TAYO 8 Winners

All posts tagged TAYO 8 Winners

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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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Pro Drop-Out Reduction Program (PRO-DORP) Team Cantilan, Surigao del Sur

Chain of Change (Education): Although the DepEd has a plan to eradicate school drop-outs, it takes initiative to actually do it. The PRO-DORP Team locate drop out students and identify their reasons for leaving school. The causes may be either family problems, malnutrition from lack of food or funds that lead to early entry in the labor force. The organization finds ways to bring them back by systematically attacking the problem from its source.

Linked Up!: Department of Education

The TAYO Connection: The principal of schools encouraged PRO-DORP Team resident Alwin Luarez to join TAYO based on the effect their program had in eradicating the reasons why students drop out of school. They also showed the OSYs that great things can be achieved no matter where you are, how old you are or how little you have.

Alwin highly values education because he says he could not be where he is today without it. Thus, he will search the ends of his community to bring the youth back to school. As a teacher and lover of statistics, he found out the alarming drop-out rate detected was with a 15.28% high in the school year 2003-2004 in their only high-school, Cantilan National High School, with a population of 1,013 students. As a response to this unsettling reality, the PRO-DORP TEAM formally set-up the Reach-Out, Not Drop-Out Program in 2007 which addressed the individual issues hindering students from staying in school.  The PRO-DORP Team identified four factors where the students’ decision to drop out originate: Family (F), Individual (I), Community (C), and School (S), which they termed the FICS Factors.

Four sub-programs, namely Suporta Mo Kinabukasan Ko, Feed My Brain, Maglaro at Mag-Usap Tayo, and EmpATHY, were formulated based on the components family, individual, community, and school respectively.

Representatives for each sub-programs discovered valuable information on why students kept dropping out.  Representatives for the Suporta Mo Kinabukasan Ko found that 80% of the students could not pay miscellaneous fees on time and they responded by scouting for sponsors. Through Feed My Brain, the problem of poor comprehension because of malnutrition was countered with a feeding program. Maglaro at Mag-usap Tayo addressed the presence in-campus gangs by intensifying school activities and group counseling. For EmpATHY or Empower the Teachers to Help the Young, they realized that teachers also needed to address the personal/emotional problems of these underprivileged youth through counseling.

This multi-approach galvanized the participation of various sectors of the community to do their share to counter the problem. Local bakeries supplied breads for the feeding program. Alumni sponsors willingly gave money to pay for students’ fees. Parents and teachers alike made sure that the school environment is conducive to learning and that students always have a listening ear whenever they have problems.

As of the school year 2009 to 2010, the drop-out rate has been successfully reduced to 1.87%, a staggering 13% difference from 2003-2004. Positive results and improvement of the students push the PRO-DORP Team, aiming for a 0% drop-out rate by 2015.

Converting the TAYO prize:
The group aims to reallocate the prize in their different programs.

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adminPro Drop-Out Reduction Program (PRO-DORP) Team Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
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Pochon Maanichar Centennial Batch Association, Inc. Mayoyao, Ifugao

•  Coke Barkada Award

Chain of Change (Environment, Entrepreneurship): The thousand-year-old rice terraces are deteriorating in Ifugao because of migration of farmers to flat land that is easier to cultivate. This may result in the revocation of its UNESCO World Heritage listing. The problem affects the people around it as well, as residents dependent on income from the terraces were also struggling. This led to the creation of the organization.

Linked Up!: Batchmates from Assumption Academy in Mayoyao
The  TAYO Connection: Josh Nalliw met a TAYO 6 winner during a seminar in the U.S. She was encouraged to take the lead and sign up TAYO.

In 2005, a number of high school alumni of Assumption Academy in Mayoyao decided to pro-actively work towards the development of the community in terms of income generation and the preservation of culture surrounding the rice terraces. Hence, the Pochon Maanichar Centennial Batch Association, Inc. was born. (Pochon is the Ifugao term for peace pact while Maanichar means alert and active.)

The migration of some resident farmers to nearby flat lands led to the deterioration not only of the rice terraces but the rice farming culture as well. A lot of the Ifugao traditions were grounded on the planting and harvesting seasons.

As a response, the Mayoyao Eco-Cultural Tours was conceived. It aims to help the community engage in income-generating activities, conserve remaining rice terraces systems as well as preserve traditional practices within the ancestral domain.

The project aims to promote the Mayoyao Terraces not just as a scenic spot, but as a working agricultural area as well. The tours operate with the natural rice cycle to showcase an authentic experience. They are held twice a year, particularly during rice planting (January-February) and harvesting (June-July), allowing tourists to participate in either planting or harvesting.

Tourists get to trek through the landscape, learn about the construction of native houses, and witness cultural performances. In turn, the host community earns through fees given to tour guides, caterers, lodge-owners, performers and the Indigenous Knowledge Holders.

