St. Hannibal Empowerment Centre

St. Hannibal Empowerment Center (SHEC) is a religious organization of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus. It is a community of Spirit-led persons which aims to follow Jesus Christ in his union with his Father and in his proclamation of the kingdom of God. It is an inserted community among the squatters. The goal of SHEC is to empower the poor people of Metro Manila, Philippines, through housing, livelihood, education, health, waste management, youth and values formation.

Location: Pasay City, Metro Manila

Mission: Its mission is to empower the poorest of the poor and catalyze an integral Christian transformation of urban poor communities in collaboration with the local Church by a holistic process that addresses concerns on housing, livelihood, education, health, environment and sanitation, justice and peace, youth formation and values formation. The goals of SHEC consist of assisting in alleviating poverty among urban poor communities in Pasay and other cities in Metro Manila; and building the foundation of community transformation through intensive values formation. Its objectives are, specifically, to facilitate the organization and formation of people’s organization that are self-sufficient and empowered, facilitate the values and spiritual formation and capability building of urban poor leaders, to assist the urban poor / informal settlers of Pasay and other cities in Metro Manila in realizing their dreams of achieving security of tenure through in-city relocation, to facilitate the implementation of economic programs and basic social services in urban poor communities, and to facilitate access to formal education in favor of the poor and deserving students.

Friday, July 30, 2010

SHEC Goes Ecological For July 2010

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made… (Rom 1:20).

Creation, indeed, has a face. It is one of God’s many faces, for it manifests God’s goodness. Creation then has a dignity which demands respect and care. The whole month of July was especially dedicated by SHEC for the development of Bulacan Ecofarm. This is one way of proclaiming the Kingdom whose spirituality, needless to say, among others, is essentially an ecological spirituality.

Ecological spirituality is a spirituality of interconnectedness. Yes, all are interconnected in one home, God’s creation (ecology, by the way, comes from the Greek oikos, meaning house). We belong to one house, and what happens in one affects the rest. One needs the other as the other needs the one. Humans need trees, just as trees need humans. Planting trees therefore is preservation of life—not of only human life, but of earth life in general. SHEC has once again contributed to this noble effort to preserve life through a series of tree planting last July 13, 18, 20 and 24. Richie Ordonez led the activities. With Pabanal, SHaCC and youth members, they planted papaya and mahogany.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SHEC Updates February 2010

We love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

February is traditionally celebrated as the love month. At SHEC it has been a time full of affection, and not merely of the human kind. God’s love is celebrated and remembered in every activity successfully carried our throughout the four weeks of the month that was. But more important to note is the fact that God’s love or compassion is essentially about justice and liberation for the poor and oppressed. This understanding of God’s love—as feeling partner of justice—is the frame of reference that has guided SHEC through the years.

Love is about celebration and learning. From February 2 to 4, staff sat down for SHEC’s Annual Evaluation and Planning. Executive Director Father Dex Prudenciano, RCJ and Human Resource Head Father Orville Cajigal, RCJ led the staff in a meaningful process of looking back, recognizing accomplishments, revisiting areas of improvement, and drafting plans for the year ahead.

Love is about friendship. A week later, on February 14, a Valentines Party was held for the SHEC Youth. The dancing and interactions promoted warm camaraderie and strengthened bonding among the SHEC Youth volunteers, members of the ROGATE Youth and Kids. Staff from the Youth and Formation Committees organized and facilitated the event. As Jesus himself would show through his disciples, friendships are a major opportunity for showing and experiencing love.

Love is about sharing. February 17 saw the coming of students and professionals from Europe’s Lund University. These guests traversed the far distance to learn more about SHEC’s mission, strategies in community organizing, and the technology it has adopted for its ongoing housing projects. Bro George Espin of the Housing Committee spearheaded the hosting of said visitors.

