Dr. Fortunato Cristobal, MD, founding Dean of Ateneo de Zamboanga School of Medicine, had a vision for medical education and health care in Mindanao. With decades of support from partners like the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, his vision is becoming reality. ADZU-SOM has introduced community-based, problem-based and longitudinal learning, and assessment of skills and competency rather than just knowledge. Its methodology, curriculum and reputation have gained international recognition which led other universities, such as Laos and Cambodia, to adopt a similar model. ADZU-SOM was also identified by the WHO as a model medical school leading with community consultation. In 2018, The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada awarded ADZU-SOM the Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award in recognition of its accomplishments. (Photo with Fr. Karel San Juan, ADZU President, and Dr. Cristobal)
In July 2020, Xavier Ateneo - McKeough Marine Center partnered with the Forest Foundation Philippines and launched the MANGREBAY project, aimed at: (a) the rehabilitation of the mangrove areas of Macajalar Bay in Cagayan de Oro City by planting 50,000 diversified seedlings during the project duration; (b) training the local people on mangrove propagation best practices; and, (c) connecting them with private companies and institutions for the sustainability of the project. Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. has agreed to fund 8,000 mangrove seedlings and the initial planting of 2,000 seedlings was completed last March 30, 2021. First planted were 750 seedlings along the coastal areas of Barangay Bonbon with the help of PSFI representatives, members of the Bonbon Sari-sari Fisherfolks Association, volunteers from XU-MMC and the city Shell gas stations. The remaining 1,250 seedlings were planted by the Bonbon people organizations.
Ateneo de Davao University, in partnership with other academic institutions, government agencies, and private institutions, has launched ADDU Community Connectivity Empowered by Satellite Service for Mindanao (ACCESS Mindanao) to provide satellite communications technology to address the problem of internet connectivity in remote and isolated communities in Mindanao. The satellite antennas were initially deployed late in 2020 in Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro. Then on January 2021, the Jesuit mission in Miarayon, Bukidnon was connected to the network (see photo) - enabling St. Therese School of Miarayon to now conduct online classes for students and training for teachers. On March 2021, satellite service was launched for the Tech4Ed Centers in Datu Piang, Maguindanao and in Bitiala Center, Cotabato City. Later that month, Basilan and Tawi Tawi were also connected to the ACCESS network. AdDU's target is 12 satellite sites by end of March.
In union with the national act of bayanihan in many communities nationwide, Fr. Robert Rivera SJ, President, Ateneo de Naga University, has announced the launch of its community pantry, an initiative of the Center for Community Development (CCD). It has adopted the motto, “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan.” Since its launch in April 26, it has served the poor living near the main campus in Bagumbayan; on mobile downtown locations to reach street vendors, tricycle drivers and transient workers; and to indigent communities in nearby towns. The food packs include rice, noodles, canned goods, vegetables from local farmers and dried fish from Bicol fishermen. AdNU alumni from the US have begun to send in their assistance, following Fr. Rivera's appeal for modest but sustained donations. Alumni groups, members of the CCD and JVP assist in food packing and manning the pantry operations.
Ateneo de Manila, in solidarity with the Philippine Jesuit Province's Renewed Province Plan’ for 2021-2024, joins its mission partners, communities, and institutions, to present their collective response to the wrath caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of creeping authoritarianism. The five thrusts of the Province, also dubbed "Our Five Loaves" are:
This coincides with the fifth centenary anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines and the global Jesuit celebration of the 500th year since the conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
On April 14, HS batch 95 alumni donated P200K to the SHS scholarship fund. The scholarship program has been running for 3 years and presently supports 4 scholars. These are graduates of SHS who are financially challenged to continue their college education. It costs about $2000 per year per scholar to support them. Last year, they donated 4 laptop computers to enable access to learning from home. They also provide funds for internet connection. These are typical profiles of their scholars: a) Mom is a public school teacher and dad is retired; b) Mom is a house helper and separated from the husband; c) Dad is an electrician at SHS but hardly working now and Mom is stay at home; d) Dad is a taho vendor and Mom is stay at home. Every year they add 1-2 scholars and the college students can choose 4 or 5 year courses. This is supported by donations from alumni. Info from Jefferson Tio, Executive Director, SHS Ateneo De Cebu Alumni Association.
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