As in previous years, the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) has been sending student and faculty participants to the Service Learning Program (SLP) of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the Asia Pacific region (AJCU-AP). On its 7th year of implementation, this year’s SLP was hosted by Xavier University (XU) in Cagayan de Oro City (CDOC) participated in by a total of 23 students and 7 faculty coming from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The participating schools were Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan (with a total of 9 delegates), Sogang University in Seoul, Korea (5), Universitas Sanata Dharma in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (6), as well as Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) in Naga City (2), Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) in Zamboanga City (1), ADDU in Davao City (6), and host school XU in CDOC (1). This year’s SLP theme was “Jesuit Education in the Frontiers of Greater Societal Engagement,” broken down into five (5) impact areas where the participants will be engaged in namely, environment, health, peace, governance, and food security. This is the second time that XU played host to AJCU-AP’s SLP.
This program has been implemented inorder to promote a “Jesuit” brand of participative and collaborative learning paradigm, propagating the service of the faith and the promotion of justice, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and appreciation of culture, since its member schools are coming from the different Jesuit higher educational institutions in Asia and the Pacific region. It specifically designs its method of SLP using the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP). Currently, AJCU-AP is chaired by ADDU President, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ.
For this year, ADDU’s delegates comprised of three students, namely Darlene Joy Jayectin (BSHRM 3), John Chin (BSIE 3), and Shaira Lynn Morales (BSM 3) who are all student volunteers of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation; as well as three faculty namely, Marcelino L. Severino III, program officer of SLP, Ms. Janice Y. Camañan, program officer of Student Servant Leadership Program (SSLP), and Ms. Elcy Keith Debildos, field officer, all from the Arrupe Office. Participants of the program were housed in Manresa Training Center in Brgy. Lumbia.
The three-week program commenced on 4th until 27th August 2014. True to the overall objectives of the program, this year’s SLP involved a series of lectures and orientation sessions, community immersion, and output presentation. It featured Xavier Ecoville in Brgy. Lumbia in CDOC as the community where the area work of the participants were implemented. Xavier Ecoville is home to around 500 family beneficiaries who survived Typhoon Sendong, a tropical storm which devastated vulnerable areas in CDOC, Iligan City, and other areas in northern Mindanao in December of 2011. As a collective response to this natural disaster, XU, in collaboration with the city government of CDOC, opened Xavier Ecoville inorder to rehabilitate and resettle families whose homes and properties were either destroyed and washed out by Sendong, or were considered part of CDOC’s “no build zone.”
The area work of the student participants involved a community immersion in Xavier Ecoville, where they conducted community visits, interviews, seminar/trainings and project implementation. This area work was contextualized into five (5) specific impact areas mentioned above (environment, health, peace, governance, and food security), where each participant worked according to his/her preferred area of engagement. The participants’ expected output, based on the five (5) impact areas, were in the area of solid waste management, youth development, values formation and tutorials, urban gardening, and OVI trap installation.
For the faculty participants, their SLP engagement was divided into three conferences where they presented best SLP practices and success stories, assessed the current AJCU-AP’s direction and framework, as well as action planning.
Next year’s 8th AJCU-AP’s SLP will be held in Korea, to be hosted by Sogang University. Thus far, the first and only time that ADDU hosted the program was in August of 2011. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)