In pursuing its mission to save lives SELF has faced many challenges over the last 20 years. What has sustained it is the knowledge that it wasn’t alone. Whenever difficulties arose allies and supporters would emerge just around the bend to lighten the burden or ease the disappointments. There was never a shortage of government agencies and private sector organizations and the people running them who were always ready to lend a helping hand. The partnerships that SELF formed are among its most important treasures. They are living testaments to the TC dictum: “You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.”

1 KM logoIn 2005 Martin attended the inauguration of the Kedhaton Parahita facility of the Kasih Mulia Foundation in Sentul City, Indonesia. During this visit he began a friendship with its founder Fr. Lambertus Somar and his main supporter Agnes Wirjanto. This became the foundation of what would become a fruitful partnership in promoting and developing the TC approach. This involved such activities as exchange visits to share best practices and a collaboration in a program providing scholarships for training in TC management to practitioners in Asia.

2 AJMRI & Monsignor logoSELF first came across the Daytop people when Martin attended the 2nd AFTC conference in Bangkok in 1996 where the crew of Aloysius “AJ” Joseph, Fred Locke, and Fernando Perfas gave him a warm welcome. In 1998 Martin visited the Daytop headquarters in New York and met Daytop’s founder Monsignor William O’Brien. He had a heart to heart talk with the monsignor about his own recovery and shared his challenges as he established SELF. Martin also took a management tour of their Meadow Run facility where he experienced their approach to the TC. A year later Monsignor O’Brien visited the SELF facility in Rodeo Hills during his tour of Asian facilities. A year later, AJ visited SELF and held an impromptu seminar for the residents. His visit commenced the relationship that SELF and Daytop International built in the years to come. As SELF increased its participation in annual international conferences, this relationship between the two organizations prospered. Since 2010, AJ has been a regular visitor of SELF and has been a strong advocate and supporter of its program. With SELF currently involved in sharing its best practices to local and international TC practitioners, Daytop International and SELF are currently collaborating to develop a training manual for this purpose.

WFTC logoThe elder members of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities have always held its association with the SELF program in highest regard. In 1998 Martin became an individual member of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC) which was then headed Anthony Gelorminoby Monsignor William O’Brien. Soon thereafter the monsignor invited Martin to sit on its Executive Council as associate chairman of the Standards and Goals Committee. In 2012, Martin became a member of the WFTC Board. It was around this time that Anthony Gelormino took over the reigns of the WFTC from Monsignor O’Brien. Meanwhile, SELF turned its attention to sharing its best practices with other TCs, leading to the development of a training module on TC Management. This training initiative was recognized by the WFTC as it certified SELF as a TC Learning Center in 2013. In 2014, Martin was appointed as the Communications Committee Chairman where he sits as the Editor-in-Chief of the WFTC Newsletter.

AFTCIn 1996 when Martin attended the 2nd AFTC conference in Bangkok he met other TC center operators from different parts of Asia. People like Sharif Hamid and Yunus Pathi, both recovering addicts, were fast in accepting Martin into their fold. This inspired Martin to become active in the federation by registering SELF as a lifetime member of the organization. During succeeding conferences, SELF was present in all its conferences and Martin always made it a point to take younger staff members with him to participate. In 1997 Martin was invited to present the SELF Family Program at a workshop in the 3rd AFTC Conference. This established him as a reliable resource for the federation, and SELF soon became one of the models to emulate in Asia. In 2004 Martin was elected into the AFTC Board and in 2006 was elected again as its Treasurer., a position he was untrusted until 2014. SELF was one of the co-hosts of the 8th AFTC Conference held in 2010 at the Mariott Hotel in Metro Manila. Martin shared SELF’s best practices at a plenary session, while his wife Joy, who oversees the administration of SELF’s residential facility, and three senior staff members facilitated some workshops.

Department of HealthIn 2002 the Philippine Congress enacted RA 9165 thereby transferring the supervision of drug rehabilitation centers to the Department of Health (DOH). Following this the DOH issued a comprehensive manual that would serve as the basis for the accreditation of all treatment and rehabilitation centers in the country. Among other things it prescribed a minimum standard that all programs and facilities of each center had to meet and a Manual of Operations detailing all the systems and procedures it employed. Since that time SELF has successfully met all the standards for the mandatory renewal of accreditation every three years and has been consistently held up as a model for other centers by the DOH. In 2012 the DOH contracted SELF to train their rehabilitation center personnel to improve their understanding and implementation of the TC modality. As of 2014, more than 30 practioners have been trained.

DDB LOGO NEWDuring the 1990s when the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) was the governing body that supervised all drug rehabilitation centers, it organized various activities to bring together rehab practitioners from the country’s different regions. One of the active associations run by the DDB was the Inter-Agency Committee for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Dependents (IAC-TRDD). SELF was an active member of the IAC-TRDD and often offered its facility as a venue for these meetings with other rehab center staff. In 1995 SELF hosted a National Conference organized by the DDB at the Poveda House of Prayer in Tagaytay City. In that convention SELF fielded several senior staff to present papers and participate in the various workshops. In 1998 Martin assumed the chairmanship of the IAC-TRDD but had to give it up as he underwent surgery that year. Throughout the leadership of then DDB Executive Director Dr. Rey San Pedro, SELF enjoyed a trusting relationship and close collaboration with the agency that has continued to the present.

Colombo PlanSELF’s involvement with the Colombo Plan – Drug Advisory Program (CPDAP) began in 2001 but it intensified after then Director Tay Bian How visited SELF to view its program and facilities in December 2003. Thereafter Martin actively participated in numerous conferences and workshops organized by the CPDAP as one of the agency’s regional trainors. With this collaboration Martin was able to expose a number of SELF staff to the different cultures in Asia. In November 2008, when the CPDAP organized the 3rd Asian Recovery Symposium at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City, SELF sent a delegation of 40 residents, staff and family members to attend. Martin has coauthored three books in writeshops organized by the CPDAP: Development of Family and Peer Support Groups in November 2003 in Singapore; Management of Drug Treatment Rehabilitation Programmes in Asia in May 2005 in Penang, Malaysia; and Handbook on Client and Family Education in August 2009 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

PhilcadsaSELF has been a member of the Philippine Council Against Drugs and Substance Abuse (PHILCADSA) since 1993. In February 2008, the Philippine Council Against Drugs and Substance Abuse (PHILCADSA) sponsored SELF Aftercare resident Jordan Bakani to represent the Philippines in the Asean Youth Extemporaneous Speaking Competition in Brunei, Darussalam where she won the 2nd Prize. In the photo, Jordan’s mother who accompanied her holds up the trophy after the event. To the right of Jordan is Judy Abdullah of BASMIDA, the host organization.

PFTCThe Philippine Federation of Therapeutic Communities (PFTC) was founded in 2004 by Ed Castillo of the Seagulls Flight Foundation and a few other TCs including SELF. In September 2005, the 1st scientific forum organized by the PFTC was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati. The special guest and keynote speaker was none other than Monsignor William O’Brien, WFTC President and Daytop Founder. During the opening ceremonies, Monsignor O’Brien awarded Martin a medal in recognition of his contributions to the TC cause in the Philippines. In the photo Martin is flanked by Monsignor O’Brien (right) and PFTC President Ed Castillo.