Cagayan De Oro
Monday, September 20, 2021

Facebook and Mano Amiga empower youth leaders to promote digital literacy

IN THIS year's Digital Youth Summit, Facebook Philippines and Mano Amiga Philippines are supporting 12 youth organizations after a nationwide call for applications searching for online campaigns that promote digital literacy and social impact.

The selected youth organizations will be designing and implementing a four-month campaign related to various topics around digital literacy and responsible social media use, including mental health awareness, cyber bullying prevention, outreach programs for digital literacy among indigenous communities and a campaign for the recovery of Marawi City in Mindanao.

The Summit brought together 78 student leaders, social innovators, community developers and technology enthusiasts from all over the Philippines. The delegates participated in a series of workshops and discussions on what it means to be a digital Filipino, and how they can help boost the “bayanihan” spirit among the youth's digital tribes.

Speakers at the event included Infotech Officer of the National Privacy Commission Cleo Martinez, who tackled online safety and privacy; Hannah Pangilinan, an online influencer who shared insights on how she promotes authenticity in social media; Jay Nuarin of Qapwa, who has been actively using Facebook to debunk stereotypes against marginalized groups; and JP Bravo of the Young Filipino Advocates for Critical Thinking (YFACT), who shared his experience being with an organization that promotes critical thinking and responsible social media use among the youth.

“Our goal has always been to empower the Filipino youth to build a safe and informed online community. Through the Summit, we want to give the youth opportunities to learn more about available tools for designing and promoting their advocacy and creating greater impact for their communities online and offline,” says Clair Deevy, Facebook's Director for Community Affairs, APAC.

Hosting the summit for the second year together with Facebook, Mano Amiga co-founder and Executive Director Lynn Pinugu, believes that digital literacy is critical for the youth to effect real and lasting change in their communities.

“Digital literacy goes beyond just knowing how to use online platforms. We are very excited for the potential social impact of the campaigns that the youth organizations are set to launch in the coming weeks. We look forward to supporting them execute their plans and share with their communities what they learned and advocate for them to become responsible digital citizens,” Pinugu says.

Catalysts for Change

The 12 youth organizations were given the chance to refine their campaigns before pitching them to a panel of judges on the last day of the Summit. The top five teams chosen from the participating groups will receive cash prizes, webinars, and mentoring from Facebook, Mano Amiga, and partners to help them grow their advocacies online and offline.

Here are the winning advocacies at this year's Digital Youth Summit:

1. #TheSMLProject. Student organization XU Development Communication Society of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan is campaigning to put an end to the spread of fake news and hate speech online. In particular, they aim to promote responsible social media consumption and content creation through #TheSMLProject. SML stands for Social Media Literacy and at the same time, for “so much love” in millennial speak. Learn more about the campaign on #TheSMLProject Facebook page:

2. I Am Mindanao is a social media, marketing, and mobilization campaign that aims to address violent extremism and promote lasting peace in Mindanao. The objectives of this peace advocacy campaign are to: Educate the young people about the dangers of violent extremism; Strengthen their sense of identity, belongingness, purpose, and pride as Mindanaoans; and Empower them to actively partake in efforts that counter violent extremism. Learn more about the campaign on the I Am Mindanao Movement Facebook page:

3. Camp SEWI (Students Environmental Writing Initiative). The Association of Youth Environmental Journalists put up the Camp SEWI movement in a bid to lead capacity building programs on environmental journalism and stewardship for journalists in Dumaguete City. Their ultimate vision is to bolster the conversation on environmental issues in the campus and community newspapers by encouraging a more extensive coverage of environmental stories through youth engagement. Learn more about the campaign on the Association of Youth Environmental Journalists Facebook page:

4. Project SMILE is an organization that is involved in different kinds of community engagement activities all geared towards addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups and persons with disabilities. Given the diverse needs of Filipinos, they identify marginalized communities from different backgrounds—from the elderly in the home for the aged to persons with disabilities. Learn more about the campaign on the Project Smile Philippines Facebook page:

5. Project Saysay is an advocacy that spreads the ideals and values of great forebears (Palaganapin ang diwa’t aral ng mga dakilang Pilipino). It envisions to be a disseminator of timelessly relevant, useful, and inspiring information sourced from history. Learn more about the campaign by visiting their website ( and following their Facebook page: PR


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