The Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), through its Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao (AIM) Office, the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, and the Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP), hosted the International Electronic Service-Learning Program (IE-SLP) entitled: “Hábi: Service-Learning towards Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” from November 2021 to January 2022, via Zoom video conference. The program is co-implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU).
This 4-week virtual service-learning program provides a virtual space for holistic formation through intercultural dialogue and meaningful transnational encounters with local partner communities. The IE-SLP, especially with its current theme of Hábi is strongly aligned with Ateneo de Davao’s mission of social justice, community engagement, and intercultural understanding. The theme is suffused with the principle of coming together as threads would intertwine to form a harmoniously beautiful weave.
The sessions feature local and international resource speakers whose input and mentorship provide the necessary guidance for the participants’ development of their projects and learning outputs dedicated to and in service of the local partner communities in Mindanao.
This November cycle of the IE-SLP is inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, which is a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, on 04 February 2019.
The Document on Human Fraternity is a call for everyone where it states:
Al-Azhar al-Sharif and the Muslims of the East and West, together with the Catholic Church and Catholics of East and West, declare the adoption of:
a culture of dialogue as the path;
mutual cooperation as the code of conduct;
reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.
IE-SLP Hábi, therefore, is an invitation for the participants “to remain rooted in the values of peace, to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity, and harmonious coexistence.” These are the primary principles that the IE-SLP aims to instill within our young leaders and their hearts for service, peace, and social justice.
An Interculturally Dynamic and Far-Reaching Service-Learning
This particular cycle of the IE-SLP is special, with collaborators and patrons from various Ateneo de Davao international and local partnerships. In many ways, it was a coming together of people even beyond the academe and the formational aspects of higher education via a service-learning program.
The local and international participants are expected to develop a learning module inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity that could be integrated into grade school, junior, and senior high school curricula. The participants were given time to plan out, prepare, and develop their learning modules. The modules were then rolled out to the students of the partner communities and institutions such as the Tboli Sbù Senior High School in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Mabini Elementary School in Tubajon, Dinagat Islands, Ateneo de Davao University – Grade School in Matina, Davao City, and Datu Ibrahim Paglas Memorial College, Inc. in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao on 14 January 2022.
All these things, from the international nature of the 54th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebration and the significant reach of the OPAPRU Human Fraternity Project, have made this IE-SLP cycle quite momentous and meaningful. This intercultural dynamic in service-learning has made the efforts of the participants, their companions, and formators, and of course, the partner communities, extremely far-reaching. The program is hopeful that its endeavors would take root and contribute to the long-term aspirations toward development and peacebuilding both internationally and locally.
To celebrate this 4-week program’s success, we had the Culminating Activity on 15 January 2022.