The Philippines has been known to have the most developed Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). The prevalent social realities in the past two decades contributed greatly in the mushrooming of the NGO’s. Hence, for many Philippine NGOs, their foremost thrust is changing the unjust social structures that will lead to the transformation of our society and the empowerment of the poor and in making the government more responsive to the real needs of the poor.
In the 90’s, it was observed that the students’ and graduates’ interest to work for social development has declined. Many opted to work for corporations and profit-oriented institutions. It has also become evident that the pioneers of the social development work have already worked too hard and extended their stay in NGOs long enough. Hence, another generation of social development workers is needed.
One of those who responded to the call of forming a new breed of committed development workers was the Kristohanang Katilingban sa Pagpakabana (KKP) of the Xavier University. The KKP has initiated the integration of social development work in the academic curriculum to produce graduates that are committed to work for service with preferential option for the poor.
In summer 1996, KKP, together with its counter offices in Ateneo de Davao and Ateneo de Zamboanga, facilitated a pro-active project called “SUMMER OF SERVICE”, also coined as SOS. It was participated by 37 students from the Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Zamboanga, and Xavier University who had their practicum or On the Job Training requirements. They were assigned to 16 institutions and people’s organizations in the different communities of Zamboanga, Lanao, Agusan, Bukidnon, Davao, Misamis Oriental, and Cagayan de Oro City. The students were provided with the venue to practice and appreciate their learning in school through the rendering of service to the various communities which were in line with their academic preparation, background, and capabilities.
The Summer of Service (SOS) is one of the major activities implemented by SACSI under its Volunteer Program. This is a month-long activity offered to students, faculty and staff, and young professionals in Zamboanga City. It is an avenue where participants can best actualize their social responsibilities by working as a volunteer with the program’s partner institutions.
The participants are assigned to provide volunteer work that is in-line with their speciality. They will be deployed in different communities served by various Local Government Units (LGUs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), People’s Organization (POs), Parishes, and Schools within the Zamboanga Peninsula and some areas outside the region.
Program’s Hopes and Goals
- Provide students, faculty and staff, and young professionals with the opportunity to apply their knowledge, skills, and trainings through community service and involvement.
- Develop a core of students, faculty and staff, and young professionals with critical awareness and consciousness of the social issues and problems in their assigned communities.
Information from the official SOS brochure; SOS Video Teaser and SOS Teaser Poster are products of JMAB.