In Cotabato City, the journey of thirty-five Bangsamoro youth officially began on the eve of the celebration of Eid’l Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice, a holy and solemn celebration to remind everyone about the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of absolute obedience to Allah.
The Bangsamoro Youth Leadership Program Leadership Communities (BYLP-LeadCom) is inspired by the Basilan Youth Leadership Program of 2015 and is now the biggest youth leadership program in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The program is expected to produce thousands of exemplary young Muslim leaders who will jumpstart programs for development in their respective communities.
Coming from diverse backgrounds, to include student leaders and out of school youth, and from the five provinces of ARMM, namely Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, these promising young Muslims will undergo a month-long learning circuit which will bring them to key cities nationwide. During this phase, they are expected to learn, absorb and determine best practices which they can then apply to the second phase of the program.
The program’s 5-month long second phase entails the implementation of community development projects in the respective areas or specific barangays, where each of the 35 BYLP-LeadCom Fellows come from. Here, they will be given a chance to do put in motion their dream projects for the community with the help of mentors and aided by seed funding, as necessary.
The last phase, which completes the year-long process, will give them a chance to mainstream their programs and projects in partnership with appropriate government and private sector partners, for sustainability.
The BYLP-LeadCom is a joint project of Ayala Foundation, the Office of the Regional Governor of the ARMM and the Eisenhower Fellows Association of the Philippines.