Harnessing the potentials of Youth in an adult-led world
Considering the dynamism of the modern world. The ways of the old may no longer be as effective as it used to when it comes to management, leadership, and organization. Young people have adopted a new culture with unique values and codes of conduct. Their stance and attitude on controversial issues are evolving. If this is the case what the world needs right now are young people initiating changes propelled by creativity and innovation.
One of the many organizations inspiring young people to innovate strategies to address their social causes and advocacies is the Youth Advocates for the Philippines (YAP). According to YAP, it is best to ignite their passion first. Then guide them to find the right direction. YAP extends support to their members so that they will build upon the success of one another without having to ‘reinvent the wheel’. This closely knit network of YAP volunteers has evolved into a family where members have the inherent obligation to look after one another. They keep their family fervent for service by inspiring one another through each other’s accomplishments. To Mirus Ponon, 18, who established the Youth Advocates for the Philippines, a supportive network or family of youth leaders would play a significant role in ensuring young people’s commitment to civic participation and social innovation. Mirus recounted his pre-YAP experiences where he and his peers would feel insignificant, and unappreciated by their more adult leaders. He believes that young people share the same passion for service as their elder counterparts. They just need a good space to collaborate, create and innovate.
YAP launched its Youth Advocates Summit Caravan last October 2019 to instill in the youth the mindset of formulating action-based solutions for the issues and challenges faced by the country. The group focuses on engaging leaders who are as young as thirteen years of age, to adhere to the importance of generating new innovations from the younger generations.
Apparently, majority of the country’s youth-led organizations, and initiatives are headed by adult youth. Youth Advocates for the Philippines is among the few that has exhibited their interest in investing on younger leaders, honing the young’s leadership abilities, directing their paths to the right advocacy, and empowering them to realize their potentials regardless of their age. To date, Youth Advocates Summit Caravan has mobilized 600 participants from various areas in the country since its launching. Among those who were mobilized by YAP is Sophia Angeline Dela Cruz who emphasized that YAP has led her to a path she never imagined that she will pursue. With YAP, she realized that she is able to contribute to a great cause. “Every project, campaign and outreach activities make meaningful contribution to society,” Sophia said.
We look forward to the continuing success of YAP. Now we need more young Filipinos committed to address various societal challenges, from the in-depth concerns on teenage pregnancy to high drop-out rates among students including contemporary issues such as the challenges of climate change or Industry 4.0. We should continue to inspire young Filipinos to dream big, and realize their aspirations for a brighter future.