Category Archives: Community & Culture

Philippines Project Assessment Program 2018

By: Sarah Garwood ’19

This January, 11 Fordham IPED graduate students and one Economics undergraduate student participated in the Philippines Project Assessment Program. At Ateneo de Manila University, students engaged in coursework on project monitoring and evaluation and Filipino culture. The program also included a four day immersion, where students conducted project evaluations of local Marine Protected Areas and affiliated projects in the La Union province, in the north of the Philippines.

Soccer matches and ultimate frisbee kept this group moving and bonding!

Dr. Ang (front right), a professor at Ateneo University, taught the group Filipino Economics.

IPED students exploring Katipunan Avenue, outside of Ateneo University.

Alumni of the Fordham IPED program gathered with current students for an Alumni lunch. Some alumni work at various NGOs, such as Catholic Relief Services and UNICEF, in the Philippines and others work at Ateneo University.

IPED students past and present gather for a meal.

The IPED community enjoyed Filipino dishes at the rooftop alumni lunch.

Students explored the Philippines and its rich history through various cultural trips. Because of its strategic location, Corregidor Island has been important in the defense of the Manila Bay and seaport for centuries. Today the uninhabited island is full of World War II ruins and memorials, commemorating the Filipino, American, and Japanese soldiers who died there.

IPED students at Corregidor Island.

Students learning about Filipino history at the Filipino War Memorial Wall.

Intramuros is a historical, Spanish colonial area walled-off inside the capitol city of Manila. The students explored Fort Santiago, where there is a shrine to national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. They also visited a functioning Augustinian monastery.

IPED students at Fort Santiago.

IPED students near the Pasig River.

Students engaged in a four-day project assessment of various Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the La Union province. In teams of three, they conducted interviews and focus group discussions in various barangays, or villages. One group assessed an affiliated project, the Luto ti Poro catering service managed by the Poro Sea Lovers Association (PSLA). The immersion was facilitated by the Institute for Social Order (ISO) and the Ateneo Office for Social Concern and Involvement (OSCI).

Upon arriving to San Fernando City, the group was hosted for a lunch by former Mayor Mary Jane Ortega at her home.

Students with former Mayor Mary Jane Ortega.

Students and volunteers who patrol the Lingsat MPA.

Students with the PSLA volunteers.

IPED students with PSLA Council Members.

Students with children from the Poro community.

Upon returning back to Manila, students spent the day at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Experts presented on various economic development topics including climate finance.

Fordham IPED students at the Asian Development Bank.

After presenting their findings, students celebrated along with Program Director, Dr. Henry Schwalbenberg, Program Manager, Ms. Donna Orda, and IPED Alumna Bea Lumanas ’13, on a dinner cruise on the Manila Bay.

IPED community celebrating on a dinner cruise.

IPED students on the Manila Bay dinner cruise.

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Filed under Academic, Alumni, Career, Community & Culture, Trips

Summer Series: French Language Study

By: Erika Cox

Five IPED students spent the summer of 2017 learning French. Our resident Arrupe Fellows, Owen Fitzgerald and Therese “Tess” Hart, as well as Language Immersion Study Award (LISA) recipients Erika Cox, Margaret “Maggie” Hutchison and Sydney Kornegay attended Alliance Française to partake in a summer long language and cultural immersion.

Aside from offering 3 ½ hour, Monday through Friday intensive courses, Alliance Française provides various cultural and leisure activities to complete the immersion experience. Class sizes are small and the instructors are engaging, great at answering questions and conscious about allowing students to practice their speaking and listening skills. Students also take advantage of home stay services with a French family, ensuring immersion continues at home. To top it off, not only does Alliance Française have schools throughout France, but all over the world, so students can continue their studies regardless of geographic location.

When asked of her experience in Montpellier, Maggie Hutchison said, “There is a lot going on every day with festivals, night life, beaches and hiking opportunities nearby, shopping and many young people.” Yet, all this fun must be navigated in French, “because even the simplest of things like grocery shopping or traveling force you to practice your French skills.”

The cultural and language immersion is also a great way to network with international development professionals and maybe even catch up with old friends. France is incredibly diverse and opportunities abound to interact with people from all over the world. Arrupe Fellow Owen Fitzgerald, who served in Peace Corps Mali and has been playing the drums most of his life, even got to have a reunion concert with his band from Ghana. Miraculously, almost all of the band members happened to be in France for Bastille Day, a national holiday in France.

So, take the plunge and consider learning French with IPED. The summer immersion experience with Alliance Française offers a wealth of learning experiences for all levels. The courses are intensive and the opportunities for immersion are boundless. And while learning a new language isn’t always easy, the group always made sure to have fun while they were at it.

