Abi C. Dango
Bridging to the Norm through AAAP
December 2014, our Public Relations class met two groups that had the same advocacy – to help raise awareness regarding people with special needs. The first one to present was Best Buddies, an organization that focuses and caters to children who are diagnosed with autism. They showed videos in class and presented their different activities that promote a buddy system. Some could go to different activities, have bonding activities, and mostly attend events that are created by this organization and other groups which have the same plea. What touched me the most, while the Best Buddies were presenting, was when a speaker said that their goal is to soon be not needed in Philippine society, and eventually, the whole world. At first, I got confused because how can an organization have a mission to soon not be around? Each company should have an ambition to stay for a very long time. However, when the speaker explained why, I got shocked. She said that in the future, they envision a world wherein, an organization like this would not be needed anymore just for people to be around children with special needs. It may be just from my perspective, but I saw the pain in her eyes when she said this. Her plea was real and sincere. And that’s when I realized that I want to lend a hand to people with special needs.
Having experienced this and while going through the Public Relations class at the same time, the main application that I have realized is that in each event that we have to create, our main goal is always to get to the other side, how to reach the other end of the road. In every step that we make, we have to keep in mind that everything that we do shall always benefit the audience or the target market. In that way we will be able to achieve our advocacy, and at the same time have more people on our side.
After going through all the tasks for AAAP, the second advocacy group, I have realized a lot of things, learned many important lessons, and I got to meet a lot of people with very pure hearts and passionate souls. But the one that I will treasure the most is how I understood why these kinds of organizations exist. It is for us to bridge out to the norm. For us to realize that in this world, differences will always be present and will be seen on each and every one of us, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. We have to build bridges to develop a society wherein we will be comfortable of our variations. Unity among diversity, that’s the goal.