The APYExPHL Fellowship Program Team together with eight (8) Empowered Champions organized a 2-day community visit last 9-10 March at one of the local immersion sites, Barangay Tulay Buhangin, Padre Burgos, Quezon Province. The visit was scheduled for the team to validate their proposed projects last January 2019 and to attend Nanay Susan’s, one of the community mothers, 52nd birthday. Reunited with their homestay mothers and community friends, the graduates reconnected and engaged with their new found family.
Graduates at Nanay Susan’s 52nd Birthday
Four SDG from APYExPHL 7 groups were represented at the community visit: No Poverty (SDG 1), Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3), Quality Education (SDG 4), and Life Below Water (SDG14). This community visit also allowed the graduates to conduct further research to supplement their project proposals. Accompanied by the Fellowship Program Manager, Jana Unčanin, the graduates were guided alongside their data gathering and data analysis process.
The group focusing on SDG 1: No Poverty, with their project entitled “MaNo Po”, aims to empower mothers of Barangay Tulay Buhangin through an education-based business training program. MaNo Po seeks to enhance the community member’s technical knowledge regarding effective business practices and long-term sustainable livelihood. Representing this group during the community visit was Georgie Onagan (APYE 5, APYExPHL 7 Facilitator), Eljay Busmente (APYE 7) and Camille Eduvane (APYE 7).
In line with SDG 17, which seeks to build strong partnerships towards the achievements of the goals, a potential collaboration between SDG 1 and SDG 14: Life Below Water, was recommended and considered. Project SEA-gurado, the proposed project of SDG 14, aims to launch a social enterprise that breeds sea cucumbers as a source of livelihood since due to its compatibility with the surrounding reef. In a joint effort, SDG 1 and 14 plan to corroborate in complementing each other’s project objective by merging the two ideas.
“Kulay Buhangin” which translates to “colored sand”, is an effort by SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being to bring color back into the village by creatively educating community members about proper hand-washing practices, specifically by establishing a mentor-mentee program within schools as well as integrating it in the Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) to improve hygiene knowledge and sanitary practices. The group also plans to host hygiene-related activities with the Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) during the celebration of Family Day to encourage and invite parents to participate in the cause. Leading the research visit on this was JJ Punzalan (APYE 7 Learning Circle Leader).
Christian Espiritu (SDG 4 LCL) and JJ Punzalan (SDG 3 LCL) with Nanay Madonna Portes
Another collaboration is also between SDG 3 and SDG 4: Quality Education is also being considered. Led by APYE 7 Learning Circle Leader, Christian Espiritu, SDG 4 with their project entitled “English Corner” envisions to improve English literacy skills of the first grade students of Pulo Integrated School in Tulay Buhangin. Upon the research visit, Christian and JJ worked together in gathering data from school representatives and teachers to gather their opinions on their respective project proposals.
Graduates on their last day of Community Visit
The APYExPHL Fellowship Program is the post-program component of the APYE program which aims to continue building the capacity of APYE graduates through extended leadership development training, project implementation opportunities and advocacy campaigns. By maximizing the potential of APYE graduates as empowered SDG advocates, APYE Fellowship continues to support and to equip Empowered Champions on being effective development leaders.