HUNDREDS of youth from all over the Cordillera Administrative Region, and other countries gathered in La Trinidad for the first Regional Youth Assembly last week.

Americans, Europeans, and other Asian youth volunteers also joined in the event organized by the World Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (WCARP) and the United Nations-accredited organization Universal Peace Federation (UPF).

With the theme “Peace-loving Youth: Lead, Act and Multiply,” the activity aims to stress the role of the youth and the need for actions to equip them to respond to the challenges of today.

A youth conference at the Ben Palispis Hall of the Benguet Capitol opened the event where a series of lectures collectively centered on a leader embracing peace and purity.

Kicking off activities for the second day was a purity rally along the Halsema Highway, starting the municipal hall to the Benguet State University gymnasium. A lecture on pure love was given after the march followed by the giving of Collegiate Ambassador for Peace, Youth Ambassador for Peace and Ambassador for Peace awards to some Cordillera youths, public servants and private citizens.

Explaining the emphasis of purity in the event, Youth Federation for World Peace (YFWP) special youth envoy of the Philippines and member of the organizing team Ronnie Sodusta said although the youth are aware of the problem in teen pregnancy, they only have little knowledge about it.

“People, especially youth, nowadays have many whys and it is our responsibility to address all these whys,” Sobusta added.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Raymart Reyes of Buguias said he felt treasured for the efforts of the organizers to bring together young people across the region to educate and prevent them from dealing with the problems the leaders today are facing now.

Jenny Mendoza, 22, echoes the same response and said activities like the assembly are something every youth is needed and cannot be repaid monetarily as they open the eyes of the youth and mobilize them to strive for a good future.

Seventeen-year-old Mica Salibad, on the other hand, hopes for more youth assemblies.

The youth assembly in the region is the eighth in the country following similar gatherings organized in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Western Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen and National Capital Region. (Mary Joy Sumagca/ UB Intern)