After having various preparations and orientations, the Arrupe volunteers finally had their immersion during the Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP) last 27 March to 3 April 2018.

Twenty-four Arrupe volunteers stayed with their foster families in the different Gawad Kalinga Villages for an eight-day immersion.

The deployment areas were in GK Pueblo Antonio & Reyes Munda, Catigan, Toril and GK Violet Hills, Kibalang, Marilog Proper, Davao City;  GK Nazareno, Cogon, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal; and GK Andres Arguilles, Brgy. Nanyo, and GK Datu Abdul Dadia, Brgy. Datu Abdul Dadia, New Visayas, Panabo City.

“There is so much to gain from this ASEP experience. Aside from being able to expand my social circle,  I was able to meet new friends and family,” Gillian Marie Porras, Arrupe Volunteer Batch 46 said.

She added that the ASEP experience taught her a lot about values that she could hold on to for the rest of her life. “I am humbled to be with a community who looks into a positive perspective in life,” she added.

Most of them shared that it was through the simple things in life that they found meaning. They have also seen the social realities and struggles in the communities they were exposed to.

“I felt joy from the memories I had with the community and the bonds we had formed, especially with my foster family… I also felt fulfilled and determined after [the] experiencing ASEP,” Dani Loqueloque, an Arrupe Volunteer deployed in GK Violet Hills, Kibalang, Marilog District shared.

She added she felt fulfilled with her realizations during the immersion. She also emphasized she is determined to give back to the community.

The Arrupe Office of Social Formation carried on in the light of the theme Discovering, nourishing and placing one’s gifts in service of the common good’ in this year’s ASEP.

It is the hope of the Arrupe office that through the ASEP immersion experience, their exposure to social realities and real stories of the people in the peripheries, the volunteers and leaders will be able to discover, nourish and place their own giftedness as an offering to God through service.

They are invited to share their gifts with others and ‘enkindle others’ fire’ through their commitment, competence, and care for others driven by passion and love.