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Federal Cross of Merit Award

The University of San Carlos


Fr. Heinz Kulüke, SVD

Provincial Superior

Philippine SVD Southern Province

who has been awarded the

Federal Cross of Merit


Dr. Joachim Heidorn

Ambassador of Germany to the Philippines

on Tuesday, 17 January 2012

at two o’clock in the afternoon

Casino Espanol, Cebu City

(Following is the Acceptance Speech delivered by Fr. Heinz Kulüke SVD, Provincial Superior of the Philippine SVD Southern Province, who was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit by Dr. Joachim Heidorn, Ambassador of Germany to the Philippines, during fitting ceremonies held on Tuesday, 17 January 2012, at Casino Espanol, Cebu City.)


His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Joachim Heidorn,

Honorary Consul Dr. Franz Seidenschwarz,

Distinguished Guests and Friends,


Behind this Federal Cross of Merit Award are a number of dedicated people who have helped in various ways over numerous years those who are at the margins of the Philippine Society.  Representing these co-workers, it is my distinguished honor to receive this award today.

In the past years, within the mission area of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in the Philippine Southern Province, several SVD founded Non-Government Organizations have started to extend their help particularly to the poor and marginalized.  The biggest among them is known as Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation – Integrated Development Center (JPIC-IDC).  It all started some 25 years ago with a small project in one of the garbage dumpsites on the island of Cebu.  Just two people were then involved.  Daily encounters with the poor made us reflect on what better ways there could be to help.  JPIC-IDC was therefore organized in 1999 and officially registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2001.  

Today JPIC-IDC has about 70 people employed to implement some 25-35 projects annually.  Its main concern is always to help families and children in abject poverty living in such places as garbage dumpsites, city slums, metropolitan streets, and impoverished fishing and farming villages, as well as young girls who are victims of human trafficking.  Among its programs are pre-school education, sponsorships for children in elementary and high school, and professional training in vocational schools, colleges and universities.  In addition there are nutrition, medical, alternative livelihood, community building and resettlement projects hand in hand with the organization of cooperatives and microfinance institutions.  Important too are advocacy programs addressing such issues as children’s and women’s rights, trafficking of persons and the growing problem of HIV/AIDS.  Various rehabilitation programs were likewise put in place for street children, the elderly who are living on sidewalks and young girls rescued from red light districts.

All this nobody can do alone.  Awards such as the Federal Cross of Merit, although given to individuals, are a good occasion to acknowledge the work of teams and international collaboration.  We thus would like to express our gratitude to all our partners here in the Philippines and abroad. Among those in the Philippines we should mention the Aboitiz and Dakay families, the University of San Carlos, and all our co-workers in JPIC-IDC represented by its Executive Director, Fr. Eugene Docoy, SVD.

German Organizations have made the work of JPIC-IDC possible through their very generous support.  In particular, mention should be made of the BMZ, BENGO, our German main partner the Karl Kübel Foundation and its Executive Director, Mr. Ralf Tepel, represented here today by Ms. Aidy Estrada, the German Doctors, the Schmitz Foundation, Children in Need (Kinder in Not), Solidaris, Kinder Mission (Kindermissionswerk), the AKPK (Aktionskreis Pater Kulüke), JusticeF, Dekeyser & Friends, the DKMR (Deutscher Katholischer Missionsrat), the Steyler Mission and generous individual donors who got touched by the plight of the poor and helped in various ways.

Today our special gratitude goes to His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Heidorn for the official acknowledgment of the work of so many people of good will who have helped and will continue to help change for the better the lives of thousands of the less fortunate.

“Herkunft bleibt Zukunft” (Origin remains Future), the philosopher Martin Heidegger once wrote.  In the future, too, continuing collaboration will be important if we are not to cease helping those in need.  Of great value are new ideas which will not only critically analyze the causes of poverty in a world where more and more people are being pushed to the margins, but moreover look for ways in dialogue with those affected to give new forms to sustainable development.  For the Awarding of the Federal Cross of Merit, for everything that was, that is and will be, I finally, also in the name of JPIC-IDC, express my heartfelt thanks!   



Heinz Kulüke – Cebu City: 17th of January 2012

20 / January / 2012


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