When I first heard about CWTS, I had expected typical community work of cleaning up a local neighbourhood, helping out with outreach programs, or even fundraising events for some charity. Perhaps something like that would have happened had I signed up for the community service group when we were first divided. Instead, we went to economic nationalism where the work we do is completely different from what I had anticipated.
At FTA EU-ASEAN, we were given the task of collecting a number of documents that will facilitate the agency with its evaluation of foreign investors interacting with the Philippines. Most of which we had already collected online, although there is still the need to visit the DTI/DFA for some. Given this seemingly mundane logistics work, I feel slightly discouraged. There’s a palpable sense of satisfaction when you see the new shelter you’ve just helped construct, all the money you’ve raised for a charity, or even the simple smiling faces of people you’ve helped. At the moment, I feel as though the product of our labour is slightly intangible and the nature indirect in terms of the people we’re helping out.
Then again, perhaps it’s too early to tell. I do realise that despite these downsides, the work we do is nevertheless vital to the overall issue. Without it, there would be no basis for the agency’s next course of action (need data from documents in order to evaluate problem). That said, there is still an impact no matter how small. Likewise, there’s no need to always be in the front line when it comes to helping others – and this is exactly what we are doing indirectly (facilitating international partners for trade and country’s economy). As our last speaker from last semester conveyed, it doesn’t matter where you are so long as you arrive at that similar goal. With that, I’ll just try to do my best and make the most of the work we’ve been given, keeping in mind our contribution to the bigger picture.