Twelve IPED graduate students went to the Philippines over the winter break for the annual Project Assessment Study Program. The program is an extensive coursework and a field immersion experience which begins with in-person classes in Fordham’s New York campus and ends in a field immersion experience in a province in the Philippines. The students were hosted by the Ateneo de Manila University where pre-immersions classes were held. The program was led by Prof. Henry Schwalbenberg, Prof. Booi Themeli, and Prof. Donna Odra.
The program also included lectures by Ateneo Professors, including Prof. Olivia Habana, Chair of the History Department of the Ateneo de Manila University Students with Prof. Leland Dela Cruz, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Prof. Ser Pena-Reyes, Professor of Economics of the Ateneo de Manila University Students, and Prof. Alma Salvador, Professor of Political Science Department at the Ateneo de Manila University. In addition, the students also had the chance to visit the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to learn more about the bank and its projects.
Aside from formal class work, the students were also exposed to cultural immersion activities in the Philippines. The students went to Corregidor Island and Intramuros which are historical sites during the American Colonial Period and the Spanish Colonial Period respectively. The students were also hosted by Ateneo’s Office of International Relations to a Filipino cuisine cooking demonstration. In addition, the students had the chance to meet with some of the Fordham and IPED alumni community in the Philippines.
As part of the Project Assessment Course, the students travelled outside Metro Manila to the province of Zambales for their field immersion experience. The students were split to four groups, with two groups travelling to the town of Sta. Cruz and two groups travelling to the town of Masinloc.
The two groups in Sta. Cruz focused on assessing the impact of two ongoing social entrepreneurial projects established by the Munting Sambayanang Kristyano (MSK), a basic ecclesiastical community in Baranggay Bayto. The two projects are: the Mango Vinegar Project and the Organic Heirloom Rice Project.
Meanwhile, the two groups in Masinloc conducted an impact evaluation on the two programs that have been operated by members of the community of San Salvador island, namely: the Ecotourism Program of the Samahang Magbabalat ng San Salvador and the Pitas Palaman, a jam business established for the community.
To learn more about these projects, watch the video below prepared by the students.