Six youth orgs, most of them forming part of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Top 20 National Finalists, won the Adhika Fellowship Grant on Saturday, March 11, during the TAYO 20 National Awarding Ceremony in Sampaloc, Manila.
Each organization received a grant amounting to 50,000 pesos from The Asia Foundation and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government. The groups who emerged as winners were Project TALA Organization, Iligan Safe Space, Shafaat Agriculture Cooperative & Albay Young Farmers, Humans Helping Humans - 3H Initiative, and Super Lumba.
In partnership with The Asia Foundation and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, with support from Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, the Adhika Fellowship is a program anchored on the hope of rebuilding communities through human rights empowerment in the youth advocacy sector in the Philippines. It is an incubation program that focuses on the interconnectedness of advocacy-based projects to human rights.
In a previous statement, TAYO Executive Director Rhyn Esolana stated that human rights has always been at the center of TAYO’s work, so one of the Foundation’s objectives was to showcase how it interlinks with almost every advocacy initiative.
“The goal of the Adhika Fellowship is to mainstream and integrate human rights as an advocacy to already existing programs of youth groups so that we can build better ideas on human rights, rather than our initial preconception that it’s always a bloody advocacy to pursue. It is important that people take part in the promotion and protection of human rights because the intersectionality of human rights to various thematic advocacies will further strengthen the safeguarding of the individual human dignity, regardless of the field of advocacy that you work in.” Esolana shared.
The selection of winners were based on four criteria: impact of the project entry, creativity and innovation, relevance to the problem, and feasibility and replicability
Human rights-based initiatives and programs
Project TALA, an organization focused on culture and the arts, was awarded the grant through their Project LINGAP initiative. It is a program anchored in championing human rights and connected using Child Rights and Crisis, Conflict, and Humanitarian Rights as the main focus of information dissemination and capacity building of children in conflict with the law in the City of Santiago through the integration of arts and theater as the leading platform.
Iligan Safe Space is another grantee working towards LGBTQIA+ rights in Iligan City. The group aims to adopt an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance policy to uphold and protect the human rights of the LGBT community, regardless of SOGIE. The project also seeks to provide a safe space for co-creating a policy reform that will be in co-ownership by different stakeholders: from the ground, government, and civil society organizations.
Shafaat Agriculture Cooperative & Albay Young Farmers, on the other hand, collectively formulated the Ang Pagbangon Seed Bank. The two organizations believe that apart from food and survival, agriculture also contributes to the unsustainable effects of human activity on the environment.
Two seed bank facilities will be built in Albay and Marawi. The two organizations will share agri-technologies on high value crops, spawn making, and tissue culture, which will serve as the theoretical foundation in the establishment of the seed bank. The seeds produced and stored in the seed bank will be used for various purposes. The project will enable seed banks to support food sovereignty, food security, and socio-ecological sustainability more effectively.
Meanwhile, the Humans Helping Humans - 3H Initiative, proposed the Sagip Pangarap program, a project that aims to bring the dropout rate to zero and reduce absenteeism rate by at least 90% in San Vicente Elementary School in Oriental Mindoro.
Since majority of the population in Sitio Tafarma, San Juan, Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro lives below the poverty threshold, the interventions of the said project shall include livelihood and feeding programs, incentivization, and other creative methodologies with the end goal of bringing back dropouts to school and lower the absenteeism rate of learners.
The final youth group to receive the grant is Super Lumba, a volunteer youth organization in Marawi City. The group developed the Sindao Aftercare Program, a project that will provide a contextualized aftercare program for youth who are vulnerable to acts of violence in Piagapo, Lanao del Sur. The project hopes to create opportunities for the youth to become champions of peace, and to eventually bring about behavioral change that will prevent conflict, violence, or war.
TAYO Awards Foundation is the Philippines' premiere award giving body that has recognized and awarded youth groups that have been instrumental in nation-building, with the goal to inspire other young people to also take part in creating meaningful impact. The Search for TAYO Awards is co-presented by Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines and San Miguel Corporation, and supported by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, The Asia Foundation, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government.