[Blueboard] Vocation Week-4th Day Reflection

lblanco at aps.ateneo.edu lblanco at aps.ateneo.edu
Fri Feb 27 12:53:02 PHT 2009

Vocation Week
February 16-20, 2009
Ateneo Professional Schools
Rockwell, Makati

Reflection for the 4th day
(February 19 - shared during the Homily period at 12:15pm Mass)

Our Rainbow from the Lord
Gen 9:1-13

Our work at Synergeia Foundation is based on the readings today:
covenant and hope.

Synergeia has a covenant with the Filipino children.  Our dream is to
enable every Filipino child to complete at least grade six:  to read
and write well, perform basic operations in math, and become a good

?Mababa ang aming pangarap.?  But this can be overwhelming considering
that we have more than 13 million children in public schools and in
Muslim Mindanao, only 3 out of 10 children complete grade six.  Their
failure to attain basic skills in reading condemns them forever to
poverty, and makes them a likely candidate for social ills such as
rebellion, kidnapping, prostitution, and crime.

Synergeia does not do dole-out and one-time programs.  We are not
there distributing goodies, building schools, or giving away
computers.  We do not tell people what to do.  On the contrary, we
give them the gift of listening.  We listen to their dreams, their
problems, and encourage them to look beyond their problems, and the
patronage mentality that has been perpetuated by our leaders.
Together, we look at the beauty of the rainbow and we plan and
implement together small doable programs such as training their
teachers to say their sounds well, to understand fractions, to be able
to do story telling so that their classrooms can be alive.

Synergeia works with their parents and organizes workshops so that
they can better understand their responsibilities in helping their
child to complete schooling.  Child labor is a major issue in Negros,
Mindanao, and Metro Manila, where children are forced to earn income
for their families or take care of their siblings.  We have come to
realize that the major gift we can give to a Filipino is make him
believe that there is hope, that people genuinely care, and that he
has the power to help himself.  Believe you me; this gift is so
difficult to give because it takes so much patience and so much love.
People are so much used to being told what to do, they are ?nahihiya?
to speak, and when they speak, they tell stories instead of focus on
issues, they do not have the capability to debate and form a
consensus, ?napipikon, ?nagtatampo?, and ?nag-eemote.?

Synergeia is obsessed with sustaining education programs.  Our
strategy is to develop change agents who will keep the fire as well as
programs going, long after we are gone.  We started with a core of
good disciples:  Mayor Robredo of Naga city, Former Gov. Josie of
Bulacan, whose experiences and processes we have documented, and
analyzed so that their tribe can increase.  Much to our euphoria, we
found that given good role models, even an indifferent and corrupt
leader can be transformed if they have good role models, and a
supportive community.  This realization has sparked the idea of a
?Movement for Good Governance? which is a search for leaders who can
provide us with a government and public services that Filipinos deserve.

We chose not to look at difficulties, and at times, we live on a day
to day basis.  Our salvation is prayer, asking God to enable us to
love with His own heart and think with His own mind.

We are kept alive by His promise which he has always kept.  Synergeia
never runs out of money and good men.  Often, I am surprised by a gift
of a donor wishing to sponsor a Synergeia community, or good hearts
who volunteer to support our movement.

Jesus constantly renews us by keeping our passion inflamed, our health
restored, and our faith, strengthened despite kidnapping threats, bad
governance, difficult terrain, selfish people, and our own meanness
and selfishness.

Synergeia Foundation

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