The Episcopal Community Action for Renewal and Empowerment or E-CARE Development Program is now what was formerly known as the CBDP or “Community-Based Development Program”. It is one of the programmatic expressions of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines’ Five Marks of Mission. This is one program, in complementation with other ministries of the Church, where it proclaims the Good News of the Kingdom, teaches and nurtures communities with Christian values of love and servanthood, responds to human needs by a loving service, transforms unjust structures of society and challenges violence of every kind, and strives to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
Episcopal-CARE seeks to improve the quality of life for its partner communities in the Philippines, facilitating poverty-reduction by providing or enhancing the opportunities to make a livelihood, while simultaneously empowering the partner communities through its asset-based approach and its commitment to creating self-reliance and sustainability. It also hopes to serve as an example for other development organizations in Asia and across the world as to how to help alleviate poverty without creating dependence.
The metaphorical model for Episcopal-CARE is the Sea of Galilee, which is a sea with both an inlet and an outlet and so both gives and receives water. This is contrasted with the Dead Sea, which only receives water. The Dead Sea, as one may expect from the name, does not sustain any life within its waters. The Sea of Galilee however, is a dynamic and vibrant habitat for life.
The goal of E-CARE is to empower its partner communities to help themselves, to alleviate poverty and give the people access to basic entitlements, eventually building the capacity to help others along the same path. At the same time, Episcopal-CARE tries to raise the level of gender-awareness in its partner communities — by ensuring that women of these communities are part of the decision-making process as well as the management of projects, and that these women will enjoy the benefits of their new projects.
To learn more about the E-CARE’s roots and beginnings, click here.