“It is not what makes us different from each other that is important but what makes us the same.” Ar-Nusharief E. Hassiman, Western Mindanao State University alumnus said during the completion ceremony of the 12th Batch of the Congressional Internship Program for Young Mindanao Leaders (CIPYML) held at the Andaya Hall, Batasan Complex last November 17, 2011.
After successfully completing three-month internship program sponsored by the House of Representatives and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program (GEM) under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority, Hassiman triumphed over the other 28 young Mindanao interns. Hassiman, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a registered nurse, was cited as the Valedictorian of the CIPYML Batch 12.
For a background, CIPYML is a program that provides opportunities for young people from Mindanao, especially in conflict-affected communities, to undertake internships in the Philippine House of Representatives. The internship will open doors for them to observe and gain first-hand experience in public policy formulation. The program is offered to recent graduates of colleges and universities in Mindanao who have the potential, in the future, to assume leadership positions in business and government.
Aside from being accorded as Valedictorian of CIPYML Batch 12, he was also lauded with awards for Best Policy Issue Paper and Advocacy-Gold Medal, Mentor’s Choice Award-Gold Medal and bronze medal for the Round Table Discussion.
The completion ceremony was graced by the respected Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. Belmonte called on the interns to ‘reject war and pursue peace, liberalism and democracy’. On the other hand, Harry K. Thomas, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, together with Speaker Belmonte, presided over the completion ceremony for the 27 interns. Ambassador Thomas congratulated and urged the interns to be role-models, them being the future Muslim leaders of Mindanao.
Other interns were all young professionals such as engineers, teachers, agriculturists and nurses also shared the same concern as that of Hassiman. They all have the same thrust to bring about change and addressing the issue of reforming for a better Mindanao.
The young lad also shared the reason as to why his paper made him won an award, “As a registered Nurse, it is just imperative for me to come up with a paper that focuses on improving the quality of health in the region especially in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).” The paper goes with the title, ‘Promoting the Use of Alternative Medicine In the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.’ It aims to improve the quality of health of the ARMM constituents through the provision of basic health care delivery system that makes use of the indigenous resources in the region.
23 years old, Hassiman was the Former Chairman of the Committee on Publications and Information of the Muslim Students’ Association during his student days in the university. When asked if what his plans are after his successful internship, he disclosed that he is to pursue the study of Medicine. He is quite hopeful to look for a scholarship to aid him in his medical studies.
“I learned, competition against everyone would not make you a fulfilled and satisfied leader,” the future doctor imparted. “You have to compete not with others, but it should be with yourself, prevailing over your desires against the pressures of how to make the affairs successful and near-perfect for everyone to productively reap,” he told more about his chance of a lifetime experience during the internship. (Ekeena O. Lim, PAO-WMSU)