The 31st APPEND Leadership Conference took place in Boracay Island, Philippines from May 29-31, 2024, with more than 300 leaders from various network organizations and advocacy partners congregating for the three-day convention hosted by KMBI and KMBI Development Foundation, Inc. (KDFI).

With the theme, “Rekindle the Flame: Keep the APPEND Vision Burning for God, His People and the Rest of Creation!”, the conference focused on renewing the bond and distinction of APPEND member organizations as individual institutions as they keep accountable before God for the APPEND Network and its work of transformation.

Member organizations and advocacy partners were greeted with a welcome dinner, followed by a plenary talk from Mr. Arun Gogna, a sought-after national and international motivational speaker, who tackled the essence of being co-workers in God’s kingdom, expounding on the theme verse 1 Corinthians 3:9: “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, and God’s building.”

The popular husband-and-wife tandem Pastor Joseph Bonifacio and Ms. Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio graced the event as hosts for the series of plenary talks that followed.

Rekindling passion for holistic transformation

Prominent speakers who gave talks include Pastor Joey Umali on “Transforming the Lives of Our Clients: Our Shared Vision”, Ms. Marby Tabungar from PREVO Design X Foundation and Ms. Meldy Pelejo from Good Return Limited on “Creating a Human-Centered Workplace”, and scientist and Professor Emeritus Dr. Rex Victor Cruz from University of the Philippines Los Baños on “SSS: Save Earth. Save Lives. Secure Our Future.”

Participants also learned practical insights from breakout sessions. Pastor Joey and Mrs. Digna Umali, together KMBI President Mr. Eduardo C. Jimenez and his spouse Dr. Gloria P. Jimenez shared about the joys and pains of marriage in their breakout session “Usapang Mag-asawa: Kaya Pa Ba?”. Meanwhile, celebrity tandem Pastor Joseph Bonifacio and Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio offered insights on how singleness can become a blessing to render service to God, during their breakout session, “Happily Single”. Lastly, Ms. Malu Tiongson-Ortiz, in her breakout session entitled, “Solo Parenting: Tatay Na, Nanay Pa!”, related the challenges of raising her children as a solo parent.

Rocking the spirit of fun and unity

Participants wore their best rock-n-roll suit as they shared in the fun night themed: “Rock and Roll sa Bora!”. The idea behind the theme was to shake everyone’s spirits and passion in the work that they do in their respective organizations, and inspire them to rekindle the flame of passion within the APPEND community.

The participants, divided into 12 tribes, showcased their musical and artistic talents in their rendition of classic songs by renowned Filipino rock bands.

On the third day, the 12 tribes took on a series of thrilling group challenges designed to promote cooperation among members of different organizations.

New member organizations accepted

The APPEND Network welcomed KDFI and Grameen Pilipinas Microfinance, Inc. as its new member organizations, further expanding the presence of the network in the microfinance landscape.

The ALC culminated with an oathtaking ceremony of newly elected APPEND board members and the rekindling of commitment of network organizations in bringing to fruition APPEND’s vision and mission.

The ALC is an annual conference designed as a flagship program for the annual leadership gathering and empowerment of APPEND’s member institutions. The goal of the conference is to strengthen the spiritual health, leadership and technical competence of APPEND – as a network and of the individual organizations, affiliates and partner institutions’ board, management, staff and clients.