SPEAKING before the participants/semi-finalists of the 2017 Youth Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit Competition, Kathryn Bernardo delivered a heartwarming inspirational talk on February 22, 2017 at the Tent Enderun.

The 2017 Youth SDG Summit Competition gathered senior high school students all over the Philippines to create a social media video campaign promoting the SDGs. The 20 semi-finalists were presented during the event to announce the 7 finalists and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

With over 300 participants and guests from various schools, UNDP and UNFPA Philippines, Kathryn immediately won the audience as she declared “The 17 goals of the sustainable development agenda are complicated and also quite daunting to accomplish… but, it got me thinking, if everybody and I mean everybody – all of us, the youth, take on this enormous task, we can make a difference.”

She said that “any ordinary person can do so much by simply living each day conscious of her/his responsibilities to the environment”, then she acknowledged that being blessed with her showbiz career, she can do much more to help achieve these goals as she can be an SDG champion and influence her fans. “Furthermore, I can also reach out to them through social media which can really help in raising public awareness of these SDGs”

She also mentioned of continuously harnessing numerous loyal KathNiel supporters who have willingly done their own share in providing easy access to medical and dental services and feeding program for some underprivileged residents of Quezon City through Kath Niel Gives Back annual program. “Together with them, we shall endeavor to widen this reach on a more sustainable basis”, Kathryn added.

Humbly citing her own advocacies which are covered under Goal number 3, Good Health and Well-being and Goal number 4, Quality Education, Kathryn has chosen to bring smiles to children born with cleft defect by underwriting their operations, hoping that after correcting their deformity, they will gain confidence, hope, courage and a sense of dignity and allow them to overcome being bullied or treated like a freak.

Her voice broke as she said, “I know the feeling of one being bullied, whether in person or in cyberspace. Believe me.” Kathryn has likewise been providing scholarship fund to deserving students, recognizing that “education is truly the key to uplift one’s life and lives of their families.”

She concluded her talk with a resounding statement, “I am one with the youth in making a stand here by taking action to be part of transforming the world…this is my challenge to the youth of today. I pledge my commitment because I know it should start with me.” (Chi Sangil)