Adamson University held the first St. Vincent de Paul National Awards at the Adamson University Theater last September 26, 2010.
Proclaimed winner of the SVP Award was Katilingbanong Pamahandi sa Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (KPMFI) for their project of transforming agri-based poor households to become micro-entrepreneurs in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental. The KPMFI received a glass trophy and a check worth PhP100,000.
Seven nominees, including the KMFI, which came from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were submitted to the panel of evaluators for consideration. The other six nominees were the University of Santo Tomas-Office for Community Development for their Aeta Integrated Community Development Program in Bamban, Tarlac and Mabalacat, Pampanga; the Manila Doctors Hospital-Department of Family and Community Medicine for their “Sama-Sama sa Malusog na Barangay” program in Malate, Manila; the Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Commission (LASAC) for the LASAC Institutionalization of Poorest Women program in Lobo and San Juan, Batangas; the Jesu Christi Community for Manna Ministry in Cebu City for their goal of lessening the basic problems of the poor; St. Hannibal Empowerment Center Inc. and the Rogationist Fathers for the St. Hannibal Housing Project in Pasay City; and the Socio-Pastoral Institute and Ummah Fi Salam for their program of building Darusalamas (Peace Communities) among urban poor Muslims in Pagadian City.
While only one winner was named, each of the nominees each received a plaque of honor recognizing their efforts in helping the poor achieve a better quality of life.
Special awards were also given. The Blessed Frederic Antoine Ozanam Award, went to Maguid Acub Maruhom, a leading figure of the Umma Fi Salam (Building Darusalams Project). This award is named after a French layperson who devoted himself to continuing St. Vincent’s mission and is given by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP). Noemi C. Henon, president of the St. Hannibal Homeowners’ Association (Phase 2) and also part of the St. Hannibal Empowerment Center received the St. Louise de Marillac Award given by the Daughters of Charity. Both awardees also received cash prizes.
In his welcome remarks, Adamson University President Fr. Gregorio L. Bañaga, Jr., C.M. explained the rationale of the St. Vincent de Paul National Awards. It is, in essence, a recognition of the unity and synergy of people and organizations working together towards the empowerment of poor communities to take responsibility and direction for their own destiny and to change the unjust structures that keep them in poverty. Named after St. Vincent de Paul, who together with St. Louise de Marillac, institutionalized organized charity in 17th-century France, the awards is also a means to encourage the pursuit of the new Vincentian paradigm of Systemic Change. This is a more effective approach to helping the poor and a far better alternative to mere dole-out or almsgiving.
In closing the program, Fr. Rolando Santos, C.M., Provincial Visitor of the Congregation of the Mission, expressed his deep appreciation for what the nominees were doing for the benefit of the poor. He said that St. Vincent must be smiling in heaven at that very moment that the awarding ceremonies were being held for what the nominated organizations were doing were a continuation of what he started.
Present in the ceremonies were representatives of the seven nominees, their supporters and friends, and representatives of the University community. Also in attendance were members of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity and other religious organizations.