Leading with love

Above: Catherine Sobrevega, Country Director in Programs - LEAP Philippines

In our “Faith and Work” blog series, we explore how our staff members’ individual faith helps fuel their drive to provide people around the world with the means to lift themselves out of poverty.

I grew up as a strict Catholic. Religion was taught at home by my grandparents and parents, and then at our school. Catholicism was one of our major subjects in school.

Before working with MEDA, I thought being a “good Catholic” meant going to Sunday masses, participating in religious holidays, and fasting during Lent – but I now know that it is more than that. It’s not just about things that you do, but how you treat others.

I believe that kindness begets kindness, and that love begets love. When you lead the way, others will follow. Especially being a person of faith, you know that people are looking up to you.

For example, I’ve noticed generosity in my own children. One day when there was a natural disaster and they decided to go to the grocery store and give out essentials to those who needed them. It makes me even happier because I didn’t verbally tell them to do so, but they see the generosity of the work that I do and how I live my life and followed it in that way.

Leading with kindness is easy when others are kind as well. But life comes with difficulties, and we can meet people in challenging circumstances.

I have had experiences with others who are not as inclusive, but I have learned that you should still lead the way with love. Eventually, they will look to you for leadership, and follow in your footsteps of being kind. In difficult situations, I remember that God put me here for a reason. If I just trust, I know that eventually, I will see the benefits of it.

With all my experiences, I am very blessed to have grown up with my deep Catholic faith, and to have my faith become more natural to me. I became more inclusive, culturally sensitive, and respectful, in my personal dealings and in my work.

When I was first hired by MEDA, it was my first encounter with the Mennonite Christian faith. I have gained a deep appreciation for their generosity through their visits and support for our projects in Afghanistan, Ghana, and Myanmar.

I am thankful and grateful since not everyone is given the opportunity to do work that they love where you can practice your faith and can have the opportunity to help others. Thank God for my work at MEDA! Thank you for making me an instrument of your peace!

You’re invited: Join the “Faith-Based Philanthropy: Innovating for Impact Panel,” event on June 23rd, from 2:45 pm to 4:15 pm SGT/GMT+8. Catherine Sobrevega, MEDA Country Director for the Philippines, will be speaking at this engaging panel conversation. In this discussion, which is hosted by Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) and is a part of the AVPN Global Conference, panelists will discuss how donors can make their contributions more impactful using the power of institutional faith-based philanthropy. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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