Every year, the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service Foundation, Inc. accepts full-time volunteers from the Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (JVPFI), a non-government organization based in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. JVPFI engages in nation-building by recruiting, training and sending volunteers for a year of service to marginalized communities across the country. These committed individuals, known as Jesuit volunteers (JVPs), serve in far-flung communities as teachers, formators, community organizers, or enterprise development officers for under-resourced schools, parishes, and NGOs.
Matthew “Matt” Delgado is a graduate of AB Philosophy from Ateneo de Naga University in Naga, Camarines Sur. He joined the JVP immediately after his graduation in 2019, and was assigned as community engagement coordinator in PJPS.
During his volunteer term, he facilitated immersion activities inside the New Bilibid Prison of various institutions and groups, including schools, non-government organizations, and lay associations. He also worked to advocate the dignity and rights of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) through active social media initiatives, and by serving as Values Formation teacher in the ALS Basic Literacy Program of the Bureau of Correction education department in Medium Security Compound.
Matt is currently serving his second volunteer term in PJPS. Having renewed his commitment, he hopes to continue the pursuit of aiding the marginalized and becoming a better advocate for the prison community.
Ralph Christopher “Rap” Escalera, a Jesuit volunteer in his second volunteer term, is the new pastoral associate for formation in PJPS. He graduated with a degree in AB Sociology from Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City, and was assigned in PJPS in June 2020.
Prior to his current designation in PJPS, he had worked as Task Force Anti-APECO (TFAA) National Coordinator for Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, a socio-political apostolate of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, based in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. As a JVP, he coordinated with TFAA national partners in securing land rights of farmers, fisher folks, and indigenous peoples in Casiguran, Aurora.
Rap is challenged by the opportunity to implement programs for the welfare of the PDLs in New Bilibid Prison and expects to be immersed in a new culture that will expand his perspective and help him grow as a person.