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Xavier Ateneo’s Social Development Week 2024 celebration culminated with a momentous event on 9 May 2024, at XU AVR 1, marking the SD Partners’ Recognition and Ceremonial Signing, led by Thommie Angela A Obsioma, formator for Service-Learning Program. The occasion commenced with a warm welcome message from Therese Rea Rose Baliwag-Vallente, Assistant to the Vice President for Social Development, expressing profound gratitude to the SD partner communities and institutions. Vallente emphasized the significance of collaboration in advancing the mission of education, further noting that the ceremonial signing is a testament to XU’s commitment to journey with and for others, aligned with this year’s SD Week theme: “PADAYON XU! Continuing Commitment for Sustainable Development.”

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[In Photo] Signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Calabrian Children Foundation, Inc (CCFI)
for a two-year collaborative engagement through the Service-Learning Program (SLP)

The event's focal point was the ceremonial signing, symbolizing XU's commitment to journeying with its partners in addressing pressing societal needs. Engagements facilitated through the Service-Learning Program (SLP) were forged through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) facilitated by Engr Gail de la Rita, SLP Director. Xavier Ateneo entered a two-year collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry – Region 10 (DTI-10) for a partnership specifically designed to bolster the agency's RAPID Growth Project to uplift the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and unemployed rural individuals. The Calabrian Children’s Foundation, Inc (CCFI) affirmed its commitment by forging a two-year partnership with Xavier Ateneo to enhance its initiatives in youth development, education, psychosocial support, and administrative process improvement. Lastly, a two-year agreement was struck with the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (DSWD-SLP) for capacity building and trainings for its project beneficiaries.

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[In Photo] Signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) for a
collaborative engagement on Research Education and Social Development. The engagement is facilitated through
the Institutional Professional Societal Engagement (IPSE).

Partnerships and engagements facilitated through the Institutional Professional Societal Engagement (IPSE) and the Social Development Centers were also signed during the event. The agreements were signed with a diverse array of partner institutions, including the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), BLGU Agusan, Psychological Association of the Philippines – Northern Mindanao Chapter, USAID – RenewHealth Project, LGU Cagayan de Oro City Social Welfare Department (CSWD) – Oro Response and Processing Center, Gawad Kalinga, and SEDPI Development Finance Inc. The partnerships were presented by the respective SD Center Directors with which the collaboration is lodged.

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[In Photo] Awarding of certificates and recognition of partners engaged with Xavier Ateneo through the Social Development Cluster.

Following the ceremonial signing, the event transitioned to the recognition of partners engaged through the various programs of the Social Development Cluster, honoring the outstanding contributions of various agencies and organizations in advancing the shared mission of sustainable development. Nestor Banuag Jr, SIAP Director, facilitated the partner’s recognition, acknowledging the institutions and organization’s essential role in building impactful community engagement.

The event concluded with messages and impressions from partners, highlighting the collaborative efforts and impact of the various engagements. Gil Francisco, Regional Partnership Coordinator of DSWD-10, expressed gratitude for the partnership, emphasizing its role in empowering program participants. Francisco remarked, "This partnership signifies a shared commitment to equipping program participants with knowledge and skills relevant to the fields they have chosen." Frances Jann Sofia Tongson, RSW, Former District Head of CSWD District 2C Satellite Office, commended XU for its community services and disaster response efforts, stating, "Daghang Salamat to XU for extending their services to the community not only for the rapid response during disasters but also in our other programs for the community we serve."

In his closing message, Fr Mars P Tan SJ, University President, expressed gratitude to all partners for their commitment to the mission of social development. Fr Tan emphasized the importance of collaboration in achieving shared goals, quoting Fr Moreno SJ during his presentation on the Social Development Week Opening Program, "To survive, we have to collaborate: Collaborate or perish." He affirmed Xavier University's dedication to nurturing partnerships and building a stronger collaborative framework for sustainable development in the future. The SD Partners’ Recognition and Ceremonial Signing event concluded with a renewed commitment to collaboration and partnership, underscoring Xavier University's mission to make a meaningful impact in society through service-oriented education.