|Embassy hosts LSE II Graduation Ceremony|
PH EMBASSY HOSTS LSE II BRUSSELS GRADUATION CEREMONY
Ambassador Victoria Bataclan led Embassy personnel in hosting the graduation ceremony of the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) II Brussels training program on 19 August 2015.
Now on its second year, the program, organized by the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), ran from 21 March to 19 August 2015. In her speech, the Ambassador expressed hope that more and more Filipinos in Belgium will join the LSE training program to help them learn to be financially literate and independent, and to realize their potential as leaders and social entrepreneurs. The Ambassador congratulated the graduates and expressed pride that Embassy personnel had also participated in the program.
Mr Antonio Gabriel Maestrado La Viña, a Filipino lawyer, educator, and environmental policy expert and currently dean of ASoG was guest speaker at the graduation ceremony.
Dean La Viña, in his three-part speech, thanked the LSE partners: [SEDPI (Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc., UGAT Foundation, OFSPES (Overseas Filipinos Society for the Promotion of Economic Security), POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office, OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), the Philippine Embassies in Europe, the collaborators, alumni, faculty, mentors and students of LSE. He shared that to date, LSE has already nearly 1000 OFW graduates in Rome, Naples, Florence, Milan, Turin, Brussels, Paris, The Hague, Dubai, Hongkong and Macau and that they intend to open programs in Barcelona and Canada soon. He then proceeded to talk about current issues in the Philippines such as the Balikbayan box controversy linked to corruption, the Enrile bail decision, the Marcos years, the Torre de Manila case, the importance of historical memory, the need to vote wisely in 2016 and the 'deplorable' condition when Filipinos have to work and move abroad because 'there are no options left for them" in the Philippines. Towards the end, Dean La Viña told the audience that LSE is about helping people to help themselves and their families so that they can all help our country, the Philippines.
This year's graduates include a general surgeon from the Philippines who is currently involved in cancer research in Belgium, Dr. Carmela Caballero. Embassy driver Leopoldo Sevilla who plans to set up a food business in Belgium, also finished the Course. Other graduates were Malou Vicente-Dwyer who is also involved in cancer clinical research studies who submitted a business plan on furniture design; Ma. Fe Paeste-van Linthout, who got widowed recently and intends to build a dormitory in her province, and Remy Pontillo-Devos, a Filipino community leader in Luxembourg who is involved in various agricultural programs in the Philippines.
Last year's LSE graduates helped organize this year's graduation ceremony. Maricar Macapagal, graduate of LSE I Brussels, emceed the program.
The first LSE program in Brussels was held from 14 Sept 2013 to 8 March 2014. Graduates receive a certificate from the ASoG which may later be credited for future Masters in Public Management degree.