As a student of the Compassion and Social Communication international certificate programme, offered by Centre for New Humanities and Compassion Studies as a journey of rich learning encounters, I found a lively academic space to re-visit and ask those deep questions I normally would have just put aside or postponed: Who am I, really? Who is God? What is Faith? Who are we, as Society? What is Earth? What is Nature? What is our Purpose? What is Communication? What is the Common Good? The course nurtured in me a seeker, not just a student.
I was happy to initiate the journey of seeking. Xavier university provided me not only a physical space but also a dynamic social one. I was an integral part of a wonderful team of people – classmates from many parts of the world and passionate teachers — to accompany me in this pursuit. Deep dialogue, sharing, conversations, student lectures, field trips, diary keeping, debates, discussions, dynamic course content and projects all helped me a great deal.
My belief is that our inclusive common future lies on the answers to the questions mentioned above. I am happy that these questions guided the programme on compassion and social communication. The aim of the learning journey was not just to provide a tool to build one’s career but to work hard to become better versions of ourselves. I liked that very much. I am thankful to the Centre and University for this kind act.
Until we as youth, begin to sincerely ask those questions in whatever course we are doing and to courageously seek answers to them, we will not walk towards a brighter and more exciting and compassionate future for all of us.”
“I am humbled to be part of the first batch of international fellows for the academic certificate course on Compassion and Social Communication which is a one-of-a-kind programme offered and developed by the Center for New Humanities and Compassion Studies of Xavier University, Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India.
The programme helped me widen my perspective in doing my work and advocacy in the Philippines by understanding all peoples from all walks of life through mutual understanding and dialogue.
Communicators, journalists and media practitioners like me are also invited to have a deep communion with the people around us — those in the peripheries, those who are marginalized and denied of justice, to walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.
Our role, too, is to present to the world real and authentic news, data, and stories about the environment and the challenges and concerns the humanity face today.
To learn and live a loving kindness and compassion through our words and actions towards others, and to be in India with other fellows and friends from different parts of the world is truly a worthwhile and transformative experience.
Many thanks to Xavier University, Bhubaneswar and to SIGNIS for bringing this important message today to accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future and to collaborate in the care for our Common Home.”
“What I received at the Compassion and Social Communication certificate course was more than I had expected to get. It was not just academic sessions on some tools and new knowledge. It was about how to be a compassionate person in a very challenging world, how to be a person who will promote dialogue and how to reach out to help build an inclusive common Home for all.
Until now, the impact of the course has not faded for me. My experience of both the physical journey from Mexico to India to Bhubaneswar to Xavier University on the other side of the world and the learning journey of encounters offered by the Centre for New Humanities and Compassion Studies as part of the course were profound and will accompany me in my life forever. It is one of my most significant and memorable experiences of learning I have had. My life experience was further deepened as I met with many others – my classmates, my teachers and many others I met in the various field trips out of the university as part of the course.
The way in which the programme was initiated made me understand that we need to have a starting point i.e. faith beyond mere religiosity. There needs to be an openness to learning to grow beyond comfort zones and taken-for-granted realities.
The course offered many meaningful and challenging learning encounters. They helped me with a deschooling orientation to engage with different perspectives firmly based on consistent and mindful arguments. Through the course, little by little, I was able to give new answers and meanings to questions for which I earlier had preconceived, orthodox answers. The course has also helped me to ask many more relevant and critical questions. I know that they are going to influence me the rest of my life. I will continue to learn from encounters with myself and with others.”
“The International Certificate Programme on Compassion and Social Communication was a truly transformative experience. From the first day it proposed a completely disruptive methodology, focused on a self-exploratory and self-learning approach that made it a very personal journey. Coming from the west mindset, it was as challenging as useful. I could adapt all the teachings to my own life and experience, starting a path of rediscovering sides of myself and interests I thought I have lost.
I believe it’s a highly recommended experience for young people since it gives a glimpse of the bigger picture surrounding us, the great interconnection between all the knowledge that we’re used to separate and the need to rethink many of the concepts and beliefs that guide our lives. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to open our eyes to mindful perspectives that can lead our steps after taking the course.
In my personal experience, it was a life changing journey, not only for the knowledge and the approaches -that I definitely took with me for my projects-, but also because all the people I met that will remain as very special points of contact and support in a bigger network of people that want to change the world!”
The international certification on “Compassion and Social Communication” organized by the Centre for New Humanities and Compassion Studies, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar for young communicators was mind-boggling. The course modules were down to earth with a complete bend of theory and Praxis. Moving far beyond the normal academic courses, the programme was a new initiative of Humanities and Compassion Studies. It led students to think out of the box and journey through the deepest cores of one’s being.
This was not just a course but a life changing experience amidst COVID 19 pandemic and lockdown. The Global Laudato Si’ Fellowship programme helped me to change my old-fashioned perspective towards people, culture and ideologies. I have started focusing on the issues of environmental concerns and care which affect our common home. The Group Project ‘Unfold Nest’ ’ was a great move in this line for a holistic and radical
change on the part of us fellows.
I found this programme as a journey of a seeker searching the depth of the vast cultural and spiritual ocean. Learning from world religions and cultures about inclusiveness and dialogue for peace and unity, I got inclined towards inter-religious dialogue easily. Open sharing and discussion amongst the fellows got us united as one family in spite of our differences, ideologies and prejudices.
Lectures by eminent professors and communicators gave me a clear understanding of the humanitarian aspect related to humanity and ecology per se. Field trips helped me to explore the untouched shores of human relationship and friendship. This entire journey for me was a move to ‘cosmotheandric’ communion.
I feel as a changed person to care and work for the betterment of the planet Earth, our ‘Common Home’. If you are a seeker like me then this is a journey you must take to immerse and explore the unrevealed areas of life. Because, I did make the exploration to unfold, de-school and de-construct my life with a U-turn.
My journey to India was like the ancient quests of pilgrims, traveling with many question and thirsty of knowledge, with the strong resolution of being open to the path.
Of course, one has many limitations -our own culture, language and background- and one cannot erase that. But the glass and mirrors buildings of the Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, the beauty of its campus, the wisdom of every teacher and partner, the silent smile of the children and the old man, turned out search of knowledge into an adventure of the heart.
Many circumstances made us realize a journey of this kind -and much more to an outstanding and wise country like India- is also a way to know not only an academic course but an immersion in a world of festivals, museums, music, gastronomy and art.
But perhaps the deepest journey, the decisive one, is the one you must take to the deepest part of your spirit, discovering your creativity, the meaning of your spirituality, the implications of your interaction with others, with society and with our planet.
During our program in India, we have created a web of friends, an international family of fellows and collaborators. I hope that, in the future, others can come to the Xavier University, Bhubaneswar and be part of this life-changing experience.