We believe in the human person as the center of God’s creation. However, enveloped by unjust structures, one cannot fully grow as a person. Through the social justice and development program, we seek to uphold human dignity by providing venues for social development and transformation. We believe that with the right social structure, every Bikolano can become an agent of his own advancement; given an opportunity, every family can be productive and fully participate in the community. We believe that by championing the human person, we can create a community that works for the common good.
We opened 2005 with a human rights lecture-forum entitled Bikol Development: A Human Right and Social Responsibility, made possible by the endowment from Bikol-USA Chicago. The approximately one hundred twenty participants came from local government units and government agencies, non-government organizations, academe, youth and media. Some participants came from other provinces, namely, Albay, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte.
Regional Director Marlene Rodriguez of the National Economic Development Authority discussed the poverty situation and prospects for development in the region. Director Blenn Huelgas of the Basic Sector Unit, National Anti-Poverty Commission presented the government programs on poverty alleviation. Regional Director Eliseo Copian of the Department of Social Welfare and Development talked on the state of children and youth in Bikol. Atty. Gerardo Pio Martin Borja, Executive Director of Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN) explained the UN Declaration on the right to development. Mo. Joan Clare Chin Loy, Founder of the Missionaries of the Poor, shared her experiences as she helps Bikol’s poor.
In 2005, we made greater impact in the lives of poor families through our Adopt-A-Family project and our regular values-formation sessions among the community of scavengers in Balatas, Naga City.
Under the Adopt-A-Family, foreign benefactors send financial support to select families, particularly the Franzo and Berzuela Families. We ensure that the families have their means of livelihood, despite the meager income, and that the assistance we extend will not create dependence.