Sustainable Regional Development Partnership of Enderun Colleges and Mikunigaoka Super Global High School
To foster global leaders who will contribute to sustainable regional development, Mikunigaoka Super Global High School in Osaka, Japan, partnered with Enderun Colleges for a week-long presentation of sustainable development projects. 45 students from Enderun and Mikunigaoka visited Payatas and Gawad Kalinga Bulacan.
Mikunigaoka Super Global High School and Enderun Colleges devised a buddy system, each student from Mikunigaoka is assigned to an Enderun student to encourage friendships. The first trip is in the Smokey Mountain in Payatas, all the students were able to see the actual situation in the so-called dumpsite of Quezon City and how it is maintained as of the moment. The second trip was in Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan, where all students stayed for three days. Students learned more about the vision and mission of Gawad Kalinga– to abolish poverty by 2024. Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, encourages social businesses in the farm like Plush and Play & the Golden Duck, and the growing popularity of social enterprise as solutions to eliminate charity. There were also fun activities allotted for the students, like rice planting in the field, Master Chef Challenge and talking to the Gawad Kalinga community. The third trip was returning to Enderun Colleges, to share sustainable regional development projects. Some projects focused on bananas, sugarcanes, and coconuts among others. The activities cultivated strong and deep friendships between the students of Mikunigaoka and Enderun.
Without a doubt, there were concerns that Enderun Students had in mind meeting with the Japanese students from Osaka. The language and cultural barriers were something they were both unfamiliar with. Though these were challenges that they had to face, it didn’t stop them from learning about each other’s differences. With the 6-day exposure, they all had experienced in various fieldworks and NGOs allowed these students to see beyond each other’s cultural norms and break the barriers in things they couldn’t understand about one another. The days spent together made both Enderun and Mikunigaoka students realise that they were much more alike than what they initially thought. Having to share the same interest, hobbies, humor, passion and most importantly, love for their country is what built a foundation of a new friendship between the Filipino and Japanese students. With the same goal in mind, students who put their heart into this project made a successful project. In return, both Enderun and Mikunigaoka students received much more than just the experience they had in those six days spent together.