In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations or TAYO Awards Foundation launched a festival of activities entitled ‘Siklab’ on February 4, Saturday, at Acceler8 Legazpi, Makati City.
Siklab is centered on the human rights movement established by the Filipino youth after the People Power movement in 2001, which eventually gave birth to the TAYO Awards Foundation.
The event was primarily intended for the youth sector, but was also open to the general public. It featured various lectures from known human rights defenders and advocates including Samuel Madriaga, Founder of Alliance of Public Health Advocates; Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr., Founder of Mindanao Pride; and Jerus Jade Reyes, Founder of Humans Helping Humans Initiative. The event also included the live announcement of the TAYO 20 National Finalists with Sam Chittick, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation and Atty. Maria Ana Espinosa, also from The Asia Foundation.
According to TAYO Executive Director Rhyn Esolana, 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.
“TAYO Awards has been retelling various human rights stories that centers their conversation on HIV/AIDS programs, climate change education campaigns, and even IP rights education. Oftentimes, we forget that these types of work are also human rights work.” He said in a statement.
This event forms part of TAYO’s ‘Adhika Fellowship’, 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 focusing on the interconnectedness of advocacy-based projects to human rights.
“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 added.
The Adhika Fellowship program is 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.
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.