 

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Filed under Career, Community & Culture, IPED Fellowships, Trips

Armand Aquino ’17 with Catholic Relief Services in Senegal

By: Armand Aquino ’17

Armand inside Phare des Mamelles, the highest point in Dakar and the second most important lighthouse in Africa, after Cape Town’s lighthouse.

Last May 9-12, I participated in Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) first ProPack I training in French in Dakar, Senegal. ProPack I (or Project Package I) is one of CRS’ manuals on project design for CRS project and program managers. The training gathered more than 30 CRS staff from the West Africa and Central Africa country offices including Burkina Faso (where I currently serve as a Fordham Intern), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, and Senegal, among others.

Fresh off the press. Armand with the French copy of CRS’ ProPack I.

I first came across CRS’ ProPack I in Dr. Schwalbenberg’s Project Design class where I learned the basic concepts of project design including problem tree analysis and the logical frameworks. The training, however, had more concepts added and it made these concepts more “practical” because they fall in a specific process of project design that CRS staff ought to follow. The process of project design itself was the most useful take-away for me, since I tend to jump from one step to another, when in fact, there is a logical flow that could make the work easier. For instance, when given an issue or problem, I tend to start with a problem tree analysis to identify the causes of the problem. However, conceptual frameworks can already do that for you since it has already made the connections between factors and the problem. What one can do then is to use these conceptual frameworks to specify the causes (scope, gravity, etc.) through research and assessment that will then help make the problem tree more “meaty” and easily convertible to a tangible results framework for the project.

ProPack I training in Dakar, Senegal where CRS staff gathered to learn and share experiences in project design.

In addition to the content, the facilitation of the training which used real-life examples and the opportunity to hear from the experience of various CRS staff in project design were enriching; it made the concepts more real and easier to understand. The training was also a great opportunity to continue practicing my French language skills since everything, including lectures, readings, and group work, was conducted in French and to network with some CRS staff in the region. I must admit I had a little difficulty in following some parts of the discussion since I am not yet fluent in the language. But what really helped me prepare for the training was reading the English version of ProPack I in advance so I have the concepts at the back of my head and I do the translation and connection in French as the training goes. Additionally, it was definitely helpful to have some experience in project design that I could bank on during the training (As an intern, I am involved in a couple of project design initiatives for the Burkina Faso country program).

Armand inside Phare des Mamelles, the highest point in Dakar and the second most important lighthouse in Africa, after Cape Town’s lighthouse.

Given the adventurer in me, I also used this opportunity to visit some superlative places in Dakar and get immersed for a bit in its history and culture. I visited the highest point in Dakar and the furthest West tip of the African continent.

When one is in Dakar, one should not miss Île de Gorée, a colorful island with a very dark history because of the slave trade.

I would like to thank CRS West Africa Regional Office and Burkina Faso Country Office for allowing me to participate in the training and Fordham IPED for financing my participation in the training. The training was definitely a good investment as I continue to explore a long-term career in the international development space.

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Summer Series: Angeli Diamante ’18 and the LISA Award

By: Angeli Diamante

Angeli with Cristo de la Concordia. This statue is taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil!

I was awarded a Language Immersion Study Award (LISA) fellowship to study Spanish in Bolivia. With Spanish being one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, learning this language will be an asset in my future career. Living in Cochabamba, Bolivia was different from life in New York City. Life moved at a slower and relaxed pace. And the food was wonderful – I definitely recommend eating their salteñas.

Angeli with the guide in Pico Tunari.

Choosing the Maryknoll language learning program was a great choice. The personalized instruction from the professors helped me become better in my weak areas. It was not only language they imparted. Every week we had an hour-long conference where we learned more about the culture and the state of Bolivia. We also had cultural trips which made me appreciate the country beyond its language and tourist spots.

I had the wonderful opportunity to stay with a very hospitable host family who took great care of me during the entire 6 weeks in Cochabamba. Being surrounded by non-English speakers definitely forced me to improve my communication skills in Spanish.

Angeli with her host family.

LISA is a great opportunity and I urge students to apply for it if they can. Not only do you learn a new language, you experience a different culture as well.

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IPED Thanksgiving!

By: Sarah Garwood ’19

Before heading off for Thanksgiving break, our IPED family came together to celebrate and feast! We gathered in gratitude–for this program, this cohort, the opportunities before us, our families, our health. Our potluck feast included a big turkey and lots of dishes and desserts. We ate traditional thanksgiving foods and some special international flavors too! May you and your loved ones enjoy a happy, healthy, and filling Thanksgiving!

  

  

    

   

 

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