Although SELF is a non-profit organization, it is aware of its social responsibility towards the less fortunate members of our society. SELF has always believed that when one bestows kindness upon others, the same shall eventually return oneself. Part of the formation program of SELF is learning to give back to society. Thus SELF holds annual Outreach Activities that afford the residents the opportunity to practice sharing their time and resources in the service of others, and experience the fulfillment that it brings.

Medical and Surgical Mission

In August 2000, after SELF moved into its permanent home in Talisay, Batangas, it held its first Surgical and Medical Mission for the benefit of the neighboring community. The mission was a result of a collaboration between SELF and the doctors and nurses of Makati Medical Center, led by Martin’s friend and classmate Dr. Vic Gisbert. Vic and his dedicated team of volunteers have been conducting such missions in different places around the country once a month since 1995. In the years since that first project, 13 more missions were conducted annually and the services have expanded to include medical consultations and dental work. Typically, around 30 doctors and nurses participate in the activity that provides the following services: Cyst removal, Circumcision, Tooth extraction, Diabetes screening and General consultation. On an average, about 150 patients are treated within a span of only four hours.

On its part, SELF provides the venue where the mission would be conducted, and the meals that are served to all the doctors and nurses who extend their services for free. In 2008 Martin’s classmates, the Ateneo High School Class of 72, joined the mission as a main partner, donating cash for the surgical materials and post-surgery medications.

During the mission, the SELF Multipurpose Hall is converted into a makeshift operating theater where everyday desks wrapped in plastic are set up as operating tables. A large buffet table accommodates the surgical equipment, which the nurses sterilize and manage. Selected residents assist in the undertaking by coordinating the influx of patients, following up after each surgery and prepping the tables for the next procedure. The SELF staff take care of distributing the post-surgery medications.
As a healing community, SELF is proud to work hand in hand with such selfless and dedicated professionals. Below (L) doctors and nurses pose with some SELF staff. At right, Dr. Gisbert (2nd from L) is joined by a few Ateneo Class 72 members.

SRCC Projects

The SELF Residents Coordinating Council (SRCC) is a committee of residents composed of a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary who are elected by the entire SELF Family. Its main function is to raise funds for the resident community by selling food items that the residents themselves make at the monthly Family Association Meeting. The proceeds are then used for the benefit of the community. On a regular day, the SRCC officers function as hosts of the numerous birthday parties that are celebrated in the facility. On an annual basis, they are required to organize a fund raising project for an outreach activity that benefits the townsfolk of the surrounding community. Since its inception in 1998, the SRCC has provided the residents with opportunities to serve as their leaders in non-program matters.