Training the youth for community leadership

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Monday, May 5, 2014


EIGHT youth organizations from Bacolod are currently on a seven-month journey of leadership and personal growth and realization through community service.

Towards the end of their training, they are expected to identify pressing challenges in their communities, and identify sustainable solutions to address them.

These eight youth organizations have been identified by the Ayala Foundation for its Leadership Communities (LeadCom) program that aims to build in the youth a sense of shared responsibility for community challenges and taking the initiative in addressing them.

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LeadCom aims to empower the youth to get involved in addressing pressing needs and issues in their local community through projects they themselves will propose, plan, and implement.

LeadCom identifies five to 10 youth teams endorsed by colleges, universities, and other youth-serving organizations, and guides them through the process of implementing their project plans by holding workshops, making resources and mentors available, and helping them establish links with possible partners.

Bacolod

Last April 29, Ayala Foundation formally launched its LeadCom program in Bacolod City. Participating youth organizations are the Bacolod Volunteer Youth Leaders, a group of youth leaders from various barangays and schools, organized earlier this year to provide channels for youth development in the city in lieu of the SK; Project Binhi, a youth initiated storytelling movement for young deaf individuals; Seed, a group of friends who are active student leaders in school and community organizations; Bugkus Agustino of Colegio San Agustin, the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers of West Negros University, Rotaract Marapara, University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos; and the SMC Student Leaders, a mix of young professionals and student leaders that innovate indigenous materials from communities into items for possible social enterprise start-ups.

The first phase of LeadCom-Bacolod began with its Investigate and Ideate workshops last April 29 and 30 at the USLS Ecopark in Brgy. Granada. The youth organizations identified community problems and possible solutions which they can work on together as teams.

LeadCom Bacolod is sponsored by Mitsubishi Corporation and the city government of Bacolod, and supported by the University of St. La Salle, The Dream Project PH, Rotary Club of Marapara, and the Sense Shop.

Fuelled by their dreams for their communities, pre-screed project teams work on refining projects to make them more responsive to the needs of their communities.

In the course of its seven-month implementation, the youth organizations will be linked to a network that can provide the necessary support to help bring more scale and impact to their projects.

“What’s important is that we provide the youth the support and guidance they need in implementing the projects that help address their community needs. Community stakeholder participation is a critical ingredient at every stage of the project. Mobilizing collaboration and synergy among project players to achieve community ownership is the key to help implement their respective projects,” Joseph Anthony Quesada, Youth Leadership program manager of Ayala Foundation, said.

Ayala Foundation said the LeadCom program is a concrete expression of its tagline “As One We Can,” where partners and stakeholders come and work together in the shared vision of helping communities become productive, creative, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipinos.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 05, 2014.

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