Last August 10, I joined my fellow Lasallian SERVE volunteers for their annual Self-Awareness Seminar where I gave a talk about Volunteerism. The Self-Awareness Seminar or SAS is the first formation/training program that new SERVE volunteers must attend in order to become full-pledged members. For those who are wondering, SERVE stands for Students’ Extension of Resources through Voluntary Efforts. It is a program for Transformative Education of the Lasallian Community Development Center. It is also the oldest student-volunteer program of De La Salle University – Dasmarinas in fulfillment of its holistic Lasallian formation and social action program.
For this year, SAS was held in the beautiful Lopez Farm in Naic, Cavite. Getting there was a real challenge as there were no markers or signage to point where it is exactly. In general though, it is located in Barangay Sabang, Naic, Cavite some two and a half hours south of Manila.
It’s on the left hand side of the road from Pala-pala where you’d have to keep an eye out for a great white wall quickly followed by an old factory painted in green with a metal gate. Right beside is it a narrow dirt road that winds its way through a rice field which easily becomes impassable for cars and sedans once heavy rain turns into a small creek.
But the short adventure ride is rewarded by the sight of Lopez Farm which really gives you a nice, relaxed and peaceful countryside ambiance. ideal for retreats, gatherings and of course training.
We stayed there for one and a half days which was spent on a good combination of lectures and team-building activities designed to welcome students into the life of being a Lasallian volunteer. My fellow alumni joined in as well continuing the tradition of “once a volunteer, always a volunteer.”
The gist of my presentation, could be summed up in the following line from the Principles of Lasallian Social Development ((Guiding Principles of the Philippine Lasallian Family, 2nd Edition)):
Lasallians must act to eliminate forms of human suffering that contradict God’s plan of fullness of life.
I look forward to joining them again in their up coming activities. Seeing the passion in their eyes, I quite pleased and proud to say that after we’ve been long gone from DLSU-D, the spirit of Lasallian volunteerism lives on and just keeps on getting stronger. You can learn more about them via their Facebook page here. Students of DLSU-D can make their college life more worthwhile by joining and becoming a volunteer. 🙂