Ateneo SOLACE student ambassadors

Written by Lisa Dikomitis 

In a previous blog post, I introduced the Keele SOLACE student ambassadors: Harriet Howels and Frances Gibson. It is my real pleasure to announce the Ateneo SOLACE student ambassadors. They will meet Harriet and Frances in July 2018 and the 4 SOLACE ambassadors will join the #WeAreSolace ethnography team in Northern Samar!

SOLACE TEAM

The SOLACE team on a field visit in Northern Samar,
through the lens of Filipino photographer Martin San Diego

In February 2018 we launched the Ateneo SOLACE student competition. Undergraduate students from the Loyola Schools of Ateneo de Manila University and students at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health were invited to submit a piece of creative work, in a format of choice, on global health. The submission had to convey the student’s interest in global health. Our SOLACE Philippines manager, Issa Mijares, who led the Ateneo competition, was very pleased with the number and quality of the submissions. We will be blogging about those in due course! The two winning Ateneo students will travel to Keele University for a week of cultural immersion in 2019, where they will be paired up, for the second time, with Harriet and Frances.

But now….. drum roll…. I am very happy to introduce the two Ateneo SOLACE ambassadors: Danielle (Danni) Josefa F. Uayan and Syra (Sai) Marie Norin A. Petalio.

I asked Danni why she participated in the SOLACE student competition. Here is what she replied:

‘I wanted to travel to Northern Samar ever since I heard from my father that the province was plagued with a lot of problems, notably little access to health care. I also heard numerous times from my best friend, who is from Leyte [an island in the Visayas group of the Philippines], of the extent the people have been deprived of health care. I grew curious and wanted to see the place for myself. Perhaps being there would allow me to come up with something that could help in the future.

I also would like to go to UK, as I have never traveled overseas and am curious as to how different the place and the culture are from ours. It would be a great opportunity to learn from the people there and to see what things could be applied to improve the health care situation in the Philippines. Since the contest called for entries focusing on global health, it was the perfect opportunity to write and paint a critique regarding the current state of public health, which has been a topic of frustration among my family, relatives, friends and classmates. I wanted to convey my personal observations, as well as their grievances towards the health sector. I felt that a number of current public health efforts have unwittingly undermined equally important determinants of health, and I hope that I was able to express that through my creative works.’

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Danielle (Danni) Josefa F. Uayan, Ateneo SOLACE student ambassador 

Of course, I asked Sai the same question! Why did you join the SOLACE Student Competition? Here is what Sai share with me:

‘I am a Health Sciences major and I struggled to find a way to pursue a career in the field not involving going to medical school. Recently, I decided to integrate my passion for writing with public health. People have so many stories to tell. My dream is to travel around the world, visit various communities and hear them tell their stories and use or create a platform for that to share those stories with the world. SOLACE gives me an opportunity to see how it can go and also emphasizes the multidisciplinarity that addressing health issues requires. It is not an easy field but it is very important to recognize the impact of other platforms and media in spreading the message to a wider set of people.’

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Syra (Sai) Marie Norin A. Petalio, Ateneo SOLACE student ambassador

Danni and Said, congratulations and a warm welcome to the #WeAreSolace team!