Realizing the need to alleviate poverty and to uplift the plight of the urban poor, Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, who used to be a parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Bicutan, Taguig together with several lay leaders, servants and kind-hearted benefactors particularly the couple, Rafael “Boy” Dizon, Jr. and his wife Shalene who are devout Catholics and committed philanthropists pooled their resources and passion to respond to the needs of the urban poor in Taguig City.
In 1989, they initiated the formation of a Christ-centered organization to promote the socio-economic upliftment of the urban poor in Taguig City. It was registered with the SEC in March 1991 under the name of “Simbayanan ni Maria Foundation, Inc.” The organization’s program was focused on providing scholarship grants and spiritual formation for the young but deserving students to pursue college education. The goal of which is to sustain the educational needs of at least one family member for every indigent family in the area. The program envisions education as a vital tool for the transformation of the society, in order to achieve a better and a brighter future.
Over the years, the organization’s programs evolved into various community-based initiatives. Thus in 2005, it amended its Articles of Incorporation, and renamed it “Simbayanan ni Maria Community Foundation, Inc.” (SMCFI). This Community Foundation not only carries out its social responsibility towards the community, but also empowers its members to be able to do the same. Its core program is on Youth Servant Leadership and Education.
Since its inception, SMCFI has assisted no less than 2000 youth pursue and complete their college education. The value and spiritual formation was strengthened, a community library which caters to the non-formal tutorial learnings of the children within the community was established, and the scholarship, leadership/team building seminars/workshops were conducted and made available to the children, youth, and families not only to the residents of Taguig but also to the nearby depressed communities.
Significantly, a core group of graduates which the Foundation assisted, organized themselves into an “Alumni Association.” They pooled their resources to commit a portion of their salaries to be donated to the Foundation. For three years now, the Alumni Association has been donating P100,000.00 annually to support the Foundation’s program for the youth.