“Don’t Be Blown Away, Science Will Help Save the Day” Forum Today at Finster Auditorium

In what promises to be a good occasion to integrate instruction, research, community engagement and formation in the context of climate change awareness, a forum entitled “Don’t Be Blown Away, Science Will Help Save the Day” will be held today, 26th November 2013, at the Finster Auditorium, from 1:15 to 5:40 p.m.  The forum provides a very good opportunity for the university and the wider community to be abreast of modern and scientific development in understanding the evolving science behind tropical cyclones and how they develop into massive storms that can cause tremendous destruction, particularly on people living in vulnerable area.  It then presents Super Typhoon Yolanda as a case in point, to be followed by a presentation on the hazards that can possibly inflict Davao City in the event of similar environmental calamities and the lessons that can be learned from them.  The forum likewise studies the sociological-anthropological effect of natural calamities on people’s adaptive behaviour.  The forum is expected to present not just the challenges brought about by natural calamities, but also possible ways forward on how best the university’s collective resource can help in educating and raising people’s awareness in understanding natural disasters caused by climate change.  The important aspect not to be missed in this forum is its formative component in the sense that it is through fora of this nature that can provide a springboard for the members of the university community and beyond to be conscious of the socio-cultural implications of natural calamities and disaster preparednes.

ADDU’s own geoastrophysicist Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ will talk about The Science of Tropical Cyclones.  Atmospheric scientist Dr. Gemma Narisma, the current head of the Regional Climate Systems Program of the Manila Observatory, and who has just recently been awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service (TOWNS) early this November, will do a presentation on Typhoon Yolanda: The Anatomy of a Disaster. Dr. Lourdes Simpol, director of TropICS, and Dr. Leah Vidal, chair of Department of Anthropology, will tackle the topics Have We Learned? Hazards and Culture, highlighting the results of the studies of TropiCS in relation to Typhoon Pablo and the Davao City flash floods, as well as highlighting the socio-cultural and anthropological aspects of coping with natural disasters.

A media briefing is expected to take place in the morning, prior to the actual forum in the afternoon.

The forum is jointly convened by the University Research Council (URC), the Tropical Institute for Climate Studies (TropICS), the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF), the Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE), the Ateneo Migration Center (AMC) and the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)

ADDU’s Relief Operation for Yolanda Survivors Reaches Palo in Leyte

Just over a month short of commemorating the catastrophic effect of Typhoon Pablo, the university is at it again. And this time, it is responding to an even bigger challenge of mounting a relief and humanitarian operation to as far as the Municipality of Palo in Leyte, to reach those who survived the massive devastation wrought havoc by Super Typhoon Yolanda on 8th November of this year.

Reminiscent of the Ateneo de Davao University’s (ADDU’s) bold and massive response to last year’s devastating impact of Super Typhoon Pablo which rampaged through eastern Mindanao, the university community generously pooled together its available resources, including that of its donors, to send a mission team to Palo.  Consisting of Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, the Community Engagement Officer (CEO) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF) who headed the five-man team, and assisted by members of the university’s service and security force such as Rolly Canete, Paterno Cascaho, Jocyl Lenaming, and Ramel Polancos, the mission team delivered sixteen (16) tons of relief goods (consisting of 2,204 food packs, as well as 176 boxes of water, clothes, hygiene kits and blankets) to the Archdiocese of Palo.  It also turned over medical supplies amounting to PhP 5 million (including fifty-five [55] boxes of urgently needed IV fluids) to a functioning emergency unit in Palo, courtesy of GBF Pharma which channelled its donations to the university.

Just as ADDU specifically directed much of its relief operations to parishes and a network of schools through the Davao Association of Colleges and Schools (DACS) when it deployed its humanitarian response in the aftermath of Pablo, it again made use of its diocesan contact through Fr. Oscar Florencio of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Palo in coordinating and facilitating the release of its relief goods. The medical supplies were directed to Palo’s Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital, through Dr. Agnes Aliposa (chief designate), one of the few functioning hospitals that survived Yolanda’s onslaught. Continue reading

ADDU Initiates Wider Climate Change Awareness in the Aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda

In the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda which rendered massive and horrific devastation in the Visayas on 8th November 2013, the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) galvanizes its resources to address challenges posed by the catastrophic effects of climate change. With the utilization of researches and appropriate use of technology in addressing these challenges, ADDU is in a privileged position to educate and form the community–both internal and external–on climate change awareness, mobilization of resources, quick and sustained responses to natural calamities, and disaster preparedness.

University-Wide Initiative

Locating the use of appropriate academic researches and technology in the face of natural calamities that can wreak havoc on people, infrastructure, and the environment, the University Research Council (URC)  reflected on the important role of ADDU’s existing centers/institutes especially in providing relevant mechanisms for engagement.  There is, therefore, a need to tighten the integration of existing initiatives done by these centers/institutes, such as the Tropical Institute for Climate Studies (TropICS), the Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE), and the Ateneo Migration Center (AMC), inorder to better address challenges rendered by the impact of natural calamities and other physical disturbances.  The Arrupe Office of Social Formation, with its mandate in promoting awareness of these social realities, can then assist in fostering social formation among ADDU’s internal stakeholders.  In this way, the university community, through the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), will also be in a better position to mount strategic engagements in response to calamities in the wider community. Continue reading

New Arrupe Vols Formally Welcomed in BOS

Thirty-six (36) new recruits are now formally welcomed into the fold of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation’s corps of student volunteers. These greenhorn Arrupe Vols, as people in the university are wont to call them, distinguished as Batch 43, underwent a whole-day Basic Orientation Seminar (BOS) consisting of pivotal talks and team-building activities.

This welcome ceremony, which took place on Sunday, 17th November 2013 at D-103 & D-105, formalized their integration and acceptance as new members of Arrupe’s young and vibrant student volunteers, ready to take on the role as co-formators by offering assistance to the office in its social formation work all year long.  Volunteering work takes three (3) to four (4) years of active engagement with the Arrupe Office, depending on what school year the students applied in.  For this school year, and with the inclusion of Batch 43, the total number of Arrupe Vols now reaches ninety-six (96), representing students in different year levels and in various courses. Continue reading