AIM, WMSU welcome Mindanao bridging leadership fellows PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 13:27

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), lead by Dr. Loyda Bangahan, Vice President for Administration and Finance and university officer-in-charge, welcomed the First Cohort Fellows of the Mindanao Bridging Leadership Program (MBLP) on August 11 at WMSU, this city.

The fellows, who underwent a rigid selection process conducted by AIM are Hon. Yusop Alano, Board Member, Basilan Province; Ms. Margarita Auxtero, Area Manager, Isabela Foundation, Inc., Isabela, Basilan; and Hon. Nacianceno Pacalioga, Jr., Mayor, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.

According to Ms. Ana Margarita S. Facultad, MBLP Project Manager, the AIM Team Energy Center for  Bridging Leadership which is headed by Director Nieves Confessor,  is committed to bridging social divides, and eventually create a society without divides. These divides, she said, include the economic divide, the educational divide, and cultural divide, among others. She said further, that if we cannot bridge these gaps in Mindanao, there will be no real development nationwide.

Each of the MBLP fellows are passionate to bridge a particular divide. Hon. Alano, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from WMSU, is bent on bridging the uneasy gap between Muslims and Christians, particularly in Basilan Province. He envisions  Youth Tri-People’s Assemblies that will formulate a youth peace agenda and work towards interfaith understanding among youths and elders.

Ms. Auxtero, on the other hand, who is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the Claret College of Isabela, is concerned with the perennial problem of children caught in armed conflict in Basilan and, consequently, are not able to finish their basic education. To address this divide, she commits to sustain her NGO’s ongoing project, the Neighborhood Reading Enhancement Ability Development (NREAD) Program for some 5,300 children in the municipalities of Punukhubong, Maluso and Inspiracion delos Pobres, Basilan Province.

On his part, one time Galing Pook Awardee, Hon. Pacalioga, believes that knowledge, formation and education can change societies for the better. Hence, he has been pursuing a Transformative Education program in among his constituency, with the able assistance of a committed team of experts in their own fields of discipline, as core group. The program is a comprehensive and unified approach to formal education, functional literacy and informal education for Dumingag which requires curricular modification and enhancement, livelihood trainings, paradigm shifts, and values clarification, among others. Hon. Pacalioga, in presenting his project, was happy to report on some positive impact and results of the program on the lives of his constituency. He hopes to sustain the project and achieve even more through his fellowship in the MBLP.

To help them achieve their project commitments as MBLP fellows, Hon. Alano, Ms. Auxtero and Hon. Pacalioga will undergo a staggard tutoring during the 15-month MBLP duration, by a team of AIM-trained MBLP trainers. They will be coached on MBLP principles of management versus leadership; organizational output versus societal outcome; stakeholders’ engagement; and the values of integrity, commitment, empathy, low ego needs, vision sharing, and dialogue with stakeholders, among others.

WMSU, as one of AIM’s partners in this endeavor, is offering its facilities, technical assistance and tutoring services to the fellows through MBLP Core Group members: Dr. Milabel E. Ho, Vice President for Research, Extension and Development; Dr. Ederlinda Fernandez, Dean College of Public Administration and Development Studies (CPADS); and Dr. Socorro Rebecca Felonia, faculty member, CPADS. They will be ably-assisted by the following MBLP trainers: Dr. Marcelino Carpizo, Director, Center for Peace and Development; Dr. Bagian Aleyssa Abdulkarim, of the College of Social Work and Community Development; and Prof. Rose Echem, Director, Women’s Resource and Research Center. --EVELYN C. LUCEÑO