Jesuit Volunteers Philippines
The Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP) is a lay organization of young men and women who assist in social, pastoral, and development work of missions, apostolates, NGOs, schools, and social development agencies. For at least one year, Jesuit volunteers take on the role of teachers, youth formators, parish workers or community organizers in institutions which share the JVP vision, especially those that have the greatest need for volunteers.
We aim to be a community able to live the Ignatian Spirituality through service, simplicity, solidarity and by being agents of change. We aim to help build a sovereign society of peace and freedom based on social justice, people's participation and authentic Filipino values.
BIRTHED IN THE 70s, GROWN THROUGH THE 80s Men and women for others. This was the challenge posed by Jesuit educators to their graduates in the different universities. However, in the late 1970s, their options were rather limited because of martial law. The government held little hope for such persons and non-government organizations (NGOs) were not yet in fashion. For those coming from the Ateneo de Manila, the summer work camp was offered but this was only for two months. The question then was what to do and where to go.
However, this concern did not go unnoticed. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, then provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, and Fr. William Kreutz, SJ, then the college chaplain of the Ateneo de Manila University, considered this in a lunch meeting they had in Washington, DC. They discussed the possibility of setting up a program for those interested to do service and agreed to get information on a similar program, Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Upon returning to the Philippines, Fr. Kreutz consulted with the other Jesuits that eventually led to the birth of the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP).
With then scholastics Noel Vasquez, Jemy See, and Victor Labao to help Fr. Kreutz run the program, nine volunteers were sent in June 1980 to the different Jesuit mission areas in Mindanao. Of these, seven were graduates of the University while two were graduates of the Holy Spirit College. There was no special training, no preparations. They were the first who boldly left everything behind and had that fire in their hearts to offer service to others.
The first batches of volunteers were sent to assist the Jesuits in rural parishes in Bukidnon as well as special programs in other Jesuit schools in Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Zamboanga City, and Naga City. But as years went by, JVP was no longer confined to the different Jesuit mission areas in Mindanao but to non-Jesuit and non-sectarian apostolates in the different parts of the country as well. It developed into a lay organization of young men and women who assist in social, pastoral, and development work of missions, apostolates, NGOs, schools, and social development agencies. The program became more well-known as an alternative career.
A table in the Campus Ministry Office of the Ateneo de Manila University which was shared with another group served as the JVP office until it was given its own room. The Central Office was composed by Fr. Kreutz as director and Timothy Gabuna, a volunteer from Batch 3 who was assigned in Malipayon Bukidnon, as full-time program coordinator. In addition, Fr. Kreutz convened a meeting of several alumni to draft a provisional JVP Charter which stood as the first detailed exposition of the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.
THE JVP FOUNDATION, INC.
With the growing number of JVPs, funding from the Society of Jesus became inadequate. At the same time, with the efforts to generate funds locally, the organization needed a legal personality. The challenge of self-direction within the Ignatian spirituality seemed a logical development. Thus, in May 1993, former volunteers, together with their Jesuit affiliates, families and friends, launched the JVP Foundation, Inc. The purpose was to make JVP financially stable by establishing a capital fund from individual and corporate donors, and let JVP’s legacy of service continue.
Much has happened since then. What started out as a group of nine volunteers sent to the different Jesuit mission areas in Mindanao has grown into a Foundation of close to 600 alumni and associate members. Although the goal of the P25M endowment fund is still far beyond what we have now, the Foundation continues its efforts to raise the needed money in different ways. As long as there are individuals ever ready to be of service following the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the JVP story WILL continue...
3/F Bellarmine Building
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Road, Loyola Hts., Q.C.
Tel No. : 4265908 / 4266001 loc. 4880
Fax No. : 4226-5908
E-mail Address: email@example.com