Suffering, nation building, and COVID-19: A message from our CEO

Suffering, nation building, and COVID-19: A message from our CEO

Dear friends and volunteers of the Universitas Foundation,

The past four weeks, though spent by many of us at home under a community lockdown, have been the most eventful. The world changed by the hour and the realities of the pandemic crept in closer to home as we started to hear news about the COVID-19 disease affecting our close friends and loved ones. We all suffered, as individuals and as a nation. We are somewhat consoled by Saint John Paul II who wrote that the value of human suffering is twofold: “It is supernatural because it is rooted in the divine mystery of the Redemption of the world, and it is likewise deeply human, because in it the person discovers himself, his own humanity, his own dignity, his own mission.”[1] The indispensability of suffering might be the one that compels us to look beyond our own and onto the suffering of others who may need more care.

This was evident in the results of the Foundation’s initiative to fund protective equipment for a COVID-19 referral hospital where one of our officers worked. We launched a campaign called Heal from Home, and in a few days we were able to pool Php 208, 805 [2]– enough to buy at least 220 sets of protective personal equipment. In the midst of a crisis, where self-preservation is the instinct, your concern and generosity for others magnifies. All of our community and personal initiatives emphasize one of the Foundational principles – that every human life, possessing profound and equal dignity, is worth protecting.

This pandemic highlighted another thing. It put the spotlight on the leaders who have the power to allocate resources and dictate the lives of the populace according to the nation’s welfare. Decisions had to be made almost every day, each one carrying far-reaching implications. The Foundation  responds to this reality by carrying on with its vision of forming future leaders who are competent, with stable moral character and well-formed conscience. In this light, we continue to pursue our lectures and discussions on nation-building. We hope you could join us for Back to the Basics: Principles and Values for Nation-building taught by the author of the book himself, Atty. Oliver Tuazon. These classes will be held online on: April 13, 27, May 11, 25, June 8, June 22, and July 6 (all Mondays) at 8:30 PM Manila Time.

Group screen-shot during the first session of the Back to the Basics Online Course, held last April 13, 2020

We hope you can join us online in the coming weeks, and we look forward to reuniting with you in person as soon as we are able. Please stay safe and healthy until then. A joyous Easter to all!

All the best,

Atty. Angela Butalid
CEO, Universitas Foundation, Inc.


[1] Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, 31, as cited in Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic. March 20, 2020.

[2] A service fee of Php 330 will be deducted for Gavagives.tech, one of our payment portals. See our campaign here: https://gavagives.tech/campaign/heal-from-home

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