The Ateneo de Davao University High School (AdDU-HS) unit was hailed as one of the recipients of the 2nd ASEAN Eco-School Award as part of the ASEAN Environment Year (AEY) 2015 celebration last July 29 to 30 at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
AdDU-HS is the only secondary school in the Philippines to be given the award. Dubinan Elementary School of Santiago City, Isabela is primary school awardee. Held every three years, the AEY celebration showcases the ASEAN commitment to environmental protection and environmental education. Moreover, the 2nd ASEAN Eco-schools Award recognizes the exemplary efforts of the ten primary and secondary schools from ASEAN member states promoting environmental awareness in all aspects of education to the students and nearby communities.
As part of the Ateneo formation into men and women for others, students are taught to properly segregate waste, understand the workings of the environment, and reverence God’s creation.
The approach of the exposure was thematic and each scheduled community visit carried with it specific leitmotifs such as asset creation and equitable distribution, good governance, vulnerable groups, and environmental protection. The group processing that followed presented an avenue for discussion among the guides, as they shared their experiences in these areas, as well as reflected on how a particular program such as this (once it becomes part of the curriculum of FYDP, hopefully to be implemented in the next school year) could provide a leverage for raising the level of awareness among first year students on the social realities of the day, so that they can contribute and commit toward social transformation.
During the last full day of World Youth Day 2013, Pope Francis gave his most notable mention of the environment thus far not to the millions of young pilgrims but to the local bishops. Here are the pontiff’s words within a section of his address called “The Amazon Basin as a litmus test for Church and society in Brazil.”
There is one final point on which I would like to dwell, which I consider relevant for the present and future journey not only of the Brazilian Church but of the whole society, namely, the Amazon Basin. The Church’s presence in the Amazon Basin is not that of someone with bags packed and ready to leave after having exploited everything possible. The Church has been present in the Amazon Basin from the beginning, in her missionaries and religious congregations, and she is still present and critical to the area’s future. I think of the welcome which the Church in the Amazon Basin is offering even today to Haitian immigrants following the terrible earthquake which shook their country.