Guam - From arts to culture, human services and social services, over 100 non-profit workers participated in the 3rd Annual Micronesia Non-Profit Congress hosted by Payuta, Inc.
"Catholic Social Services is a Catholic charities agency," said Diana Calvo. "We are a social service agency established in 1979." Calvo said CSS has catered to Guam's abused, neglected, homeless, and elderly for the last 33 years. But it hasn't been easy as the agency reaches over 2,000 Guam residents annually.
"There's always a demand for services in everything, but the amount that is available particularly on Guam is not sufficient to meet the demand for services. So we're having to institute wait lists to identify priority groups and there's no backup for those that don't meet those criteria - so until such time a slot comes available individuals may go without services."
Calvo says a lot of these challenges can be solved through collaboration, especially with non-profits and the government. According to Payuta's Sarah Thomas-Nededog, the four-day conference enables that as "Payu-Ta" in Chamorro means "umbrella", and the organization serves as an umbrella group for dozens of the island's non-profit groups.
"So the whole idea is for us to come together to take a look at what are those policies what are those practices what are those things about our different islands our cultures that help to or serve to build strength amongst us so we can be better advocates for our people and to better ensure that we will have sustainable communities," she said.