Love is carrying one another’s burden. When a fire incident ravaged hundreds of homes from De Gracia Phases 1 to 3, Pabanal Leaders of 18 phases in Baseco organized an ad hoc team to manage a relief and rehabilitation effort. On February 18 and 19, these leaders consulted with the local government unit of Baseco, as well as the city government of Manila, to discuss short-term assistance for the fire survivors as well as long term plans involving the development plan of Baseco. Truly, it was on such trying times that love was put in action.

Love is continuous development. The Youth Committee met each Sunday to strengthen its organizational leadership, to continuously hone the interests and talents of its members, and to establish its strategies for community service. Committee Head Ms. Ma Victoria Infante continuously highlights the need for skills development among the youth. The more their personal growth is cultivated, the more they can meaningfully demonstrate Christian servant leadership.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SHEC January 2010 highlights

Youth for the Kingdom
January 7-9, 2010 was an opportune moment for the Rogate youth, SHEC chapter as they gathered at Almost Heaven Retreat Center, Banaue, Ifugao to be formed as servant-leaders for the Kingdom mission. Thanks to the energetic facilitators, Fr. Orville Cajigal, Ma. Victoria Infante and the project coordinators, Richie Ordoñez, Almerson Bernardino and Rhoderick Avedaña, the youth camp was successful. Hopefully, the inspired and empowered servant-leaders will sustain their zeal as holy apostles sent to work for integral human and cosmic well-being. Returning home on January 10, the campers were welcomed by fellow Kingdom workers who were then distributing gifts to the fire victims of Pasay.
“Kayo ang Star ng Pasko”
The poor, indeed, are the stars of Christmas. It was for them that Jesus was primarily sent, for the primary blessing of the Good News of the Kingdom of God is its Good News to the poor (Lk 4:18). The poor’s ‘stardom’, so to speak, has been once again made concrete last January 10, 2010 through a late Christmas program for the fire victims of Pasay, thanks to the initiative of Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ and Ma. Victoria Infante.

Holistic Empowerment
A productive livelihood program is an indispensable element of holistic empowerment, for salvation is not total without decent and humane living. Accordingly, SHEC gives due importance to livelihood projects as manifested in the launching of SHEC’s livelihood products at the St. Hannibal Training Center last January 16, 2010. This affair was made successful through the leadership of Sandra Lloret and Irene Borongan.

On Fire
Hearts on fire, figuratively, are hearts that are ready to extend help to the needy, most especially to the poor who are, literally, on fire. SHEC—with a heart always ardent to help—has acted immediately to respond to the plight of 326 families at Baseco whose shacks were razed by fire last January 16, 2010. The site, it seemed, was a ‘hell on earth.’ But with Kingdom workers and sympathizers like Fr. Chris Sabili, SHEC community organizer at Baseco, the Kingdom will surely prevail in the opportune time.

Turned 7
The number 7 is biblically significant. It means wholen ess, much like the overwhelming and complete joy of the SHEC and SHaCC as they celebrated their 7th Foundation Day last January 17, 2010 at the St. Hannibal Homeowners’ Association,
Phase 2. A true way of thanking and praising God for his blessings is to share blessings with those who are most in need, which is why the highlight of the event was a simple gift-giving to the fire victims of Barangays 143 and 144, Pasay City. This remarkable event was led by Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ. On the same day, a relief operation was conducted at Baseco, thanks to the leadership of Fr. Dexter Prudenciano, RCJ, Fr. Chris Sabili and the donors of the goods.

Pinoy Voters’ Academy
Good leadership is a Kingdom blessing. Accordingly, SHEC gives much imp
ance to the safeguarding of clean and honest elections. Accordingly, Fr. Orville Cajigal, Ma. Victoria Infante, Richie Ordoñez with eight youth representatives attended a voters’ education training at the Cardinal Sin center, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo De Manila University last January 23, 2010.

Pabanal is One Year Old
Any work for the Kingdom of God will truly last. The
Pabanal community at Baseco turned one year last January 31, 2010—a sign indeed that the Spirit is working, thanks to
the passion and dedication of SHEC staff, most specially Baseco’s community organizer, Fr. Cris Sabili.
A Holy Mass (truly a eucharistia, or thanksgiving) was celebrated for this special occasion.