St. Paul University Philippines’ project was declared as a winner in the 2020 Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development on July 06, 2021.  Sponsored by Arab Gulf Programme for Development – AGFUND, the said undertaking aimed to advance endeavors relevant to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on “Zero Hunger” (SDG 2). Chosen from among entries worldwide, SPUP bested four finalists from Sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritania, Palestine, and Venezuela under the fourth category on projects initiated by individuals. Mr. Nasser Alkahtani (Executive Director, AGFUND) formally conveyed the announcement to Mrs. Noemi Cabaddu (Director, Community Extension Services), lead implementer of the project, on July 12, 2021.

Working towards the realization of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SPUP has implemented programs and projects along the 17 SDGs. In particular, the project on “Nourishing the Future Generation through Community-Based Supplemental Feeding and Family Backyard Gardening Promotion ” was implemented for the partner-communities of the University towards hunger eradication. The implementation was based on a research which highlighted the availability, affordability, and access of the members of SPUP’s partner communities to food and its sources and supply. With the result of the study, SPUP initiated household vegetable gardening and the growing of healthy and nutritious food which are available in the locality which in turn supported the supplemental feeding to the members of the indigenous communities residing on the far-flung mountains in Apayao. SPUP provided the technical and material resources to its partner-communities as the University’s collective efforts towards food security and provision. Included in the technology transfer were vegetable propagation and appropriate food preparation and handling.  Mrs. Cabaddu, through the SPUP Community Development Center Foundation Incorporated (SPUP-CDCFI), is continuously monitoring the progress and conducting an impact evaluation on the project.

Entry-projects from international and regional organizations, national NGOs, public institutions, social business enterprises, as well as initiatives led by individuals were rigorously vetted by the Prize Committee, chaired by Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz, (President of AGFUND). The Committee members included, Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain (Executive President of the Queen Sofia Foundation and Honorary President of the Royal Board on Education and Care of Handicapped Persons), Mrs. Mercedes Menafra (Former First lady of Uruguay and the President of Honor of Todos Por Uruguay), Dr. Muhammed Yunus, (2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of Grameen Bank), Dr. Ahmed Muhammed Ali, (Former President of the Islamic Bank Group), and  Dr. Yusuf Sayed Abdullah,(Former Director General of the OPEC Fund for International Development).

SPUP’s project on SDG 2 is spearheaded by Mrs. Cabaddu. With her in the project team are, Sr. Merceditas Ang, SPC (University President) and Dr. Allan Peejay Lappay (Director, Alumni, External Relations and Advocacies). The project is served through the SPUP Community Development Center Foundation Incorporated (SPUP-CDCFI) which was recognized as  the Best Non-Government Organization in Luzon by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (2019).