkaiba ang DA ng KKFI dorm sa mga tipikal na ina na kasalo ng kaniyang anak sa kasayahan at kalungkutan. Oo, laging kadamay ang DA lalo na sa kanilang kabiguan.

Naalala ko minsan, nakasalubong ko sa itaas ng overpass ng Morayta ang isang residente. Binati ko siya ngunit, sa aking pagkabigla ay naiyak siya. Hindi ko alam na kasasabi lamang sa kanyang hindi siya nakapasa sa kanyang medical board exam.

“Ate Weng, hindi na naman ako nakapasa,” sabi niya sa akin, sabay iyak. Niyakap ko siya, inalo at tinapik-tapik ang kanyang likod. Ramdam na ramdam ko ang kanyang kabiguan.

“Huwag mong masyadong dibdibin ‘yan,” sabi ko, “siguro ay hindi pa ‘yan para sa iyo. Mag-try ka uli at ipagpe-pray natin na ibigay na Niya ‘yan next time.”

‘Yun nga ang ginawa niya at ngayon ay certified doctor na siya. Nagte-text-text pa rin kami hanggang ngayon.

Ang DA ay nurse din. Kapag isa sa kanila ang nagkakasakit, nag-aalala kami nang husto.  Binibigyan namin sila ng gamot at kinukumusta maya’t maya. Kahit sa kalagitnaan ng gabi, kinakatok kami ng mga bata kung may dinadaing sila.

Dinadala namin sila sa ospital. Binabantayan namin sila hangga’t wala pang kamag-anak na lumuluwas. Nagpupuyat ang mga DA at pumapasok pa kinabukasan kahit puyat.

Di ko malilimutan noong minsang dinala ko ang isang dorm resident sa ospital nang magdugo ang ilong nito dahil sa high blood pressure.

Sa UST Hospital ko siya dinala. Nang napababa na ang kanyang BP ay nagdesisyon ito na lumipat sa Lourdes Hospital. Dali-dali akong tumawag ng taxi at nang nakalipat na ay hinintay ko pa ang kamag-anak niyang doktor.

Hindi ko ininda ang gutom at personal na gastos upang matiyak ko lamang na ligtas ang bata.

Ang DA ay isang ate, confidant, adviser, at hingahan ng sama ng loob. “Overwhelmed” kami sa mga bata na ipinagkatiwala nya ang kanyang pagkatao sa amin. Minsan ay may batang nagtanong sa akin: “Ate, bakit kaya walang nagkakagusto sa akin? Pangit ba ako?”

Ganoon pala sila katiwala sa DA.

Ang DA ay isa ring janitress. Tagaligpit kami ng mga kalat, taga-buhos sa toilet, tagawalis ng sahig.

Ang DA ay isang “supermom.” Hindi personal na buhay namin ang mahalaga sa amin kundi pati na rin ang kapakanan din ng aming mga batang pinaglilingkuran. Kahit nasa gitna kami ng date o day-off man ay nagtatrabaho pa rin kami. Tatawag ang mga bata sa cellphone namin upang manghiram ng susi o mag-inquire.

Kalungkutan namin ang kanilang kabiguan, ramdam namin ang bigat ng kanilang dinadala. Alam namin na ang simpleng pakikinig namin sa kanila ay nakagagaan na sa kanilang dinadala.

Kasiyahan din namin ang kanilang success. Proud na proud kami tuwing sila ay nakakapasa sa kanilang kurso o board examination.

Ito ang buhay namin bilang DA. Wala kaming kasawaang maglingkod sa mga bata sa dormitoryo. Para sa amin, ang pagiging DA ay di lang trabaho kundi isang ministry.

Ito ang aming mga kuwento.

 

Mas Maaliwalas na Bukas ang Dulot ng YLEAD

ni Axel Mendoza

 

Matagal nang problema ng mga taga-Tondo ang droga. Tila hindi ito matapos-tapos at hindi mapigil-pigilan.

Doon sa Tondo, ito na ang almusal, tanghalian at hapunan ng mga kabataan. Okey lang ang hindi kumain sa buong maghapon basta “makatira” lamang.

Ibebenta nila ang lahat upang maka-“score” lamang, maging ito man  ay ari-arian o kahit ang sariling nilang anak, para sa mga may edad na.

Madaling ibenta ang droga sa Tondo. Kaya’t pinipili ng iba na ito ang ilako upang magkapera kaysa maghanap ng marangal na trabaho.

Ang isang programa ng Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) na may katawagang Youth Leadership, Education and Advocacy for Development (Y-LEAD) ay naglalayong mag-adbokasiya laban sa masamang epekto ng droga sa buhay ng mga tao, kabataan man o hindi na.

Nagbibigay ang mga kabilang sa programang Y-LEAD ng mga impormasyon sa mga kabataan man o mga magulang upang balaan sila sa pwedeng mangyari kung gagamit at magpapatuloy gumamit ng pinagbabawal na gamot.  Naglatag kami ng mga alternatibong gawain imbes gumamit ng pinagbabawal na gamot.

Nag-organize ang Y-LEAD sportsfest para sa mga kabataan. Dito ay naglaro ng basketball at volleyball ang mga kabataang dati’y nakikita lamang na sa mga kalsada at “tumitira” ng solvent.

Sa sportsfest ay natutunan nila ang kahalagahan ng pagkakaisa at “teamwork.” Halata ang pagod sa kanilang kilos ngunit makikita rin sa kanilang mga mukha ang kasiyahan na dati’y mailap sa kanila.

Bukod dito ay tinuruan din ang mga bata tungkol sa masamang idinudulot sa buhay ng paggamit ng bawal na gamot. Tinuruan din sila ng kagandahang-asal. Natutunan nila kung paano rumespeto sa mga nakakatanda at makisalimuha sa mga kapwa bata. Higit sa lahat, ipinakilala sa kanila si Jesus Christ.

Bago ito ay tinuruan ang mga kabataang lider ng disiplina at kung paano mapalago ang sariling mga kaalaman.

Alam naming maraming talento ang mga kabataan ng Tondo. Kailangan lamang nila ng tiwala at paggalang sa sarili upang lumabas ang kanilang pagiging malikhain.

Bago natapos ang proyekto ay nagkataong idinaos ang piyesta sa Tondo at dito nagkaroon ng pagkakataon ang mga bata at kabataan ng Tondo na mag-perform upang mapanood ng lahat ang kanilang kakayahan.

May mga sumayaw, may mga kumanta, at may mga umarte sa pamamagitan ng teatro.

Sa pamamagitan ng mga gawaing ito mula sa proramang Y-LEAD ng KKFI ay maraming kabataan ng Tondo ang magkakaroon ng panibagong pagkakataong makaangat sa buhay imbes na malugmok sa bawal na droga.

 

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.