by Vinz Harrold E Basilio, SAFHA Publications
The youth play a vital role in society. Creating a better future lies in the hands of the youth, and they must go beyond simply being socially aware and involve themselves in more community engagements.
Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement (SACSI) is one of the offices under the Social Development Unit that runs activities that aim to inculcate the Ignatian value of being a man or woman for and with others, especially in empowering the youth to become socially aware and engaged. One of SACSI’s community involvement activities is the Semestral Break Immersion Program, which encourages the students of the Ateneo to become aware of social realities and inspire volunteer participants to take proper actions to address various social problems and issues. This program entails an immersion that allows the participants to experience the day-to-day life in a new community and test their character and ability to adopt, especially in envisioning a certain project that could be implemented in the near future.
On October 15–27, 2019, 11 courageous students who belong to different academic organizations and have a kindred spirit volunteered for the 2019 SBIP. A 3-day basic orientation seminar was held to guide the participants in their journey throughout the course of the 2019 SBIP. The SBIP Area Integration was held on October 18, 2019, and the participants were deployed to their respective assigned areas across Zamboanga Peninsula for 7 days to be with their foster families. After 7 days, a 3-day synthesis was conducted and facilitated by the SACSI staff, who processed the experiences of the volunteers.
Testimonies from SBIP Volunteers
SBIP is both a challenge and an opportunity—a challenge to get out of my ordinary life to engage in something new and an opportunity to meet people with different stories that bring meaningful experiences. It was fulfilling and worth it.Jehanne Hassan, 2019 SBIP volunteer participant
SBIP was and will forever be one of the experiences I will cherish in my life. Not only did it develop my understanding of people, but it also made me value the things and [the] people I have right now.Ma. Feleesa Delas Peñas, 2019 SBIP volunteer participant
SBIP for me was life changing, and it was one of the highlights of my year. SBIP taught me to be independent, and we came back to become better individuals. Also, I learned to appreciate things even more. Moreover, the blessings that God has given to us since we are blessed in different ways.Rab-a Salih, 2019 SBIP volunteer participant
Joining SBIP is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It made me realize how privileged I am and that I should not take that for granted.Danica Christele Alfaro, 2019 SBIP volunteer participant
It takes the right amount of courage, hope, faith, and love to help equip the youth so that they will actively engage in the community and join peacebuilding efforts. Now, I am challenging the youth to make this famous statement a reality: “Ang kabataan ay ang pag-asa ng bayan.”