Lasallian students understand what it means to truly be part of an organization. Being in a university that offers a wide array of organizations, many of us are able to explore our potential by joining a community of students that share the same interest and passion, be it economics, writing, dance, or anything else in between. Through these student groups, we are not only able to practice our hobbies and gain newfound relationships, but are also able to discover different facets of ourselves, which we may not necessarily have known about before.
It’s all about choosing the right organization for you—and the beauty of this is that we don’t have to restrict it to the confines of the University alone. After all, several worthwhile organizations exist both inside and outside of school—all that matters is finding the right fit.
These are the stories of The Better Story Project and Humans Who Move, which are groups that aim for a different kind of cause — social and personal change. They may have relatively small followings now, but they also have big aspirations for the future.
A story worth telling
For the past few years, feminism has been a very hot topic in the eyes of the media. With the likes of Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson speaking about the rights of women, the idea of female empowerment has since taken its root in today’s society. The Better Story Project is no different than these recognized activists, in terms of achieving the same goal.
Founded on October 2012, The Better Story Project aims to empower women by letting them understand the complexities of their own lives and create a story, which they themselves can be proud of. “We wanted to create the strong image of a girl with a pen, a girl writing her own story, a girl not leaving the details up to anyone but herself,” co-founder Issa Garcia explains.
With the idea of the story as their guiding principle, The Better Story Project has since held many book discussions (in association with Fully Booked’s Revisiting Required Literature book club) and events to further the cause for women. Their most notable event was the No Shame Campaign forum in which daughters, mothers, and even fathers gathered to listen and learn from the inspiring stories of some sexual harassment and rape survivors. Co-founder Janelle Batacan describes this event as one that was ‘incredibly moving and insightful’. Not only was the audience able to learn from these brave survivors, but they were also able to share their own experiences and give some words of encouragement. Batacan adds, “We may not have changed society overnight, but that night was proof that people need what we have to offer. A community with whom to express our outrage, to share in love, and to work hand-in-hand toward something better.”
Although this organization centers on women, the founders welcome men to join and participate in their activities and events, and be active in creating a better story not only for the women in their lives, but for themselves, as well. Encouraging everyone in the community to craft a meaningful story worth spreading, Batacan explains, “Each of us, women and men alike, should have the right and responsibility over our own story.”
A holistic experience
Unlike The Better Story Project, Humans Who Move is a very new venture. Launched only last August 2015 by founders Vida Sioson and Lasallian alumnae, Vida and Raya Sioson, Humans Who Move has the ambitious goal of encouraging the youth to live a healthier, more active lifestyle, through the use of the internet and social media.
Because recent advancements in technology have led people to live unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles, this organization believes that it can be the stepping stone for more individuals to achieve a better, healthier, and happier version of themselves. Their website, humanswhomove.com, provides gym listings in different areas of the Philippines to entice individuals to get up and start moving. Additionally, their social media accounts have also consistently been showcasing certain events and activities, in which people of different ages may be willing to try and be a part of. Vida Sioson states, “We believe that the first step towards movement is to find the activity that suits people’s lifestyles. We want people to find a class or community based on their location, schedule and interests. We want people to be able to search for and discover activities that fit their own criteria, and that they would enjoy. “
For this organization, living an active lifestyle not only relates to one’s physical well-being but also promotes a person’s holistic growth as well. Lasallian alumna Raya narrates that after she tried doing various ‘moving’ activities, such as boxing, yoga, and Muay Thai, she discovered a change within herself. She said she felt more curious, more sociable, and above all, more confident. Vida agrees with her, saying that trying out Capoeira allowed her to realize her potential as an individual. Vida says, “Capoeira taught me one very important thing: That I can do anything. I can do anything if I keep practicing, if I put myself into it.” For these two ladies, being a part of Humans Who Move allowed them to grow into better versions of themselves.
This organization is indeed for the introspective, looking for change in their very own lifestyle.
A new perspective
Both these organizations share the same ideal of changing the way people live and see things. Though their efforts at the moment seem small, their intentions are very admirable, working towards impacting the lives of different individuals. There is no doubt that with time and effort, these movements will be paving the way for bigger change in the future.
Among all the organizations that you can invest yourself in, choose one that’ll allow you to learn new things, grow as a person, understand new points-of-view and most important of all, be happy.