Department of Materials


17 Jul 2019

Materials Student Gains AFS Scholarship for Support Work in the Philippines

SEAM photo x 670

BEng Materials Engineering student, Chrisiane Alcantar is looking to make a big difference this year during her summer break.

Chrisiane is a British student with Filipino heritage who has applied for and received a £750 scholarship from AFS (American Field Service) Intercultural Programmes in order to help support her work.  This is the first time that AFS UK have given a scholarship of this size to a volunteer as they have extremely limited funding of only £3000 to share with volunteers each year.

If you can help Chrisiane even a little, it will go a long way – so please go to her Just Giving page to donate.

SEAM logo x 300

Chrisiane will be working for four months, starting on 22nd August, with a small NGO (non-profit organisation) called SEA Movement (Siargao Environmental Awareness) on an island called Siargao, which is a small island in the Philippine Sea. 

One of their main long-term goals for a clean environment is pushing for proper waste segregation and management.

Without facilities such as; hazardous waste disposal; industrial and household recycling facilities; and; waste incineration facilities, businesses and the general public are more susceptible to issues like illegal dumping leading to health and environmental problems i.e. land, water and air pollution and diminishing landscapes.

SEA Movement's overall vision is for Siargao island to lead the way for sustainable tourism in the country whilst protecting the limited resources on the island, as well as its natural beauty. The projects Chrisiane will be taking part in include:

  • increasing environmental awareness and education especially with children and local businesses
  • encouraging local businesses to comply with existing environmental laws on the island; The local government have already taken steps to support this issue – they are in the process of normalising environmental responsibilities and sustainability amongst the general public and businesses.  Siargao Island is an area of protected landscape and seascape, so it comes with its own laws. Unfortunately, compliance with these laws have proven to be the bottleneck. 
  • empowering underprivileged women by initiating livelihood opportunities through making fashionable items from recycled materials. 
  • helping promote the brand SEAM whose limited funds go towards supporting the organisation's projects; They sell tangible products that replace single-use plastic like plastic water bottles.

Chrisiane x 300

Chrisiane has not only secured the AFS scholarship in order to fund her work, she has also undertaken her first half marathon for sponsorship (pictured left) - after running for only 8 weeks! To date, this is the hardest task that Chrisiane has undertaken.

Chrisiane states:

“This 4-month experience will cultivate my curiosity and expand my knowledge within the environmental sector. 

The opportunity not only supports my career advancement but also at a deeper, personal level. I want to lend my voice, insight and resources as a tool for progressive change, in my homeland which, makes it even more meaningful and personal.  

To sum it all up, this experience will provide personal growth, a stronger sense of character and I hope to leave with a renewed mind to strive to live life with a purpose.”

The Department of Materials has already agreed to donate £200 to Chrisiane's Just Giving page and we wish her all the best with her summer work!  We also look forward to updating everyone with how she gets on!

If you can help Chrisiane even a little, it will go a long way – so please go to her Just Giving page to donate!