EarthCalls: Our Journey in Faith (A Mobile Exhibit)

EarthCalls: Our Journey in Faith (A Mobile Exhibit)

Philippines
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Recognizing the role of religion as an agent for behavior change, these traveling exhibits will tell our journey of faith as a people, emphasizing how our faith has traditionally understood Earth to have some kind of religious significance, and that humans have obligations to care for Earth’s creatures.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Through environmental education and ecological evangelization, this program addresses the serious environmental degradation that is now happening in Masbate, by striving to change the human behavior and practices that are causing it. It aims to restore the “lost connection” between religion and environmental stewardship that is potentially the strongest driving force for behavior change toward keeping a safe and healthful environment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

EarthCalls will be developed in conjunction with the interpretive program of the Masbate City Coastal Resource Management Interpretive Center (CRMIC), a facility run by the City Government of Masbate. CRMIC, the Philippines’ first coastal management-focused interpretive facility run by a local government, has a permanent on-site gallery which shows the geologic evolution of the islands of Masbate. In 2008, Liceo de Masbate began working with the City Government to develop an interpretive program that takes the informative aspect of the first exhibits into the deeper formative aspects -- as a Catholic educational institution, Liceo de Masbate helps bring environmental education a step higher to transformation, from management to stewardship, through ecological evangelization. EarthCalls will expand the program’s content and reach, and bring its services to underserved communities, especially fishing villages that make up the majority of Masbate’s population. The program is participatory and collaborative – to promote ownership, it engages key stakeholders in the telling of “their” story, and as well as Liceo de Masbate and the City Government, volunteers from all sectors are important program partners.
About You
Organization:
Liceo de Masbate
Section 1: About You
First Name

rosa maria evangelista

Last Name

sia

Website
Organization

Liceo de Masbate

Country

, MSB

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Liceo de Masbate

Organization Phone

(056)3332276

Organization Address

Quezon St., Masbate City 5400

Organization Country

, MSB

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, MSB

Website URL
Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

Impact on our primary clients -- In the Philippines religion is very much a part of the public square; religion, along with the institutions that nurture it, has always played a key role in forming the mindset and consciousness of Filipinos. In a recent study, majority of Filipinos ranked religion in the top three of what makes them happy. “Relationship with God” directs much of our day-to-day life and that is why information, when associated with what’s good and God-like, naturally progresses to formation and transformation. This is not so much an innovation as a going back to the origins of education; after all, theology is the queen of the sciences. Ethicists say that all religions of the world have traditionally expressed some ethical concern for nature and the environment. Religion can be a powerful agent for behavior change. Through ecological evangelization, we contribute toward the development/rebirth of environmental ethics in our communities. By targeting our mostly underserved communities of direct coastal stakeholders, EarthCalls can bring this mission where it is most needed.
Impact on the tourism sector – Masbate is only now emerging as an important tourist destination (it ranked #11 among the top Philippine destinations in 2009). We understand the risks that come with the economic opportunities of tourism development. Through this interpretive program, we are beginning to develop a local constituency with a strong environmental ethic that can influence public policy toward sustainable tourism development.

Actions

The project is linked to the Diocese of Masbate and an organization called Mumho which is involved in other projects namely: Sumpay Buhay (financial and moral support for those who have grave medical problems), Dayon Eskwela (financial support for those who cannot afford education), Sirak Paglaom (help for those in prison), Landungan (help for abused women), Bolig Kalisud (help for families affected by calamities), and Siyak Kapatalibudan (advocacy for environmental stewardship). The proposed EarthCalls exhibit will involve volunteers from all sectors, including students looking for training opportunities in environmental education as well as tourists and visitors to the CRMIC who wish to make community interaction a part of their travel experience. It will be funded partly by proceeds from the sale of cause-related merchandise that will be sold at the CRMIC, but this may not be sufficient to realize its full potential.

Results

Ultimately, behavior change across a wide cross-section of our communities. As an educational institution, Liceo de Masbate hopes to develop environmental champions and advocates among its students, and through this project, in partnership with the City Government and other sectors, it aims to spread its influence to the wider community and develop an environmental ethic that motivates us to make a concerted effort to take care of creation not only because we are afraid of the consequences of our neglect and abuse but more so because we love the Creator of all things visible and invisible.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Focus on spirituality and mentoring for the first year; volunteerism and practice teaching for the second year; and immersion for the third.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Lack of human resource. Obviously, because this is high-end education, we need to train our interpreters very thoroughly. More than anything else, they must teach by example, and this in itself can be the biggest challenge.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?

, MSB

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Liceo de Masbate

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Liceo de Masbate incubates the idea, the legwork belongs to our partners.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Human resource training, mentoring, and immersion (being with, listening to, and engaging in conversation with the “target client”)

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The idea germinated from the CRMIC’s interpretive program, which was developed in 2003 with assistance from the USAID Coastal Resource Management Project to provide non-formal environmental education to Masbate City’s largely rural population. Nearly 70% of the city’s approximately 105,000 residents live in rural areas, where books are scarce and television is unavailable. Until the CRMIC opened its doors, most Masbateños had never been to a museum. The dearth in cultural institutions combined with high poverty incidence (70%) toward turning a once proud community into a people isolated from itself and its (essentially coastal) environment, showing little appreciation or concern for its rich natural history. This manifested in the degraded environment, depleted resources, general decline of quality of life and poor sense of place.
The CRMIC has put itself at the center of the City’s effort to revitalize itself. As the City Government occupies itself with the brass tacks of rehabilitating the coastal environment through the establishment of marine protected areas and other interventions, the CRMIC focuses on the rather abstract and certainly more difficult aspect of transforming the very “soul” of the society that has created the dire situation that now besets Masbateños: zero forest cover, degraded mangrove forests and coral reefs, poor waste management, and social injustice (resources are controlled by a few).
Through this project and its partnership with the City Government, Liceo de Masbate intends to contribute to the effort by bringing in the formative aspects of environmental through ecological evangelization. The ultimate goal is to create an eco-centric learning landscape the gives back people their sense of place and reconnects them with their natural environment. It is about giving people opportunities for reflection, self-renewal, and spiritual growth, and rediscovering their common voice, cooperation, responsibility, mutual respect, respect for nature, and ultimately, self-respect.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

This is a group effort of volunteers from different professions and disciplines who are working together through this project to bring about their common vision of an Earth-caring citizenry.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

USAID Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest (FISH) Project

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