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The university’s advocacy arms operate through two offices: the Community Involvement and Advocacy Office (CInA) and the FSUU Foundation Incorporated (FSUUFI).
The FSUUFI is a SEC registered organization, accredited by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). It was formalized in 2012 as a legal and functional entity, autonomous of the university in order to function more efficiently in coordinating the university’s advocacies and their respective partners.
The Office of Development Centers (ODC), Community Extension Service (CES) and National Service Training Program (NSTP) are parallel offices which function under FSUU’s Communty Involvement and Advocacy Office. It serves to rally FSUU’s students, faculty members, alumni, staff and administrators and other stakeholders to align with and work for the fulfillment of the university’s many advocacies.
The university has various advocacies with over a hundred partners working for their fruition. Of these advocacies, there are five main advocacies which dovetail most of FSUU’s functions beyond the campus walls:
For over 35 years, the Lumad Graded Literacy Program (LGLP) has been training para-teachers and licensed educators to teach in DepEd-recognized Lumad schools in Agusan del Sur.
Through the LGLP, representatives from schools for indigenous peoples go through training in FSUU’s campuses every summer and every start of the second semester. This is done through the university’s partnership with Save the Children Philippines, the Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines (CEAP), and the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC).
Participants of the program are kept up-to-date on policies from the Department of Education as well as on teaching styles and approaches. Trainers and resource persons come from FSUU Basic Education’s pool of teachers, while its yearly curriculum is created by the Teacher Education Program. Topics range from K to 12 curricula and teaching strategies, disaster response, human rights and children’s rights, and computer literacy.
The Save Taguibo Watershed (STW) advocacy was spearheaded by the university in 2009. Prompted by the need to protect the city’s watershed which was under the threat of unscrupulous and illegal miners and loggers, the school gathered members of the Butuanon community to rally together and rehabilitate one of the local population’s most important natural resources.
The advocacy has gone a long way since then. Over the span of ten years, disputes among stakeholders—including indigenous peoples’ communities and insurgents—have been settled; livelihood programs have been created for the surrounding barangays; and sustainable setups have been put in place. Altogether, the Taguibo Watershed is kept free from intrusions from destructive mining and logging practices while local communities earn from farming vegetables, poultry, and pigs.
Today, the university through the FSUU Foundation Inc. (FSUUFI) stewards 149 hectares of land surrounding the watershed. It is partnered with Butuan City Water District, the Department of Natural Resources, the District Constituency Office of Congressman Lawrence Fortun (1st District) and other civil society organizations.
Urians—students, faculty and staff members, administrators, and alumni—are invited to take part in the regular activities which the FSUUFI sets up, such as the creation and development of livelihood programs, tree-planting activities, and conflict resolution meetings.
The university has been actively involved in Gawad Kalinga’s projects in the local and national levels. In Butuan City, FSUU is partnered with two GK communities in Barangay Pagatpatan and Barangay Mahay.
The GK community in Barangay Pagatpatan consists of more than 500 members in over a hundred households. They are FSUU’s co-facilitators, teammates, and beneficiaries for programs which empower, train, and build their capacities to become productive members of society.
In 2018, a program by Urian students from the Social Entrepreneurship course aimed to cook, prepare, and deliver food for barkadas, families, and large families. They would eventually call the project, Meal Amigo. The students would make an entry at the Benilde Prize 2.0, a contest by De La Salle-College of St. Benilde: Hub of Innovation for Inclusion for social entrepreneurs by, and would win over dozens of concepts and pitches. Today, Meal Amigo is flourishing hand-in-hand with its team of cooks, farmers, and other able hands from the GK community in Barangay Pagatpatan.
FSUU takes on a holistic approach in its GK Build site in Barangay Mahay. As of writing, the university has built houses and served relevant and responsive programs to more than a hundred of households.
Apart from building homes, FSUU holds values formation and Catechism programs, seminars on mental health, disaster risk reduction, and care for the environment. The potentials of community members are maximized in livelihood programs which foster their talents in weaving and food processing.
Members of the Urian community—students, faculty members, staff, administrators and alumni—are all invited take part in house-builds held throughout the annual Foundation Week (mid-September). Interested persons and groups can also inquire with the Community Involvement and Advocacy Program to schedule house-builds under the university.
The FSUU Foundation Inc. has been providing one decent meal a day to street children since summer of 2016. It started out as a simple feeding program and grew to become a program which looks into the welfare of street children and Urians alike. Nonetheless, it has kept its branding as “Feeding Program”—a testament to how FSUU hopes to view this small work of charity as our core responsibility as human beings and not a mere gimmick.
The Feeding Program allows street children in the school premises, allows street children to make use of the university’s comfort rooms and mingle with Urians, students, teachers, staff, volunteers and administrators alike. They are taught about hygiene care, spiritual guidance, medical support, sports clinic and are given school lessons by Urian students and teachers. Urians, through the years, have also learned a lot from them, lessons which could not simply be taught in the classroom’s four walls.
Funds for the Feeding Program’s operations are garnered through fund-raising activities such as concerts, Christmas cards, Valentine’s events and donations from the alumni, civil society organizations, government agencies and private individuals. Every Sunday, the feeding is sponsored and facilitated by the Youth Organization volunteers of St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
Urian Tabang is a network of individuals, organizations, companies and groups who are all ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters. The FSUU Foundation Inc. (FSUUFI) assembles and coordinates with the network in order to provide financial resources and manpower who will assist in the delivery of relief and in the maintenance of order.
Formalized under FSUUFI—a private entity disparate from the university—in 2012, Urian Tabang has since served in typhoon relief operations in Mindanao’s northern regions. Most recently, it had offered assistance in the severe habagat rains of 2017 and Typhoon Vinta in Cagayan de Oro.
CB Main Building, FSUU, Butuan City
Tel. No.: 342-1830 local 1662
Community Involvement and Advocacy Office
2nd Floor FSUU Gym, San Francisco St.
Tel. No.: 342-1830 local 1661