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No. 40 • January - June 2005 • Page 153
 •  Initiatives

Manila (Philippines) -- Responsible citizenship

The Philippine government four years ago made the National Service Training Program (NSTP) part of the academic curriculum. The aim of this program is to encourage students of higher learning dedicate a total of 108 hours to volunteer activities, and thus acquire a greater civic awareness.

Iraya Study Center and Tahilan Residence & Study Center, through an agreement with the University of the Philippines and that of St. Thomas, have received authorization to carry out a program with several hundred students who, after receiving the proper training, will teach catechism in two schools in Manila. The preparation includes classes of Catholic doctrine and seminars on topics of special relevance such as the family, the environment and strategies for combating poverty. It also includes instruction by experts on motivation techniques for children through tutorials in reading, mathematics, English and the sciences. The experience has been very positive. The NSTP helps the young people to become aware of their own duties and responsibilities as citizens. “To know that I can be useful to others,” said one girl taking part in the program “not only made me happy, but gave me a new sense of personal fulfillment.”

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