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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

June 2012 Highlights

Rogate: A Spirituality of Faith in God’s Providence. God’s essence is love. In effect, God’s being is to share, for sharing is a natural fruit of love. Accordingly, God cannot be outdone in generosity, which is why the Rogate is essentially a spirituality of solid faith in God’s providence. This is one precious legacy of St. Hannibal which is worth remembering in the month of June. For on this month, we celebrate not only St. Hannibal’s feast, but also, we remember that on June 7, 1895, after the pressing problem of having nowhere to go, the female orphans under St. Hannibal’s care finally moved to a former convent, thanks to the support of generous people touched by God. Life in the Kingdom of God is indeed like this. The most generous God moves people to be God-like, so that as children of God, the ‘haves’ ought to take care of the ‘have-nots’ (see Mk 10: 17-27; Lk 19:1-10). God’s providence, in other words, is also about generous people who love both God and neighbor. This belief, this spirituality, this conviction are factors which inspire and sustain SHEC to go on touching lives for the sake of the Kingdom and its justice to the Anawim.

Happy Feast Day, Beloved St. Hannibal! For he is very special in the hearts of the poor served by SHEC (just as he is very special in the heart of God), our beloved founder, St. Hannibal was remembered and honored in a very special way last June 1, 2012, the feast day dedicated to him by the Church.
The Rogate youth leaders and members designed a program in which 300 children could enjoy being together by playing and through other activities. Surely, St. Hannibal was delighted as he was quite fond of children, and was very concerned of their wellbeing. Needless to say, children remind us of the proper attitude required for entry into the Kingdom of God (see Mk 10:14-15). This joyful event took place at the St. Hannibal Subdivision Phase 2, Rodriguez St., Malibay, Pasay City.

List of Housing Beneficiaries Finalized. Indeed, it is God’s providence through the generosity of others that makes wonderful blessings such as the finalization of the master list of approved applications for housing for Phase 3.
The list was deliberated and finalized by the Awards and Arbitration Committee or AAC at the SHEC office last June 27, 2012. Certainly, this is again a successful event manifesting that the Kingdom is at work…that the alleviation of the poor is not a pie in the sky after all.

ASI and La Salle Students Visit SHEC. To be oriented about the nature, dynamics and programs of SHEC, SHaCC and PABaNAL, students of the Asian Social Institute or ASI visited SHEC last June 28, 2012, and the day after, June 29, La Salle students came for the same purpose, in addition to their intention to have SHEC as their immersion area for their NSTP program.
Both groups came to know that SHEC is anchored on the wisdom of the Kingdom of God, the program of the God of compassion we believe in. Needless to say, integral development which is one of ASI’s goals, jives well with Kingdom values. Would it be a coincidence that Asi in Iluko means compassion, the kind of mercy which moves one to work for justice, and thereby become an instrument of God's providence?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

May 2012 Highlights

Rogate: Following Jesus through Mary. May is the month of Mary, for in the religious perspective, she is the true May flower who decorates ‘the carpet’ that leads us to Jesus. Also, May is the month of the santacruzan in which we commemorate that blessed day when Elena, Constantine’s mother, discovered a piece of the true cross. St. Hannibal was very close to Mary. Certainly, this closeness, among others, led him closer to Jesus.  In a sense, through Mary’s guidance, St. Hannibal also discovered a piece of the true cross. By dedicating his life in service to the poor and the oppressed, he faced a lot of crucifixions. This is best appreciated if we take time to consider that when Jesus exhorted his disciples to carry the cross and follow him, the cross did not yet have a religious meaning—it referred rather to the sacrifices and trials a disciple has to face when he or she proclaims the Kingdom and its justice.
In the month of May, it is the insight ‘following Jesus through Mary’ that has guided the life of SHEC. Indeed, through her gracious hands, Mary, the Mother of the Poor, has led SHEC to continue Jesus’ Kingdom mission.

Meeting with PIAC. May 2, 2012 was a taste of the ‘joys and tears’ (victories and crosses) which characterize the daily struggles of the poor for humane living. In SHEC’s meeting with the Awards and Arbitration Committee of the Pasay Inter-Agency Committee (PIAC), 7 screened applications for housing were approved while 6 were deferred. Also, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has no response yet to the segregation of the 2000 sqmManila International Airport Authority(MIAA) property which, in turn, will determine the granting of a right of way at MIAA. Be that as it may, the fire of hope remains enkindled as the request letter for the issuance of authorization letter to HOA 3 back titles was received, and the clean initial master list of renters and sharers was signed. In addition, there was an assurance that the deferred applications and other appeals will be reconsidered. There was also a proposal to amend the memorandum of agreement in order to incorporate Pasay mayor Calixto’s promisewhich consists of an additional 3 million pesos for the housing project. The meeting was held at the National Housing Authority (NHA) Office, Baclaran, Paranaque City.

Planning for Better Mission. Kingdom work is not just a profession. It is, more importantly, a vocation and a mission. Understanding Kingdom work as such may sustain one to continue despite the crosses along the way. With Mary’s guidance and St. Hannibal’s intercessions, the work may indeed be more smooth-sailing. This spirit inspired the admin and staff of SHEC as they laid the framework of their 3 year plan of service to the poorest of the poor, as well as the more immediate annual plan for fiscal year 2012-2013. The planning was held last May 19-24, 2012 at the St. Hannibal Training Center, Pasay City.

MRB Validation Session.To be informed about the the feasibility of Medium Rise Building (MRB) projects for the urban poor, informal settlers in Metro Manila, BenchuZabalaand George Espin of SHEC attended the MRB validation session at the Ateneo de Manila University last May 29, 2012.

Loan Documentation Seminar. Assistance from lending institutions is necessary in the mission of SHEC. In view of this, BenchuZabala and George Espin of SHEC attended the loan documentation seminar which was held at the University of the Philippines, Quezon City last May 30-31, 2012. The seminar was sponsored by the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and Luzon Community Mortgage Program (LCMP Network). It aimed to inform SHFC and LCMP members of the procedure of loan documentation, as well as the details about the right documents to submit, and to update members of the latest policies of SHFC with regard to the community mortgage program.

Gabi ngKabataan Celebration. All is well that ends well. SHEC, at least, has ended the month of May with a joyful celebration dubbed as Gabi ngKabataan or Youth Night (an anticipation indeed of the joyous character of the Kingdom towards which the poor of SHEC hope to go to).Said event was an avenue where the Rogate Youth Ministry SHaCC Chapter (RYMSC) and the Rogate Youth Ministry PABaNAL Chapter (RYMPC)could showcase their talents. Moreover, the youth were also updated about RYMSC and RYMPC activities. Also, non-members were invited in view of recruiting them to become official members. Lastly, the celebration was meant to strengthen the bond among those who participated. All in all, over 130 leaders and members of both chapters graced the evening.