Student leaders and faculty represented Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) in the 4th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) in Manila on 1st-7th August 2013, organized by the Humanitarian Affairs Asia (HAA). The ADDU contingent was headed by Kahlil Denise A. Alcomendras (ABIS, 3rd Year), Mark Henry L. Barroso (BSA 3rd Year), members of the corps of Arrupe Volunteers, together with Ralph Robin C. Tongcua (BSME, 5th Year), Mr. Mark Irvir S. Dormile (BSA, 4th Year), and Adrienne Kurt P. Sabate (BSA, 3rd Year). Ms. Theresa S. Eliab, director of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and Ms. Lilibeth Leh-Arcena, director of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation and the Ateneo Leadership Center (ALC), accompanied the five student leaders during the weeklong event held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) along Roxas Boulevard, in the City of Manila.        

      Convened by the HAA, and supported by the United Nations (UN), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Education (DepEd), the international symposium intended to gather together a thousand of the world’s dynamic young leaders to dialogue and discourse on key humanitarian issues. The London-based HAA is a member of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the World Alliance for Citizens Participation (WACP).  It is a social enterprise that focuses on programs for development among poor countries, especially those that are vulnerable to disasters. It also supports humanitarian relief efforts, among many other things.

      By convening the Manila 2013 Symposium, the HAA nevertheless promotes the giving of opportunities to young world leaders from institutions of higher learning and NGOs to engage in humanitarian work and service, as well as to strengthen their awareness of the word’s global poverty issue, with the ultimate intent of instilling in them a life-long commitment to serve the world’s poor and the marginalized.

         Through the symposium, it is hoped that the delegates will have an expansive understanding of their role in effecting positive changes in themselves, so they can better propose sustainable development projects to address the global concerns on poverty.

      Among the many renowned speakers who graced and animated the symposium were Mr. Francis Kong, junior Senator Mr. Bam Aquino, Mr. Miguel Bermundo, and Gawad Kalinga founder Mr. Antonio Meloto. Two resource persons voted as CNN Heroes on two separated years were also on hand to share their stories and provide inspiration to the delegates.  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)