On Wednesday, 17th July 2013 at J-301, the National Service Training Program (NSTP) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (formerly the Social Involvement Coordinating Office [SICO]) gathered together all student volunteers who passed the screening and are now included in this school year’s (SY) corps of student volunteers who will assist NSTP formators in the implementation of this year’s fieldwork. Totalling ninety-one (91), including the existing corps of Arrupe/SICO volunteers and former NSTP volunteers of the last SY, the new volunteers who made it in the shortlist passed through the initial screening and interview conducted and facilitated by members of the core of NSTP student volunteers (of the last SY) and NSTP personnel, including Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) Coordinator, Ms. Agnes Sagaral and Arrupe Community Engagement Officer (CEO), Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol. The recruitment period for new volunteers commenced on 24th June until 5th July.Screening through interview was done on 6th, 8th and 10th July; deliberation on the final list of new volunteers was conducted on 16th July.

The NSTP volunteers constitute a major role in the implementation of fieldwork activities in both first and second semesters, when NSTP classes implement proposed projects in their respective areas of assignment. The volunteers assist the NSTP formators in the area scanning and area preparation prior to the deployment of classes in different partner communities.  For this SY, there are currently ninety-six (96) partner communities, resulting from a careful and thorough assessment of over 181 areas of the last SY. There will be two puroks assigned for each class.  Four (4) NSTP volunteers will be assigned to assist four groups for each class. There are forty-eight (48) NSTP-CWTS classes for this school year 2013.

For its first group activity (after the recruitment period), a team-building exercise will be conducted 27th-28th July 2013 at Outland Adventure and Eden Nature Park in Davao City.  Prior to the reconstitution of the new batch of NSTP volunteers for this SY, an Adopt An Estero activity on was conducted with some old volunteers on 6th July at Shoreline in Brgy. Pampanga, Sasa.

All in all, these initial activities and others form part of the whole scheme of formation sessions which will be given to these student volunteers, to prepare them for their volunteer work not only in NSTP but in other areas as well, specially the Arrupe/SICO volunteers (majority of whom also constitute the corps of student volunteers of NSTP). (by M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)