Maco Youth for Peace a step towards grabbing the prestigious TAYO award

The YLS and PEACE clap tell it all. At first, one may think that this were just mere claps: nothing more, nothing less, or perhaps some-not-so-informed-individual-about-the-rituals-of-clapping-in-the-Youth-Leadership-Summit would say, “pa effect lang.” But there is a deeper meaning to it all: those loud banging and energy boosting claps represent unity amid diversity. It signalize that something is ought to be done, a start of something new and it yields confidence.

“If some are blind enough to see the need to do something and if some pretend to be deaf in answering the call of change, we the Maco Youth for Peace are here to see and answer the call” —these were the lines we strongly hold on to. While other people have given up on its aspiration for peace, Maco YFP has created a synergy of peace efforts successfully yielding partnerships to different organizations and to the people in the community. This youth who had undergone YLS decided that something had to be done to address the issue of peace by first truly connecting with people, especially that of the youth instead of merely telling them about it. We decided that we’re going to change for the better.

A significant change on the life of the youth started when the 1001st  PAG-ASA Brigade triumphantly conducted the Five-day Youth Leadership Summit (1st YLS) last May 27—June 1, 2010 focusing with its theme: “Pagpakabana ug Baruganan sa Kabatan-onan Maoy Dalan sa Panaghiusa Aron Makab-ot ang Kalinaw ug Kalambuan.” It was participated with more than 300 youth’s from Barangay Poblacion, Binuangan, Concepcion and Dumlan. It paved a way to the birth of the YLS Organization composed of dedicated youth who has been into many challenges but still made its commitment to serve and lead. Cpt Brian M Bagaipo, Lt. Villacorte, Lt. Jiminez, Lt. Malidom and Lt. Bumagat facilitated the youth during the summit.

Recently, the 71st Infantry (KAIBIGAN) Battalion under the command of LTC Camilo Z Ligayo, Lt Jose Carlos Coruna the Civil Military Operations Officer & Lt Ari Ben Terry Hernaez spearheaded the 2nd Youth Leadership Summit last May 28-30, 2011. It was all for the 37 Barangay’s of Maco as it catered the youth from different sectors: Out-Of-School Youth, In-School-Youth, Sangguniang Kabataan, 4-H Club, Indigenous People, Muslim Sector, Diocesan Youth Apostolate and School Leaders. This was when the birth of the organization’s new name Maco Youth for Peace took. The three day summit focuses to its theme “Kabataan: Katambayayong sa Kalinaw ug Mauswagong Katilingban.”

We may not be armed with heavy weapons and amulets, ours is a weapon geared with a holistic approach through our 5-point program namely: Plant, Eat, Act, Care, Empower. Maco Youth for P-E-A-C-E believes that the impact of our activities is the way in battling for peace. PLANT where we initiate tree planting activities; EAT, which supports feeding programs to pre-schoolers and kids, share foods to the members by having a boodle fight; ACT, wherein we participated Peace Rallies and spearheaded Music Seminars and Battle of the Band; CARE, where we provide slippers and school supplies to less fortunate children, initiated Clean-up Drive Activities as our means of caring the environment; and EMPOWER, which we conducted  the Youth Interacts offering teambuilding activities, talks and sharing’s about leadership.

The never ending issues of insurgency, youth’s involvement to crimes and drug addiction challenged the Maco YFP to do something to address it. The lessons they gained from the YLS made them realized that the youth’s frustrations and mistakes can be converted into a bunch of worthwhile experiences. Being a responsible youth is not and never too late. YFP gave every member the opportunity to stand and prove their worthy cause. With their dedication and passion to achieve peace and development for the youth and the whole constituency, what is it to fear— when they can always begin working with their action plans.

The program, Youth for P-E-A-C-E made a way to the youth and the people in the community share their experiences and problems. They learned that by simply being with each other when they Plant, Eat, Act, Care and Empower; talk to every member and even to strangers; be friends with the youth, kids, parents, soldiers, government officials; listen to each other’s word; they are doing their task to spread the chain of peace, friendship and leadership. They learned that when they are with this people whom they never thought that they could be with, talking, laughing, smiling, crying, and helping hand; one can surely realize that it’s all worth it. It’s not every day that they got the chance to let the people around them feel how much they needed their support, presence, piece of advice and pat on the back. The impact is unbelievable.

