TAYO 8 Finalists

All posts tagged TAYO 8 Finalists

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Young Educators of Mapulang Lupa

Creating Change Through: YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya

When a struggling young man decided to persevere amidst a series of personal disappointments and loss, it gave birth to organization called Young Educators of Mapulang. Transforming grief from the death of his father into inspiration to help others, this young man, now known to his students as Kuya Vanjo, launched the project Lupa the project YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya.

What’s the Story?

YESkwela Kalsada PLUS nina Ate at Kuya is a mentoring program which is patterned after a Sunday School format. It is a combination of tutorials, outreach activities, theatre workshops that focus on youth development.

Activities under the said program strongly encourage the involvement of parents. Occasions like Grandparents Day or Halloween are used as timely opportunities to introduce lessons in a more entertaining way. Singing, dancing, even exercise function as vehicles for learning as well.

Thirty active members, young professionals and students alike, make up the Young Educators of Mapulang Lupa. Despite minimal funding, they continue with their commitment to hold the weekly activity YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya since starting out in October 2009. Sometimes they are able to acquire donations from private individuals; sometimes assistance comes from companies like Telus (Kuya Vanjo’s employer). But oftentimes expenses come from their own pockets, spending for materials needed for the weekly activities such as paper and ballpens.

But no matter how many challenges come their way, members of this organization continue to power through. Needless to say, this is a story of people seeing hope in each other, content in seeing the children they teach develop an awareness on social issues, ethics and literacy as well as gain self-confidence.

Recognition and Success

Teaching in the streets of Mapulang Lupa became the fertile ground that gave both underprivileged kids and their teachers a new perspective on life. Dessa Jean Peralta, Young Educators’ representative to the TAYO National Finals knows this success story all too well. From being part of beneficiaries from the efforts of the young volunteers, she is now a volunteer herself and is able to earn some income as a tutor.

She expressed that the Young Educators of Mapulang Lupa truly are “committed to empower and inspire every young individual in our barangay to volunteerism and community service.” Barely two years old, their project YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya has indeed achieved a lot.

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Watershed Management Youth Council (WMYC)

Creating Change Through: Davao City Youth Working Towards Saving Davao’s Last Water Source

When the members of the Watershed Management Youth Council (WMYC) learned that the natural course of the Tamugan-Panigan River in Davao is threatened with plans for the construction of a Hydroelectric Powerplant, they were very much alarmed. The information came to them as they already knew of a study projecting the demand for water in 2011 will equal supply and that the only other viable source of potabe water is the threatened Tamugan-Panigan River.

Migrio Vina Cagampang joined other youth representatives and championed her cause during the TAYO Week last December 2010. She explained the efforts of WMYC in preventing “a looming water crisis” is also inspired by lines form a Cree Indian Prophecy:

Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

What’s the Story?

In 2007, WMYC took a stand in their hopes to protect the water supply of all 1.8 million Davaoeños. The said youth organization launched an information and education campaign advocating the Watershed Code – a city ordinance geared at protecting and preserving the watershed areas in Davao City.

Under the umbrella project called Davao City Youth Working Towards Saving Davao’s Last Water Source, they conducted school-to-school campaigns and barangay forums appealing for support from their fellow youth and Sangguniang Kabataan councils. They also lobbied their cause to local legislators through a 6- week silent protest and carried out a signature campaign garnering 40,700 signatures.

Perseverance and unfailing hope paid off as WMYC managed to convince Davaoeños to maintain the Tamugan-Panigan River strictly as a source of drinking. Their actions also lead to the protection of the flow of the Talomo River which recharges the Dumoy Aquifer- the present source of Davao City’s water.

Recognition and Success

In 2010, two years after WMYC’s crusade began, the City Council of Davao declared that the purposes of potable water will be prioritized in the case of the Tamugan-Panigan River, as opposed to making way for power-generation activities. Such a triumph is one that only bold ones like members of the Watershed Management Youth Council can claim.

Displaying the no less than the TAYO spirit of youth involvement and volunteerism, WMYV continues on with the information, education campaign in order to educate more youth as well as monitors the implementation of the Watershed Code to “ensure water sustainability for the present and future generation.”

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Palawan Conservation Corps

Creating Change Through: The Six Months Residential Program for Out-of-School Youth

Established in 1999 through the initiative of two Peace Corps volunteers, the Palawan Conservation Corps or PCC is now a non-profit, non-government organization that works to help underprivileged youth who are forced to stop schooling due to poverty, and more often than not, have resorted to earning money through means that are harmful to the environment. The organization works to rear and develop these OSY by teaching them marketable skills in conservation.

Current administrative officer and representative to the TAYO 8 Search, Gerly Camangeg of PCC spoke of a “primary vision of promoting environmental conservation through youth and community empowerment” during her project presentation. With confidence and an eager smile, she explained how staff, alumni volunteers, local government units, other non-government organizations and the private sector all came together in transforming out-of-school youth into productive individuals of society.

What’s the Story?

Every year, youngsters aged 16-24 who are unable to attend formal education due to financial constraints, are invited to join the Six Months Residential Program for Out-of-School Youth. Applicants undergo individual interviews and evaluation. If found qualified, they receive training and participate in workshops free of charge, while housed in an “environmentally appropriate dormitory” at the Rural Agricultural Center for a six-month period.

These scholars of the environment, so to speak, are further trained to facilitate the transfer of skill, significantly expanding the reach of the program. They tackle subjects such as conservation and restoration, organic farming and livestock management, entrepreneurship, arts and crafts, community service, and environmental advocacy.

Palawan Conservation Corps’ allowed out-of-school youth to gain a renewed sense of self by providing them not only the necessary skills to earn their keep but also the ability to teach others to do so. PCC’s active involvement paved the way for dynamism and hope where there were once bleak futures.

Success and Recognition

So far, PCC has instructed over 236 OSY from different rural barangays in Puerto Princesa City. And in 2004, the organization received the Kabalikat Award from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for its contributions to technical vocational education and training in the country.

In addition to receiving commendation as a TAYO 8 National Finalist, PCC also received a special award along with a 25,000 peso grant from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), for their valuable contribution to poverty alleviation and to empowering the marginalized.

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Catuguing Palayamanan 4-H Working Youth Club of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte

Vermicomposting is a technology that transforms degradable wastes and manure into high quality organic fertilizer using earthworms. Compost generated from the process reduces the need for pesticide because this method allows nutrients to be readily absorbed by the plant and remain intact in the soil. Such was the vision of the Catuguing Palayamanan 4-H Working Youth Club of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, when members ventured into their Vermicomposting Project.

When Catuguing representative Ric Salviejo started talking about African Nightcrawlers before a panel of judges, no one knew what they were. Not until he explained that these were a species of earthworms used for composting that the puzzled looks went away. Despite his shy demeanor, it was apparent that Ric knew everything about the project by heart from the details of how to breed these earth creatures to the bigger scope of the project’s impact on the community— displaying knowledge that can only be gained from being dedicatedly hands-on.

What’s the Story?

The Catuguing Palayamanan 4-H Working Youth Club’s vermicomposting project started out when 2 members attended a training seminar conducted by the Department of Agriculture at the University Training Center in Batac City. From this, the club set up 3 vermi-beds as assistance from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management came in the form of 1 shredding machine, 2 compost tea brewers and 15 kilograms African Night Crawlers for breeding. The first set of compost material, or vermi-casts, successfully produced was used in the youth club’s Dragon Cactus production and Bio-Intensive Garden projects.

As a favorable outcome, high demand for organic fertilizer now provides stable income for members of the youth club. Farmers in the area are now inclined to use this type of fertilizer instead of buying other brands. In addition to this, the zero waste management program of the community is supported since degradable wastes are collected and utilized in vermicomposting.

Recognition and Success

Proof of their hard work and important contributions, the Catuguing Palayamanan 4-H Working Youth Club has been recognized as an Outstanding Young Farmers Organization on the municipal, provincial and regional levels.

Garnering a 20,000 peso grant as a TAYO 8 national finalist, the youth club also bagged the Gawad Kabataang Agri Pinoy for Luzon. This award given by the Department of Agriculture also comes with a 25,000 peso grant that will be used to further the youth club’s initiatives in their self-sufficiency programs.

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Association of Locally Empowered Youth – Northern Mindanao

Creating Change Through: Ecological Sanitation and Rainwater Conservation Project

Clean water and proper sanitation is a common problem in marginal areas here in the Philippines. A common solution, however, is not always as simple when the area of concern is beyond the reach of conventional modes of transportation. But this did not deter the Association of Locally Empowered Youth – Northern Mindanao (ALEY-NM) in taking on the Ecological Sanitation and Rainwater Conservation Project.

Hailing from Misamis Oriental, ALEY observed how the lack of water in upland marginal areas, such as Libertad, Initao and Manticao, make health and sanitation take the back seat. The little water that farmers obtain from far-off creeks isn’t enough for traditional flush toilets, much more for a proper sewage system. For this reason, ALEY members decided to turn things around by building arborloo ecological sanitation toilets; creating EcoPee, which is the collection of urine to be used as fertilizer; and storing rainwater for household use.

Mary Grace Maboloc, ALEY’s representative to the 8th TAYO Search, expressed that seeing the hardship in her community and how families struggle to survive is what pushed her to volunteer and become a member of the organization. She describes her fellow members as “willing to experience new things, motivated, and unstoppable.”

What’s the Story?

ALEY was originally organized by local youth leaders from 8 barrios and a Belgian volunteer. Under the Ecological Sanitation and Rainwater Conservation Project, ALEY has established a seedling nursery, raising 3200 seedlings; and has conducted a vegetable gardening project using EcoPee which translates to 120 home gardens producing an average of 300 grams of vegetables a day.

Furthermore, local families have been successfully oriented to the use of the arborloo toilets. Simply put, arborloo toilets are makeshift portalets designed and strategically positioned to fit the needs of families in the area. Hitting two birds with one stone, this simple yet innovative technique solves the problem of waste disposal for the environment as well teaches the families the value of hygiene to one’s health.

By means ofs “farm, non-farm, and off-farm livelihood projects, training, and networking activities”, ALEY members were able to educate stakeholders on proper hygiene, recycling, and water conservation while adapting to the needs of the community. They showed that, with sufficient research and the right attitude, there isn’t a problem too difficult to take on.

Recognition and Success

ALEY’s hard work does not go unnoticed. Besides besting more than a hundred other contenders as a TAYO 8 National Finalist,  the organization is also the recipient of the Gawad Kabataang Agri Pinoy, along with 25,000 pesos, awarded by the Department of Agriculture for their innovative and self-sufficient project on food security.

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