Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 6843

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Katutubong Ugnayan: Opening Spaces for indigenous peoples in Diplomacy
Category: 2. Promotion of Peace and Democracy: Social Issues

School: Saint Louis University Laboratory High School
    Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines

4 students, ages 16-17 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 16, 2011. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 0

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Vincent Tabor, Mr. Jay Delos Reyes, Aaron Bolinto, Kristel Melendez, Christien Apilado, Marianne Domalanta,

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our reason for joining this competition is our resilient desire for parity across the seven continents of the world. We have witnessed discrimination against the ethnic tribes of our nation and we want to eliminate the continuous degradation of their identities.

Member No. 1: Christien A. Christien, as one of the graphic artists of the team, was tasked with making the logo of the website and also helped in the acquisition of the necessary information and multimedia from different resources. She is the most industrious in the group and gives her best in all that she does, therefore motivating the others to do the same. Member No. 2: Aaron B. Aaron has always been against racism and social inequality. He constantly reminds everyone to be unbiased and reasonable. He has participated in several outreach programs regarding the economically poor native tribes in the vicinity. He is the proprietor of the main concept of the website. Member No. 3: Marianne D. Marianne is the group’s walking and talking encyclopedia and dictionary. She has joined debates concerning the indigenous people and she also goes to outreach programs annually, making her the one with the most experience and information about this project’s topic matter. Member No. 4: Kristel M. Kristel’s way of thinking is hardly ever on par with anyone. She is the group’s deepest thinker, the one who connects all the social issues with morality and legality. She was in charge of some of the essays in the website and was also the one who constantly gave ideas whenever a team member was stuck on something. She is definitely one of the assets of the group.

2. Summary of Our Project

This project is about the utilization of the power of technology to create opportunities for indigenous people to be subjected to the social equity they deserve. Diplomacy is defined as the manner by which a nation or group of people maintains a healthy relationship with another group so they can aid each other in their growth and development through negotiations and pacts. There is often that infamous notion that because the indigenous people have not been westernized or are not as modern as those in the cities, they are at a lower social status and are therefore, beneath those who are civilized. With this scenario that is happening across the 7 continents of the world, how can full diplomacy be attained? As human persons, we have the freedom to make decisions and respect the rights of each other. If we continue with the degradation and disrespect of the identities of the ethnic tribes, then we will have abused that freedom. As Confucius once said, “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” This project aims to eliminate that notion stated above so the society will be able to experience equilibrium and diplomacy can be acquired. All men are, in fact, created equal, and as hurtful as the truth can be, it is only men themselves who place themselves above equality.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our school does not provide computers in each of the classroom however what we have stated above pertains to the computers that are found in our computer laboratory.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

a. Incorporating and Combining our Ideas – Our group members had varying opinions on the social issue we have chosen. There were a few occurrences wherein almost all of the members disagreed at each others’ ideas and insisted on their own. To solve this problem, we chose to be democratic and take votes when we are faced with it. Our coaches also helped us decide and guided us to integrate our ideas properly into the content for the website. b. Time Management – There were several times when our teammates could not make it to group meetings because of busy schedules. Nevertheless, with the use of the internet for communication, our group was able to submit and fix the necessary articles, graphics and research material on time. c. Skills of the Members – Each member had their own forte and Achilles’ heel. We used this project as a prospect for us to improve on our techniques. We have been studying about the creation of websites and its elements for 2 years already but that was not enough for us to make a high quality international website. We had self-studied for a while in accordance to the task assigned to us with help from tutorial videos and articles circulating the internet.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

In the creation of this project, we have gathered valuable information and experience regarding the topic on indigenous peoples. To start a change, what better way than to initiate it by ourselves? By comprehending the inequality that is shown to our ethnic brothers and sisters, we have sympathized and felt the necessity to be their representatives in voicing out that they are not so different from us and that they possess the same rights as we do. With this thought, we have begun to develop an understanding mindset and have become inclined to aiding people in their times of need.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

In our early days of meeting, we thought that this was only another school requirement to submit but with each passing day, we have come to realize the depth of the problems we are encountering in the society today. As seniors in our high school, we want to set an example for the other members of the school that being in one country doesn't mean you cannot help those outside. The world is such a wide-ranging place and thanks to the internet, we have the power to influence at an international scale.

This project is a way for us to allow the unaware open their eyes on the issue concerning discrimination against the native or indigenous people all around the world. We have made this website knowing that the vast generation of today is accustomed to using the internet. With this website, we can inform them about the current state of the world and how they can help in improving it. Our generation will then be able to enlighten the future generations about this dilemma so that when their time comes, the problem will have been solved.

This project has also helped us strengthen our bonds with one another, allowing us to be more cooperative and responsible students. We have also learned how to be better stewards of the world as our appreciation for the different races and cultures was taken to new heights. We are born in the earth with the natural obligation to protect it as it gives us a place to live our lives fruitfully.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?


Microsoft Word 2007 - used to encode the content Adobe Photoshop - used to make the graphics that were used in making the website more eye friendly Adobe Flash - used for the slideshows Notepad - used in creating the web layout


Desktop Computer - Mainly used for searching through the internet Cell phone/telephone - communication between the members Television - used to gather additional information regarding the content

Printed Material

Newspapers - used for searching old and new concepts regarding the topic Books - reference for general facts about the topic Unpublished thesis/es - reference for info

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.


Though just students, we became the voices of these people who have been the subjects of discrimination. Since the youth of today have that much influence around the world through their access to the advancements in technology, we the members of this group have decided to make better use of this opportunity given to us. In one way or another, our simple project makes a wakeup call to the different nations, making them more aware that diplomacy is and should be for all.

In person:

As ambassadors, the primary thing that we should do is be a model. And so we begin our advocacy by doing a simple task, giving RESPECT. Respect, such a simple word could make all the difference. As a matter of fact, that was probably the reason why we put this issue into focus. Our desire that these people who are less noticed be given much respect and attention. In doing so, we were also able to create spaces for representation for the indigenous peoples who might not be represented much in the diplomatic arena.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

With this project, people in our community are to understand and be aware more of our indigenous peoples, their ways of life, and the struggles that they are fighting for. Being in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines, where one of the main indigenous groups of this country stay, this project would be very helpful to them. The project aims to voice out the rights of these people and extend help by opening spaces for representation in the cyberspace. With this we build a better relationship with them, because our understanding of their situation and culture fosters a more democratic and inclusive ways of dealing with them.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Here in the Cordillera Administrative region, the indigenous people aren't indifferent to almost everyone. As a matter of fact they are well respected as the wise people of the mountains. This project helped establish a better relationship between the assimilated and mainstream people and our indigenous people since the group composition itself is very diverse. Some group members themselves belong to some indigenous groups so there had really been a strong grassroots connection in doing this project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Indigenous people are as wise as us in the real sense of the world. 'Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish man from beast?'Respect is important especially in situations of diversity so that peace and the objectives of diplomacy will be elevated into fruition. Culture cannot be judged on the basis of external standards like other culture's standards. Culture can only be judged using standards of that same culture. In doing so, we are fostering respect to people from other social spaces and to the spirit of diversity as well. As people who are empowered to take advantage of the blessings of democracy and that of the cyberspace, it is best to take advantage of this technology to champion the causes of underrepresented sectors of society.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 6843)

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