Monday, February 1, 2010

Stand With The Poor

do not pity the poor.

You do them no favors, your help is limited. Even with the most altruistic motives, when you move on, you leave them behind.

do not pity the poor.

You extend help out of guilt, appeasing an internal need. You extend help as far as you think you can, without asking the poor what they need.

do no pity the poor.

Stand with the poor!

Partner with them and listen to their voices. Hear their needs and dreams. Look at the skills you have that can help them. Teach them, and learn from them.

Stand with the poor!

Empower the poor and watch them grow. See new leaders and innovators wherever you turn. Realize how you change. Realize how society changes.

Stand with the poor!

The foundation of human dignity binds people together. – Father Nonong

As I walked through Southville 1, I thought how vibrant this place is. How joyful and energetic the community members are. There is a unique energy flowing here. I needed to know why the members felt this way, why the community was buzzing.
My answer started before I even stepped foot in Southville 1. From day one, Father Nonong and the Adamson staff volunteers emphasize how human dignity is the foundation for VCSR and for lasting change. Their perspective is partnership, not pity when it comes to reaching out to the poor. By being with and listening to the community members and hearing their needs, Father Nonong and Adamson are able to assess what Southville residents need.

The residents in turn want to partner. They do not ask for food and handouts, but skills and leadership training. Community members have learned that the answer to their needs is not more money, but to see what assets Southville 1 already has. They need Adamson staff volunteers to help them realize their resources and know how to use them.

The mutual dedication to holistic change is the backbone to this program. It is not the Adamson staff reaching down to help pull up the poor, but rather it is them walking alongside the members of the community. The members of the community in turn invite the Adamson staff volunteers into their lives, and being vulnerable; allow the staff to teach new skills and disciplines. Through the VCSR program, mothers become managers of a family. They save and set goals. They gain confidence to become part of a community. Soon networks form and economic opportunities arise with small business run out of the home in their neighborhood. As the community grows, they share life with the Adamson staff volunteers, and impact them deeply. The staff’s dedication shows how much this community means to them.
Real life learning and experience here is so much stronger than in just a classroom. The Adamson staff are then armed with experiences to take back to their weekly classrooms where eager students await them. Here too the staff can advocate for the poor, sharing their passion with new students so that they too see how human dignity binds us all. Then they too can stand with the poor.

by Jamelyn Lederhouse

1 comment:

  1. This blog , your blog is really interesting and an amazing perspective on how those people in Southville 1,Cabuyao, Laguna live their every day life because as a matter of fact im one of those people who use to lived their.

    My family is one of the first batch who have been relocated in Southville 1, and I can say that "Im really thankful and blessed" to be part of that community. Despite of the big transition in our life, from a modern and urbanized place in Makati transferred to local province of Cabuyao,Laguna far from big establishments(e.g. universities, banks, malls) im still very grateful.
    Grateful to be part/volunteer worker of VCSR-ICES.
    Grateful to served my community as a youth Community Leader.
    Grateful to have an encounter with those brilliant and beautiful De Paul University Students and Professor last December 1, 2008.
    Grateful for the lessons learned from Fr. Nonong Fajardo.
    Grateful for giving me the opportunity to grow personally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, financially and professionally while living in Southville.
    Grateful to read this blog from you.
    And many more to be grateful for……

    Right now, im looking forward on how to help and support this organisation and my community when I get back home in the Philippines.

    Once again THANK YOUJ
    Victoriano C. Gigante