I am reposting in full an invitation I received from the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) or "Church that Serves the Nation", a "non-partisan, Church-based organization that functions as part of the socio-political ministry of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)" according to its website. SLB is extending an open invitation for community workers and interested individuals to attend their voters' education trainors' training session in January (see below).
While I would take SLB's claims of non-partisanship with a large pinch of salt (this is a church-sponsored establishment, mind you,) I can't discount their role in bringing voters' education services to the grassroots level. Shortly after my birthday in 2006, I joined the one day training session and was happy to learn that many of the participants worked and learned directly with their constituents in their parishes and communities. And I was even happier to find out later that the program did have an impact in redefining voters' perspectives on the value and power of the electoral process.
And without further ado, here is the text of SLB's invitation:
In a few months’ time the entire nation will be thrown into the midst of election frenzy. We can get lost amidst all the campaign jingles, taglines, slogans and promises. Thus we need to search for a firmer foundation on which to ground our vote – the self.
PVA 2010 Edition: Ang Bagong Botanteng Pinoy (BBP) is a political education program that shifts the focus from the candidate to the voter. It consists of the following modules:
MODULE 1 - Ang BBP: Kumikilos sa isang Konteksto
Oftentimes, our choices and decisions are done out of context and thus we end up adding to the problem rather than solving it. Thus, the voter must be aware of the current national social, economic and political situation which will serve as the context for his/her vote.
MODULE 2 - Ang BBP: Karapatan Kong Tunay
The voter has an important responsibility to protect our democratic institutions. To carry this out, s/he is given the power to choose public officials and his/her power to choose is protected by rights.
MODULE 3 - Ang BBP: Hi-Tech Na!
The voter must be familiar with the automated process to ensure that his/her vote and those of the rest of the electorate are correctly counted.
MODULE 4 – Ang BBP: Gusto Ko ‘To!
Political engagement does not end with casting one’s vote. The Filipino Voter actively engages in the socio-political affairs of the country even beyond elections. This module will show how!
By January 2010, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) is planning to conduct the 1st of a series of Trainers Training for the PVA 2010 Edition. Hence, we are calling for volunteers to make these endeavors of ours possible.
We invite everyone to take an active part in our campaigns for the coming elections. We will be deploying facilitators, speakers and volunteers to help out in the cascading of the voters’ education.
Should you be interested to participate in the PVA 2010 Edition Trainers’ Training on 23 January 2010, please send us an email indicating your name, affiliation, address, and contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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