An Asian Graduate School with a Difference

Francis Senden Memorial Foundation (FSMF)

The Asian Social Institute (ASI) founded in 1962 whose aim is to give students of modest means but with talent and leadership potential access to take up graduate education – could not have survived and developed without the role of the Francis Senden Memorial Foundation. This objective of ASI responds to the appeal of St. John XXIII of blessed memory when he wrote in PACEM in TERRIS “Peace on Earth” (1967) which he delivered in the United Nations:

“Every effort should be made to ensure that persons be enabled, on the basis of merit, to go on to higher studies, so that, as far as possible, they may occupy posts and take on responsibilities in human society in accordance with their natural gifts and the skills they have acquired.” (Pacem in Terris, St. Paul Publications, p. 3).

The Social Science-Based Graduate School of ASI was envisioned by the Very Rev. Dr. Francis Senden, CICM as a guarantee for relevant pedagogical approaches in the lower levels – primary, elementary, secondary and early tertiary education. Students and graduates of ASI who have been formed and trained to comprehensively understand the total socio-cultural situation of the learners are bound to introduce relevant pedagogical approaches to integral education and sustainable ecological lifestyles in the context of the 21st century.

The conceptualization of the Francis Senden Memorial Foundation (FSMF) can be traced back one year before the Founder’s Death in August 22, 1973. He had consulted the late Very Rev. Fr. Paul van Daelen, CICM, then his Provincial Superior in the Philippines of how to establish a Foundation to cover up for ASI’s understandable operational deficits. To realize its main goal, Asian Social Institute (ASI) charges reasonable tuition fees. In fact, the whole institute is highly subsidized by foreign funding agencies which believe in the vision of Asian Social Institute (ASI).

Prior to the death of the Founder, together with Rev. Fr. Paul van Daelen, CICM ASI was able to register with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a corporation titled “Social Development Foundation for the Asian Social Institute.” But before the By-laws could be drafted, the Founder passed away.

The concept was rearticulated after 14 years by Rev. Fr. Paul van Daelen, CICM together with the President of ASI, Dr. Mina Ramirez. After having been instrumental in facilitating that Asian Social Institute (ASI) be incorporated, Fr. Paul van Daelen, cicm was elected Superior General of the CICM Missionaries based in Rome. He, however, did not lose touch with ASI whose realization of its vision and mission he committed himself to support. After his stint as General Superior, he was asked by the ASI Board of Trustees to be ASI’s Permanent Executive Consultant. In this work, he facilitated ASI’s growth towards financial stability, organizational sustainability through a socially engaged spirituality.

The capital build-up of ASI was greatly enhanced by Rev. Fr. Paul van Daelen, CICM and his former General Treasurer, Rev. Fr. Paul Staes, CICM who became the Treasurer of the CICM Asian Region. In Year 2000, the FSMF reached a 120 Million Capital, contributed by the CICM Asian Region (Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan) Rome. U.S., Belgium and Holland. With the help of financial consultants, FSMF invested its capital – money market placements, and in securities – which in the early years of the Foundation from 1991 to 2005 had substantial returns on investments which allowed Asian Social Institute (ASI) to fund the following major items of its operations:

  • Professional costs – salaries and wages
  • Fixed costs like light and water
  • Building repairs
  • Advancing the funds for projects when arrival of funds from funding partners is delayed.
  • Others, when not covered by project funds

It has its own Board of Trustees and as such is independent from but related to Asian Social Institute (ASI). In its By-Laws it has this provision – to finance initiatives which are in line with the socio-pastoral ideals of the Founder. And since ASI’s current programs fully are in accord with the Founder’s dreams, ASI is the main recipient of its financial support. In FSMF’s history, it has funded a family life project of Miriam College, a publication on Godly Governance of Pamathalaan Organization, and support for ASI’s sister-organizations – Senden Home and SAFRIDI – in the formation and training of their leaders.

Since its foundation’s incorporation in 1991. ASI has been the recipient of 350 Million PhP. But this big help has depleted FSMF’s capital. The depletion started in 2005 with the event of the worldwide financial crisis all over the world. While ASI’s demands in its complex of subsidiaries have been raised, the return on investments has severely declined. Due to a technical error on the part of ASI’s administration, it had to pay back wages to 16 of its employees worth .8 M PhP. The fire that gutted the Third Floor of the Academic Building which housed the most important facility of Asian Social Institute (ASI) for formation and training of leaders, for the conduct of its flagship program, the IDCCD course, the annual Review classes in Social work with participants from 83 schools all over the country, Asian festivals and other forums – stalled significant activities of Asian Social Institute (ASI). Francis Senden Memorial Foundation (FSMF) still maintains its Peso Account, Dollar Account, and Euro Account in China Bank, Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) and BDO respectively. But contributions have dwindled.

ASI plans to restore its capital through renewing the spirit of ASI’s solidarity circle of friends from its former staff, alumni, associates and friends. For those who wish to contribute to FSMF – to support ASI’s projects, click the button of Pay Pal or through the following bank accounts: