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Nurturing summer of service 2012

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The Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) Volunteers actively is involved in the Summer of Service (SOS) 2012 organized by the Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement (SACSI) office, social arm of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University in various areas of Region IX-Western Mindanao.

The Summer of Service, now on its 15th Batch was an offshoot of the partnership between the two social arms of the Ateneo Campuses both in Zamboanga City and Cagayan de Oro City. It provide young professionals, college student leaders an opportunity to work and immerse themselves in the lives of community organizations, peoples organizations and non-government organizations serving various advocacies in the region.

I was once part of the Batch 9 Summer of Service 2004, the last batch whose SOS experiences was under the leadership of the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan and was assigned at Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. I was assigned at the Municipality of Kinoguitan and Sugbungcogon at Misamis Oriental. My work includes facilitating and doing documentations in the conduct of training and peace process consultations. Additional to my work is training the community leaders with the basic Financial System and accounting works setting aside that I was studying Computer Engineering that time.

The experience taught me not just to master my engineering works but to also learn accounting and improving financial systems as well as work in peace building and peace processes. It strengthens my understanding about social justice and peace.  It tried to let us also understand how the ordinary lives of farmers, cooperatives, local officials, youth and community organizers works.

Being with the SOS, it was the ultimate opportunity to immerse my selves with the realities on the ground especially issues of peace processes, corruption and environmental degradation. The power tool of community organizing enriched my volunteerism to be a man for others. That, until now has been one of the living fundamental ingredients of how i nurture my involvement in peace.

The Summer of Service is one of the laudable programs of the SACSI and Ateneo de Zamboanga University. The Office made independent programs partnering with various NGOs and peoples organizations more specifically in Western Mindanao. The participants are given ample time to work on the organizations advocacies during summer specifically on works of data gathering, conduct of trainings and orientations, youth activities and many others.

This year’s participants come from various schools to include Western Mindanao State University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Western Mindanao Foundation College. The participants were deployed in their respective organizations last week and will end the program on the latter part of May.

The Summer of Service is highly encouraged for the youth to participate. Living a summer filled with only vacations and unfulfilled works, it is indeed better to render service to the most vulnerable sector in the region. It is also with best hope that this program can be replicated here in Zamboanga City alone.

The Youth Solidarity for Peace Volunteers Robert Basco, Ferleeh Deloso, Sittie Ainie Mansul, Carmeltrix Sanson and Raquel Salvacion were some of the participants for the 2012 program. YSP commends the laudable initiative of the SACSI and ADZU in providing youth leaders more opportunities to be serving our society in great passion for nation building.

The SOS as a program will eventually yield a constituency of youth that enables to greatly influence others to venture into alternative professions- working for the greater glory of GOD and communities. The role that young professionals plays amidst the emerging pressures on peace building is an inspiration as to how we can sustain our efforts to make our communities a better place to live in.

by: Aldrin Bucoy-Abdurahim




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