Youth ready to spark hope in Calauan, Laguna

The Ayala Foundation’s Youth Leadership Program is introducing the Community Youth Action Project, which aims to build in the youth a sense of shared responsibility for their community as it challenges them to act on community concerns rather than wait for others to do it for them.

The project, which covers a three-month period in each target community, takes the youth through the process of developing self-confidence and positive character, diagnosing community needs, identifying opportunities for youth-led action, and mobilizing stakeholders and community resources for projects that address priority needs.

The project is initially introduced to the youth of Calauan, Laguna. Twenty-eight youth leaders from five different areas in Calauan are prepping up to pitch their project ideas to their mentors and community stakeholders by the end of the month.

These young men and women have been active members of local youth groups, and are deeply aware of local community issues that affect them. One of the participants, Nerie, while presenting a background of their community, said: “Bukod sa tubig at kuryente, problema rin sa amin ang kahirapan, kawalan ng hanapbuhay, at mga tambay. Pero lahat ng ito ay nag-uugat sa katamaran.(Aside from the lack of electricity and water, we also have to deal with poverty, unemployment, and the lack of livelihood. But all these are rooted in laziness.)”

But far from merely accepting these problems, the Calauan youth also concluded that they could actually do something about it. “Siguro nga kaya tayo nandito, para tulungang matugunan ang mga problemang matagal na nating kinakaharap (Maybe, the reason we’re here is for us to help address the problems we are now facing),” said May, another participant.

Despite the many negative impressions on the relocation site and its youth, the participants are willing to make a stand and prove the cynics wrong. After undergoing workshops on community scanning, problem identification, project brainstorming, and character and leadership development, the Calauan youth will be mentored by volunteer alumni from the Ayala Young Leaders Congress, to ensure that their project ideas make a huge impact on their community.

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