Niña Maria Learning Center Scholarship Program
Niña Maria Learning Center was founded by the Sisters with a group of Filipino professionals. It aims at promoting education in Tambo, Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City. It started in June 1999 with a Preschool Program which is successfully ongoing. In the two years that followed, more learning activities were initiated to cater to the needs of both the young and adult populace in the area.
The desire to continue looking for a more comprehensive way of reaching out to the community has led to the inception of a new initiative which aims to provide financial assistance to poor families who can hardly send their children to school because of extreme poverty. This program dubbed as “Sending Our Children from Tambo to College” has as its goal the involvement of the community channeled thru a core group which is a consultative body that consists of area representatives from Tambo. The scholarship program adopts a counterpart system in which both the scholar and the parent or guardian are required to give time and effort for a more holistic development through literacy classes or skills training modular courses. Parents, scholars and alumni receive ongoing spiritual formation and accompaniment as integral component and process of the NMLC thrust toward personal and communal empowerment.
NMLC Preschool was established in June 1999 to answer the need of preschool kids in Tambo for elementary education. In this area, children attend elementary school but very few can afford to go to preschool. Because of this lack of basic educational preparation (language, motor coordination and social skills) it is hard for many of them to follow the teachers and they easily lag behind in many learning competencies.
The school’s vision, in line with the worldwide thrust of the Company of Mary, is primarily to provide basic education to the poor specially the most economically disadvantaged children.
The school holds the policy of socialized tuition scheme, charging a very minimal fee for each child. In return, the children get good education and use of updated materials.
NMLC welcomes financial support from willing and generous friends and potential collaborators to this mission of providing quality pre-school education to children who have already been deprived so much early in life. The present resources of the school come mainly from private donations but still could hardly cover the primary concerns to assure the sustainability of its operation.
Catholic Center Campus Ministry
Iligan is a city located in a Muslim area in the island of Mindanao. During the 90´s Iligan experienced a great increase in its economy due to the factories that were opened along the sea with the possibility to send the goods to different points inside or outside the country. The crisis came around the year 2000 and some big companies were obliged to close with the consequent problem of no work for many people.
In this City the Company of Mary runs a Center for the Youth. What does it mean?
In Iligan there is a very good Public University, with a very cheap tuition and where many students from all over Mindanao come to study in that school. They live in boardinghouses, in very poor conditions, with small space to study and even to breathe. Aside from that the students are exposed to all kinds of problems, starting by the economic one.
The Center was created to provide a venue to the students in which they can study, meet new friends, play, pray… The Center offers a holistic education to all the students that voluntarily go there. The motto of the Center is “We play, we learn, we pray, for love and life” and all the activities are focused to reach this motto.
The students group themselves in different Committees according to their own inclinations:
- Liturgical Committee. It is the in-charge of the spiritual life of the Center, preparing the Eucharist and all the activities oriented to the spiritual development of the students.
- Educational Committee is concerned about the Library, taking care of the books, watching the library, keeping the things at the hand of the students, and establishing activities about education and development of the knowledge from the heart. They organize a Quiz-show contest based in General Knowledge.
- Recreational Committee takes care of the sports and native games. They organize Tournaments among the different areas of the boarding-houses, and among the Committees: volleyball, badminton, table tennis… providing a venue of healthy recreation in order to avoid different addictions among the students: computer games, internet, gambling… and to promote attitudes of solidarity and camaraderie.
- Musical Committee forms the choir of the Celebrations of the Center, preparing the songs of the Eucharist, meetings, etc. They participate in different places when they are required as a reach-our program. They offer Guitar, Electronic Organ and Voice Lessons for the students. They also prepare a yearly Mini-Concert and go from house to house in Christmas season singing carolling, as a typical tradition of the country, in order to raise funds to repair the different instruments and, if possible, to buy new ones.
- News Letter Committee is attentive to the situation of the youth in the Society and the activities of the Center, and, through that observation, it creates a magazine called “Ang Batingaw”. They also organize Symposia and Workshops in their own field: Journalism, Press Conference…
- Justice and Dialogue Committee takes care of the issues of the society, informing about it to the rest of the students through exhibits and symposia. At the same time the students are involved in the Interreligious dialogue since our island, Mindanao, is composed of three cultures: Christian, Muslim and Lumad (Native). It is a work on peace and understanding among peoples with big conflicts along the history.
All the Committees start the School Year with a Mini-Seminar which gives knowledge to the members and encourages them to achieve the goals proper for each Committee and they held a meeting every other week: one is for formation and binding and the other to reach out the proposed goals. The purpose of the Center is to accompany the students for them to become agents of transformation of their society. That is why all the activities are oriented to reach the goal.
We prepare in an eight days seminar and three days retreat the leaders of the mentioned Committees. We called them the “Core Group” and, as in-charge of the Committees, it holds meetings every other week. They are the ones who lead the group with the presence of one adult who works as staff in the Center. For the rest of the students we offer a recollection day and a seminar on vocation.
Another important activity is to reach the students in their own boarding houses. We visit around 100 boarding-houses to know the students in their ‘living place’, to invite them to the different activities and to have meetings of human-spiritual development. Each area has two leaders and one staff who carry out this objective. These leaders have also attended the said preparation.
Aside from that, the staff gives three courses on a weekly basis: Development of Human Sexuality, Bible and Doctrine of the Catholic Church. The students attend voluntarily to it and the average is around 25 students by group.
In the Center there is a small and simple Dormitory which can accommodate 28 young girls. They live in rooms of 4 people in quite poor conditions. There they receive accompaniment having individual consultation with the person in-charge and meetings for formation and to resolve the problems that may appear.
We are happy with this mission in which we hope to help the students in their achievement to face life not only academically speaking but also as a human being, instilling in them love for their faith, honesty, responsibility, justice and a compassionate heart.
Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan
Xavier University is a Catholic community dedicated to the integral development of the whole person for the needs of Mindanao, the country and the world. Because of this mission to develop and integrate the whole person, Xavier University takes explicit cognizance of the spiritual nature of the person and his/her relationship with Jesus Christ through the gift of faith.
Wherefore, Campus Ministries, directly responsible to the University President, was formed and entrusted with the task of nurturing the spiritual life of the University Community beyond the purely academic studies offered in the curriculum. Campus Ministries complement the academic and other formation programs to achieve the whole mission of the University.
Clearly, the primary function of Campus Ministries is to foster the life of faith in each individual member and to unite the people of God in the University into a real community with Christ as the head, the Lord of all.
In 1991, Lestonnac Youth Center (LYC) opened its doors with the goal of offering a place for others to enrich their lives and their community. It is a place where the charism of the Company of Mary Our Lady (ODN) is alive and where the mission of evangelization as educators takes place. This mission invites us to ponder, calls us to prayers, and obliges us to take action to bring the Gospel to our world.
LYC can accommodate up to 65 people for overnight seminars and retreats and a maximum of 200 people for day activities and conference. There are two chapels and dormitories with a capacity of 25 people each. We also have eight individual rooms, two conference rooms with a capacity of 100 each along with dining facilities. On the grounds, there are 10 kiosks with ample space suitable for outdoor activities.
- opportunities for personal and group retreats and days of recollection
- individual spiritual direction
LYC was named after Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac who founded the Company of Mary in Bordeaux, France in 1607. According to the spirit of the Foundress, LYC focuses on education in the faith that blossoms into works of justice.