“Love for the Poor,” is the theme for the Service Learning Program of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Asia Pacific in 2013. We return to the Philippines. The archipelago is home of 94.85 million Filipinos (World Bank 2011), where 26.5% are in poverty (World Bank 2009). Since the historic and world known Edsa Revolution in 1986 nothing has changed. Poverty remains to be the most critical issue today.
Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU) is known for its Ignatian Formation Program. The IFP has four program dimensions: personal, community/institutional, work/profession, and social. In SLP 2013, the Social Dimension will be given emphasis and focus. The social dimension in the framework is described as Social Spirituality. This focuses on the formation of the person and his/her relationship with the society and the world.
The main framework of SLP is the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm comprising of three main elements: experience, reflection and action. For such a learning process to be successful, it must include a pre-learning element, that of context, and a post-learning element, that of evaluation.
Participants in SLP 2013 will be exposed to poverty situations in towns surrounding Naga City. They will have an immersion with a poor family in one of the towns. The conceptualization, implementation, and post-implementation of a special project for one identified poor family will be the main activity of the participants all throughout program.
Jesuits have been invited to have keynotes on the theme: the poor and love. Supplementary lectures on the poor’s struggle and situation during disasters, with integration on environmental issues related to this. All of these shall provide content and context of poverty, and direction for the participants.
Participants will undergo modules on self and others awareness, participate in smooth interpersonal relationships, and team building activities to prepare them for the exposure, immersion, and the special project. Reflections in small groups, country groups, and big groups are integrated in the program. Examen will always cap every evening.
Parallel activities for Jesuits, lay faculty and staff joining their students have been prepared during the program.
SLP 2013 will be hosted by AdNU. AdNU was founded in 1940. She will celebrate her 75th year in 2015. SLP 2013 joins Year 1 of the diamond celebration of the university. The International Relations Office and the Formation Offices of AdNU have collaborated in working on SLP 2013.