The LGU under the leadership of Mayor Arthur Carlos Voltaire Rimando, Municipal Social Welfare & Development (MSWD), Provincial & Municipal 4-H, Municipal Youth Development Council (MYDC), Sangguniang Kabataan of Maco, Office of the Governor & Board Members offered assistance by giving financial and material needs. On the other hand, the 1001st PAG-ASA Brigade-10th ID; 71st KAIBIGAN Battalion-7th ID was the key mentors during the conduct of the 1st & 2nd YLS and supervised the YFP’s activities by guiding the youth in accomplishing their action plan. Kiwanis Club Golden Tagum gave slippers and nutri-packs which the YFP’s cooked during their feedings, the, SPES ComVal donated school supplies, the Barangay Council of Poblacion, Binuangan, Concepcion, Dumlan served as the YFP’s partners in its undertaking; and Singles for Christ Maco Chapter expressed their sisterly and brotherly love to the youth and to the children as they conducted parlor games and contest during the YFP’s gift giving activity.

At present, the YFP members with the supervision of the Municipal 4-H, MSWDO & MYDC are working hand in hand to continue the implementation of the organizations action plan. They believe that if this would be stopped, the impact and positive effect of their concluded activities will surely go into waste. Maco YFP Peace strongly believes that the youth of Maco should never be bystanders or fence-sitters in this Municipality. The financial stability of the organization is indeed a challenge. If given a chance to have a sufficient fund, the organization is planning to venture into livelihood activities as they were processing their application to the 4-H livelihood assistance.

The organization never thought of joining the TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organization) Awards. TAYO Awards has been successfully established as the country’s only search that recognizes and supports the outstanding contributions of youth organizations to the country and it started in 2002. Last September 5, 2011, the TAYO Validators from Davao conducted an evaluation of the YFP of Maco for the Area screening held at Maco Municipal Hall. The organization was chosen by the panel of screeners to be part of the Area Finals for Mindanao. The Area Finals was held last September 22-23, 2011 at Grand Regal Hotel, Lanang, Davao City participated by Lesly Ann P. Bangoy- YFP Representative, Joren Guadalquiver- YFP President, Hon. Lea Mae Langgahin- SKMF President, Hon. Pablito Quidato- IP Youth Federation President, Saima Alauya-Jialil- Muslim Youth Leader, Marevic Mendoza, Jefrrey Barrete, Stephanie Mae Bangoy, Ferdinand Rey Agang, Levy Calotes, Kristine Kay Canon. They were facilitated by Ms. Jean Guinit- Municipal Youth Development Council Coordinator, Ms. Nina Cabanatan- PYAP Coordinator and Ms. Christy Joy Calahong- Municipal 4-H Coordinator.

The Maco Youth for PEACE never thought of joining TAYO before. It was like a blessing when they knew about it for they became more motivated to continue what they started. TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organization) Awards has been successfully established as the country’s only search that recognizes and supports the outstanding contributions of youth organizations to the country. Ten organizations from Mindanao competed during the Area Finals. Luckily, Maco YFP made it as it was the only organization representing Compostela Valley Province together with the youth oganizations from Davao City, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga and Maguindanao. The top five Mindanao Finalists will proceed to Manila on October 23-28, 2011 for the National Finals. Only ten organizations will be chosen for the TAYO Annual Awards as they will receive Php 50, 000 and 25, 000 for the consolation prize.

If given the chance to win in the TAYO, Maco YFP will surely intend to use the prize to continue the implementation of its program. They also dreamed of sharing their 5-point program to other Municipalities of Compostela Valley as they wished to make ComVal a province not merely for gold’s but for precious gems embodied in the youth. They also dreamed of having a Peace Concert where members can get a chance to show their talents and skills.

 

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