SIKA: “Inspiring Ilocano Youth Volunteerism”
Maka-Diyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan, Makabayan (For God, People, Nature, and Country)– these are words known to us, Filipinos, as the national motto. But these words assume a deeper meaning because they also bespeak the core values that the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA) envision every Filipino youth to be.
Established on April 26, 2014 by the Sirib Leadership Camp Batches 1 and 2, under Commission Escoda, SIKA became a byword as the provincial youth organization in Ilocos Norte, at a time when the Sangguniang Kabataan was abolished. The establishment of SIKA provided inspiration to the Ilocano youth, to give and do more for their fellow Ilocanos that also served as their primary role as a youth organization. The birth of SIKA was regarded as a milestone for its members and volunteers and as a source of pride in becoming volunteers for and with the Ilocano youth.
The role and mission of SIKA go beyond beginning and ending the training of volunteers in a youth organization. SIKA transforms its members and volunteers to be instruments of change through engagements in different youth-related endeavors. One thing exceptional about SIKA is that, it does not only focus on empowering the youth as an organization, but also ensures harnessing the leadership potentials of its members as well.
“Kahit walang bayad, ‘yung sayang naidudulot ng nakikitang ngiti sa nabibigyan ng serbisyo at natutulungan are more than enough for me to stay and continue to serve in this organization.” (Even though I am not paid [in this organization], the happiness that I feel, seeing the people that I serve and I help, is more than enough for me to stay and serve in this organization)”, Sharmaine Diego, Secretary of the organization emphasized in regard to SIKA’s commitment and passion to volunteerism.
It goes without saying that SIKA is best known for their volunteerism initiatives – the SIKA Series, a variety of awareness-raising projects on becoming patriotic individuals and promoting volunteerism among the Ilocano youth.
At present, under the third set of Executive Officers, SIKA lives up to its mission to empower the youth with enhanced knowledge and leadership skills that enable them to participate in projects and programs, nurturing the spirit of volunteerism and instilling discipline among its members, and providing them with a platform to contribute to local and national development.
SIKA does not only enhance the spirit of patriotism and volunteerism among the young Ilocanos but also embodies the passion to positively contribute to active citizenship endeavors towards nation building. These are manifested by SIKA’s numerous awards and recognition while it continues to strive and to serve as the voice of the Ilocano youth.