Conquering My Fear

For this year’s first Sulong Workshop, we were given the chance to partner with Silid Aralan Inc., a non-profit organization that aims to give underachieving students confidence to enhance their academic performance.

We had the workshop last February 20, 2016 in Montalban, Rizal, and our lectures aimed to educate everyone about the proper understanding of human dignity and a better understanding of one’s culture.

Sulong Workshop (30 of 84)As project heads, my co-intern, Sam, and I were assigned to plan out the day, and discuss all the lectures as well. The idea of leading discussions made me really hesitant because I have always been frightened of public speaking, and I really have no patience in dealing with kids. But instead of thinking of all the “bad” things that could happen during the workshop, I just kept on reminding myself that this would be a great opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone.

In the end, we had a fun and interactive discussion. I was thankful that Sam and I successfully came up with activities that weren’t boring and, of course, were integrated into WYA’s principles on human dignity and culture.Sulong Workshop (1 of 84)

I found the the participants really creative and insightful. Perhaps they didn’t get very high grades in school, but I saw that their strengths and talents really lay in different areas like the arts. Many of them, although quite shy, are also very aware of what is happening in their communities, which really helped all of us learn more from them than they did from us.

Overall, this experience helped me conquer my anxieties. It also helped me see the perspective of those who advocate for quality education – that investing on knowledge and experience is meaningful and valuable since these can be passed on to the future generation and just like human dignity, it can never be taken away. WYA has given me a lot of opportunities in this internship program, but this one definitely goes on top of the list.

Sulong Workshop (67 of 84)

Written by Andrew Pilotin, intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office.