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In praise of youth

Coca-Cola joins in the search for the top youth organizations

To further encourage the Filipino youth to become a catalyst for positive change, the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc. (CCFPI) has partnered with the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (Tayo) Awards Foundation Inc. to honor commendable endeavors of the best youth groups that are, more often than not, deprived of proper support from the society. The annual search brings to the fore the culture of excellence via collaboration and teamwork among the young.

“We believe in preparing the youth to be capable stewards of the nation. While so many awards are given to exceptional individuals but few groups are recognized for their exemplary work, it’s now time to put aside personalities and focus on what can be done collectively. By partnering with Tayo, we can amplify this and bring the ripples of positive change farther,” CCFPI president Maria Cecilia Alcantara said.

For their part, the Tayo secretariat said: “It’s an honor to be partners with a multinational company [Coca-Cola] that strives to make a positive difference in the world by redesigning the way their company works on their products with special consideration on the impact on the environment and the people who buy their products.”

Tayo Awards is a yearly competition that aims to discover and recognize exceptional youth groups that have contributed to the progress of their communities, schools or workplace via innovative and valuable projects.

This trust fits well with CCFPI’s mission to provide education and development opportunities to the Filipino youth, as such it did not take long for Coca-Cola to ally with Tayo Foundation—one of the leading award-giving bodies for outstanding youth in the Philippines—for its yearly awards. In 2006, CCFPI became the copresenter of the Tayo Awards. Two years later, it became the sole presenter.

“Being partners with the foundation has helped us tremendously in promoting the Tayo search nationwide, and Tayo winners and finalists are able to participate in different Coca-Cola events around the country,” the Tayo secretariat said.

As the primary partner of the Tayo search, the CCFPI has generously given its support in implementing the promotions and selection aspect of the awards by providing volunteers to the validation and screening. Furthermore, it gives the cash grants to the winning organizations.

“We are committed to long-term support to Tayo,” said Alcantara. “The Tayo winners continue to inspire us by their practical approaches, innovation, creativity, boldness and passion in addressing issues. In our pursuit of positive change, we try to do the same.”

Appreciative of CCFPI’s involvement in the long run, the Tayo Foundation is hopeful that this commitment will lead to “a deeper level,” with institutional partnerships that will result in a mainstream media campaign championing the cause of youth organizations and showcasing their vibrant spirit through Coca-Cola’s Live Positively campaign.

“We hope that this campaign not only enriches the lives of people watching, bringing the message of hope, but also encourage youth in different areas of the country that they could be catalysts for the change that their area needs,” the Tayo secretariat said.

 

Giving back

LIKE its founding organization and partner entities, the annual Tayo search not only has produced winners with innovative minds and revolutionary spirits, but are kind-hearted as well.

Take, for instance, Rupert Jason Musni, one of the 2008 Tayo Awards national winners. As president of the School of Business and Management Student Council of Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan and the overall chairman and marketing head of the Mindanao Business and Management Youth Congress (MBMYC), he was given the chance to represent his organization in a youth development-oriented competition with the Congress as their project-entry.

Started in 2004, MBMYC is an annual gathering of business and management students in the six regions of Southern Philippines that serves as a benchmarking venue for an exchange of ideas and experiences. During the three-day summit, student-participants undergo workshops, seminars and competitions. With the long-term goal of enabling students become potential entrepreneurs and productive members of the society, a monitoring program of the 700 beneficiaries or the participants follows six months after the conclave.

“With this, we are proud that most of them created their own student enterprises. They created programs that benefited the community for community business development. Actually, the benefits range from their personal growth to the organizational and community growth and business,” Musni told the BusinessMirror in an interview. “Although at first we didn’t really expect it to be a National Winner during that time, I strongly believe that’s what made us win.”

Currently, MBMYC is still ongoing. The project has also spun off to a pioneering socio-civic youth organization called Cagayan de Oro Alliance of Students Supporting the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow, or simply CDO Asset.

Thankful of his experience joining the Tayo search, which he considers helpful to the improvement of his leadership and competence, Musni gives back what he has gained in the competition. As field sales division assistant manager at Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) in Northern Mindanao, he was instrumental to the entry of BPI on the roster of Tayo Awards supporters, giving financial management training for the 20 finalists.

“Actually, it was a month of thinking how could available products of the bank actually help youth organizations. For the past nine years of implementing Tayo, we found out that most of the participating youth organizations do not have a strong financial framework. The cash grants of Coca-Cola Foundation for the finalists and winners are, more often than not, mismanaged. So BPI, in its own initiative, has partnered with Tayo Foundation to train these students,” Musni said.

First initiated during the National Finals last year, Tayo Foundation flew the 20 national finalists to the capital to undergo training at the BPI main office in Makati. They were given a banking and organizational wealth management training and a new module produced by the bank, which is especially designed for youth organizations. What’s more, BPI also gave trophy and cash grant of P10,000 for the Best Financially Managed Organization special awards.

“These supports that I suggested BPI to extend to Tayo Search as my way of giving back as its past winner will continue this year and, hopefully, in the years to come,” Musni revealed. “There are many youth initiatives out there hoping this search to also reach them to show the entire nation that youth can also effect change, and that they are a very powerful force.”

Now on its ninth year, the Tayo Awards is now open to youth groups, organizations, clubs and societies whose membership and leadership are composed of at least 15 members aged 15 to 30. At stake are cash grants of P50,000 to be given to 10 youth organizations to fund existing or future projects.

This year, Tayo aims to be more accessible online, with a newly updated web site, www.Tayoawards.net. Interested youth organizations can both access information on the current search, and also submit entry forms online.

Deadline for submission of entries is on July 31. Entry forms may be also be downloaded from www.nyc.gov.ph.

Tayo 9 is presented by the CCFPI, and organized by the National Youth Commission, together with the Office of Senator Kiko Pangilinan. Also supporting the search are: The Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Information Agency, Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation, and the Philippine Center of Young Leaders in Governance Foundation Inc.

sairaferrerIn praise of youth
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