To plan for the future of Service-Learning program in the Philippines and to present updates on the endeavors initiated by program alumni, the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC) Asia Chapter organized its first Service-Learning virtual reunion last Jan. 30, 2021 via Zoom.

Attended by alumni from the 2015 to 2019 programs, as well as faculty and administrators of participating higher education institutions, the 90-minute fellowship featured videos documenting the experiences of participants from Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. The host university, Trinity University of Asia (TUA) in Manila, Philippines, also presented updates on the situation of partner communities which were heavily affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

It is really heartwarming to be part of this (reunion), as you relive your memories with the friends you made, reconnecting your ties and returning to the communities where you left your hearts,” said Dr. Wilfred U. Tiu, president of TUA.

The memories that some of you shared are meaningful, that included how this Service-Learning experience become an important part of your life. We pray that the program will continue once the COVID situation has improved and everyone is vaccinated,” he added.

Other top management representatives of partner universities also expressed their full support of the program. “The (CUAC) Service-Learning program is very unique and highly regarded around the world… The students of Rikkyo University had a wonderful experience and learned a lot through this Service-Learning program,” said The Rt. Rev. Renta Nishihara, Rikkyo University’s incoming president, who promised to visit the program in Manila when it resumes after the pandemic.

The CUAC-Asia Service-Learning Program is a collaboration among member universities in East and Southeast Asia which started in 2015. The goal of the program is to connect theoretical concepts with real-life situations as a strategy of learning through service in partner communities.

Students of Rikkyo University (Tokyo), St. Luke’s International University (Tokyo), St. Margaret’s Junior College (Tokyo), Poole Gakuin College (Osaka), Kobe International University (Kobe), Momoyama Gakuin University of Education (Osaka), SungKongHoe University (Seoul), Easter College (Baguio City), and Brent Hospital and Colleges, Inc. (Zamboanga City) fly to Manila every second week of February to participate in the two-week program hosted by Trinity University of Asia. Recently, Ehime University (Japan) signified its intention to join the program.

As the virtual reunion ended with a lot of excitement, the organizers and alumni all expressed their hope for the end of the pandemic and for the resumption of the program next year.