In Round 1: Concepts
May 02, 2019
@Lorenzo Espacio @Anusanthee Pillay Hi there! I think I agree with the Social Avengers’ input (nice name and concept, over there!)! Lorenzo is right with his argument that universities are one potential partner in sourcing youth-students to participate in which they term as “ACTIVISITS”.It is a very good concept! If I may add to Lorenzo's input and share a personal experience similar to the concept of “ACTIVISITISM”, I studied in a Catholic university in the capital city of Manila, Philippines. As part of our university’ core curriculum, grounded on Christian values, we had, for instance, this one-semester of Saturday service to a community in Rizal during my sophomore year, and a three-day immersion program in my senior year. These immersion activities are being facilitated by our university’s office for social involvement in concurrence with program officers from partner institutions/communities. There were a lot of outputs that were asked from us to generate before, during and after the immersion, and for the partner community/institution. During my sophomore year, we helped produce and conduct a profiling/socio-economic survey for a community affected by a relocation threat in Rizal, Philippines. We worked closely with them on this which was important in the bottom-up budgeting processes in the Philippines. We produced a mini-thesis on the community's constant opposition to the relocation. An executive order reports that the place was not suitable for living, hence they were asked to relocate to a far place, however our findings state that the threat was merely a 'political ploy'. The three-day immersion was part of my liberation theology and politics and development classes. This program brought us to an indigenous people's community (affected by land-grabbing) in Rizal, Philippines where we interacted and lived with them. For our output for a class, a policy recommendation / paper conducted with consultation/inputs from the community leaders was produced. I hope that clarifies the active role of universities in not just producing / forming politically and socially involved students but also in actively building bridges between rural and urban communities. Having said that, a question for the team still lingers in me for confirmation: Aside from getting the youth involved with the communities, enlightening them of the issues, and training them to become social activists, does the concept also suggest constructing a policy space through universities, think-tanks, communities and other relevant stakeholders to discuss government’s proposals, especially in current context where there is an increasing number of authoritarian forces all over the world, and come up with evidence-based public policies?