Photos from left: The new coordination staff of the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines National Secretariat: Aki Longcanaya, Emmanuel Mirus Ponon, and Raissa Avery Marfa.
The Student Catholic Action of the Philippines welcomes and congratulates its new team, who will lead and accompany the implementation of the National Secretariat programs beginning this academic year of 2022-2023. Emmanuel Mirus Ponon will work full-time as the new national coordinator on advocacy and formation. Aki Longcanaya and Raissa Avery Marfa will focus hand-on-hand as part-time coordinators for the "Power of Goodness." It is the peace program of the national movement in collaboration with Friends Peace Teams-Asia West Pacific which will roll out earlier this year.
Let's get to know the short introductions of the new team!
Emmanuel Mirus Ponon is a 21-year-old youth advocate whose journey started from his experience growing up in an environment surrounded by poverty, which led him to begin volunteering at nine. As an engaged youth community visionary, he started the ASEAN Youth Advocates Network to break down opportunity barriers for the youth and other disadvantaged sectors. Using development initiatives with inclusion, innovation, and empowerment at its core has led to the network present in 10 Southeast Asian countries, reaching 300,000 young advocates. He is a multi-awarded leader who has continued to serve multiple organizations. He became a speaker for more than 500 events all across the globe and has continuously joined fellowships to learn and collaborate as an aspiring development professional. Mirus had been elected as the President of the De La Salle University-Student Catholic Action (DLSU-SCA).
Aki Longcanaya is a natural leader at age 19. She served as the Justice Student Council's outgoing Treasurer at Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma Senior High School. She is a member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and has represented the Parañaque council for the past two years. In 2021, she was elected as Regional Scout representative for the National Capital Region. The following year, she earned the title of Eagle Scout, the highest rank. She also participated in promoting diversity at the said organization throughout this period. She also took part in activities that supported integrity and resilience. She organized numerous events that empower and advocate for young people her age.
Raissa Avery D. Marfa, fondly called Raissa or Rai, is 27 years old from Cebu City and currently residing in Metro Manila for work and studies. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Economics from De La Salle University and is now taking up a Master's in Education, specializing in Reading Education at the University of the Philippines. She has currently involved with Friends Peace Teams for programs such as the Power of Goodness and Friends Peace Libraries. She works on children's literacy and children's literature through the organizations she involves with, and she believes in the power of stories in children's learning, imagination, and values formation.
SCAP's key priorities starting this year will focus more on establishing strong and self-sustaining diocesan core teams to help organize cell communities; leading See-Judge-Act-inspired actions and advocacies on good governance, social justice, new media, and ecology; strengthening and mobilizing partners, affiliates, and alumni; and sustaining the Bahay-SCAn, SCAP's Formation Center in Tagaytay.
Through the guidance and support of the National Director and the SCAP Board, the National Secretariat will also be accompanied by a group of volunteer alumni who will form the National Secretariat Consultants. The National Coordination Council (NCC) coordination structure is retained within the six clusters of SCAP, namely, Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, NCR, Visayas, and Mindanao, with arch/diocesan coordinators and two student representatives (College and High School), respectively.