Livelihood Assistance Outreach Program at the St Francis Friendship Home Livelihood and Spirituality Center By Tina Teehankee

The Livelihood Assistance Outreach Program of Santuario De San Antonio Parish Foundation is housed in the St. Francis Friendship Home Livelihood and Spirituality Center located in West Rembo, beside the University of Makati. Administered by the Secular Franciscans (OFS), the Livelihood Outreach provides a safe haven for the needy mothers and their children in the surrounding communities. The operation offers “Kainan” Food Counters with fresh cooked snacks and food orders for lunch/dinner for the students and residents in the surrounding communities as well as packed lunch/dinner and snacks delivered to employees in nearby Office buildings. The Friendship Home also houses a Thrift Shop, a mini Library both for adults and children, a small computer room where children as well as adults avail of computer training and services, and a tiny vegetable garden, currently planted to nutritious malunggay.

At present, it is directly benefitting 13 families with opportunities to earn a living by way of teaching the mothers how to cook nutritious quality meals that they sell in the outlets where they are assigned to serve and deliver. OFS also assists in providing scholarships for the children and helps the adults to look for job opportunities, molding, guiding and counseling them in understanding and living out their spiritual beliefs and Christian faith.

In seeking to understand the urgent needs of the immediate community, the Secular Franciscans seek ways to respond to their needs getting to know the members of the community as individuals. This vibrant interaction has become the venue for spiritual enrichment and for values formation.

The Friendship Home is reaching out to parishioners for any small assistance in any one of these various ways for:

• The Livelihood Program –
o Opportunities to improve their cooking, baking and services;
o Order packed lunch to be delivered in nearby office buildings;
o Old computers, printers and the like, assistance in computer training, serviceable pots, & pans.
• The Thrift Shop – unwanted but still wearable clothes for children &/or adults, old toys, useable household/kitchens articles.
• The mini-library – children’s/adult’s books
• Volunteers for counseling, values formation and Read Along for Children
• Medical & dental care assistance, first aid and vitamins for children

In faith, hope and love … the Secular Franciscans grow much more responding to them in our own little way… we follow the footsteps of our Patron, St. Francis of Assisi as we share a willing ear, an understanding heart, and a helping hand.

Byline: Cristina Teehankee, Coordinator, The St. Francis Friendship Home Livelihood and Spirituality Center