Friends Helping Friends
Parroquia San Eugenio de Mazenod
(San Eugenio Mission of Mazenod)
Mission: To assist the poor with spiritual, medical, educational and psychological needs, to promote better living conditions for the families in the community.
Number Served: 52 thousand locals annually from 14 surrounding Colonias.
Parish Director: Father Nicholas (Nick) Harding
Location: Colonia La Morita II, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
SHI Partnership Began: 1990
Project Overview: In 1996 Fr. Robert Callahan of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate founded the Parroquia San Eugenio de Mazenod on the outskirts of Tiuana in an area known as La Morita. The mission was named after the founder Missionary of Oblates who desired above all else to preach the Good News to the poor and most abandoned. St. Eugene’s inspiration of reaching out to those most in need continues to be the motivating force for the Oblate priests and brothers who serve a rapidly growing population in a part of Tijuana marked by extreme poverty. Fifteen chapels associated with the Parroquia de San Eugenio supports roughly 200,000 men, women and children who live in or near La Morita II part of the city.
Parroquia San Eugenio has grown by leaps and bounds since its humble beginings in 1996, and thanks to partnerships with non-profit organizations such as SHI, Rotary International, and other local civic groups, the church is now able to support the community with social, medical and educational services through its non-profit Friends Helping Friends International and Casa San Eugenio, their local clinic and community center.
Friends Helping Friends International (FHF)
The mission of Friends Helping Friends International (FHF) is to assist the Misionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate by supporting Parroquia San Eugenio with facilities, programs, and services that positively impact the health and address the need of the community to become more self-sufficient. The non-profit provides programs such as roof repairs, shoes for children, bi-weekly food distribution, Christmas Tradition, and a Micro Credit program.
FHF believes that in order to achieve their mission, the members of the community they serve must be active participants and equal partners in all of the programs. To this effort, in 2009 the Parroquia, with support from Los Niños, a non-governmental organization based in San Diego, California, started a Mirco Credit program for women from the Colonias. The aim of the program was to provide local women with practical learning about food preparation, nutrition, and an avenue for women to become self-suficient and contribute to the local economy. The program has been a success and continues growing.
To learn more about this program, please visit them at www.friendshelpingfriendsit.org