Spirit Driven Change – Manila Newsletter
“Poverty is a matter of the heart. It is only with a changed heart that you can free people from poverty. Only God can change the human heart.
These are the three basic principles that guide the work of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) founded and directed by Ruth S. Callanta. The CCT celebrated its 30e anniversary on April 22 through a virtual meeting.
I discovered the work of CCT through its founder and president who was my colleague at the faculty of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Prior to joining university and founding CCT, she was Executive Director of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a social development organization created by major Philippine corporations in the ferment that preceded the declaration of martial law. almost 50 years ago.
Rooted in social development work for decades, Ruth Callanta’s ideas are instructive: “For the committed businessman, the business is a Christian mission in itself, fulfilling all that Christianity demands: led by the Christ, excellent, righteous, compassionate and loving the poor and the dispossessed. Indeed, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the “warp and weft of a Christian business, not its unintended effect or by-product. Profitable businesses are run ethically and social responsibility are two sides of the same coin.
The primary motive for forming the CCT was economic, as it was established to play a role in poverty reduction. The second motive was social, because economic well-being is incomplete without the provision of social services and social security. The third motive was socio-cultural and political restructuring, in order to enable the poor to achieve a certain autonomy and self-actualization.
The implementation of the CCT mission takes place in three phases. The first phase, on economic and evangelical programs, focuses on bringing the good news to the poor and marginalized while enabling them to increase their incomes. Phase Two, Social Services and Social Security, provides social services alongside discipleship and evangelism. The third phase seeks to achieve socio-cultural and political restructuring by strengthening spiritual and social capital.
In the economic field, CCT provides microfinance services, ensures an adequate supply of food and basic commodities through a cooperative and continually trains people in entrepreneurship and business development. Education, housing, health and life insurance are the focal points of social services that would provide social security.
CCT’s socio-cultural and political restructuring framework covers the following elements: leadership development, construction of social infrastructure, partnerships with local and community churches, and community mobilization.
Since its second decade, the CCT leadership has created new organizational structures to meet the concrete needs of the specific sectors served by its ministry.
CCT Tindahan Para sa Bayan was formed as a separate entity to enable it to serve as a “conduit for all products and services produced by CCT ministries and their target communities”.
Kaibigan Maaasahan Multipurpose Cooperative serves as a vehicle for training former street dwellers as informal service workers capable of being employed in construction projects, building maintenance, janitorial services and agribusiness. .
The Covenant Community Service Cooperative (CCSC) meets the needs of factory workers through savings and credit from the CCT Credit Union. Now registered as a labor service contractor with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), CCSC offers social safety net programs to factory workers and informal service workers.
In 2012, CTC’s Visions of Hope Foundation established Visions of Hope Christian School, Inc. to formalize basic education and early spiritual training for underprivileged children, children at risk, orphans, abandoned children and neglected and street children. inhabitants.
In 2016, CCT formed four organizations. CCT Community Fellowship, Inc. was established to consolidate the efforts and activities of fellowship groups that met regularly for Bible study and Sunday services while ensuring payment of loan amortization. CCT Ministry Among Tribespeople, Inc. is expanding its assistance to tribal groups and empowering them to achieve self-reliance, an initiative CCT started in 2001 when it opened a microfinance unit in General Santos City serving Blaan women. CCT Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. started as a charitable fund for community partners and has since grown into a full-fledged life insurance program for poverty groups assisted by CCT.
CCT has grown into 14 ministries “serving the urban and rural poor through 170 branches nationwide with over 1,300 full staff and over 10,000 community volunteers caring for the marginalized using tailored approaches. that meet their specific needs ”.
To skeptics who are still unable to fully grasp the importance of TCC’s work as a spiritual enterprise, Ruth Callanta quotes James Gustav Speth, former administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and great advocate for the environment. :
“The main environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy. And to face it, we need a spiritual and cultural transformation… and we scientists don’t know how to do this.
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