The project not only helps the tourists understand the culture, but help the younger residents learn the intricacies as well. As most of their youth live and study in other areas, they are not as exposed to their heritage. The enactment of the planting and harvest rituals annually allows them to embrace their roots and understand the aspects of their culture that they may know only peripherally.

Though the organization markets the project for ecotourism, they also limit the number of guests that they receive per cycle to 50. This is to allow the tourism operators to have a viable means of income, but not to the point of commercializing the operations.

Converting the TAYO prize: The organization hopes to use the prize to perpetuate the implementation of the project and help the community.

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adminPochon Maanichar Centennial Batch Association, Inc. Mayoyao, Ifugao
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Pagaypay 4-H Club. Brgy. Pagaypay, Passi City, Iloilo

Chain of Change (Entrepreneurship): Where you invest your money affects your return on investment. Pagaypay 4-H Club is teaching out-of-school youth to be entrepreneurs and place their fate on more stable business, one that leads them close to home.

Linked Up!: Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology

The TAYO Connection: The organization’s influence on OSYs was recognized by the community and the DOST, who pushed them to apply for the TAYO Search.

The Pagaypay 4-H Club is a community-based organization in Barangay Pagaypay, Passi City, Iloilo. The 4 Hs stand for using your heart, head, hands, and health for the community.

You understand that they use all 4 Hs in this project. As the local community shun out of school youth for gambling or lazing about in the streets, Pagaypay members use their hearts to embrace these OSYs and help them with their heads. The outcome was to divert them from leaving their fates to cards of fortune and give them livelihood. And with a helping hand for service, 4-H extended their help in starting an on-going livelihood project that aims to alleviate the economic situation of their members and families.

With the assistance of the Agricultural Training Institute and the West Visayas State University, they have opened to their members the access to Swine Raising and Native Chicken Dispersal through an easy to pay scheme in acquiring pigs and chickens. These programs will allow them to raise their own livestock for personal consumption and livelihood.

Yet, the focus of their program is the unique Pineapple Wine Processing. The program started after 5 members participated in a Fruit Processing Training conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). From a starting capital of only one thousand pesos (1000Php) and a production of 25 bottles sold at the price of P180 per bottle, they earned P3,500. They rolled their earnings to expand the project.

The innovativeness of the product, its good quality and visibility in agricultural fairs and exhibits has gained balikbayans and foreign tourists as patrons.

Among the organizations accomplishments are the 2007 Gawad Saka National Award as the Most Outstanding Young Farmers Organization of the Philippines and the 2006 Most Outstanding Young Farmer of the Province award for one of its members.

When before their members were just out-of-school youth looking for something to occupy their time with, they now are able to help their parents earn a living. They no longer need to go to the city to find work, since the organization gives them economic opportunities. Some were even able to finance their return to school on their own.

Converting the TAYO prize: The group will be investing their prize on further developing their pineapple wine product to meet the standards of the export market.

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adminPagaypay 4-H Club. Brgy. Pagaypay, Passi City, Iloilo
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Pag-asa Youth Association-Talisay City Chapter Talisay City, Cebu

•    Department of Agriculture Special Award

•    Department of Social Welfare and Development Special Award

Chain of Change (Environment): The organization not only lessened the flooding in the barangay, but also mobilized volunteers among the out-of-school youth for the construction of the project

Linked Up!: Local Barangay and Local Engineer Lee Consul

The TAYO Connection: PYA Talisay Chapter entered a different project for TAYO 7, where they became a finalist.  The members were challenged upon hearing that TAYO was a tough and rigorous competition. They further pushed to apply as their chapter was voted to join TAYO by their main association.

PYA Talisay literally dug and built up their organization to qualify to the prestigious ten with their Ground Permeability Enhancer (GPE) project.  This will alleviate flooding in its location, at the same time replenishing the water table.

This is the idea behind the GPE: Dig a hole deep enough to reach the sandy part of the soil and wide enough to accommodate the wide circumference of the structure. Build a pyramid of hollow blocks inside the hole. Fill up the hole with soil. Theoretically if water enters the porous soil, it will pass through the holes of the hollow blocks into the sandy area of the land, then the underground aquifer.

Their organization was recommended by the DSWD to local engineer Lee Consul, who was then looking for a youth organization to partner with in building the first GPEs in their area.

The group endorsed the idea to the heads of two identified barangays: Sitio Minggoy and Sitio Mangga.  Three pilot areas were identified as sites for the structures.

The OSY members became the manpower needed to build the structures. They dug holes, picked up and assembled the hollow block pyramid and hauled soil until the structures were stable enough to walk over.

Initially the group was skeptical about the effects of the GPE.  Upon finishing the first structure, they anticipated a downpour.  They immediately noticed the creation of a mini-whirlpool in the puddle of water that formed over the GPE. They noticed that the usual knee-deep flood in the area now reached ankle deep only. Residents report that not only are their homes flood-free, they have noticed that their water pump handles were heavier, indicating higher water pressure.

Their members that provided the labor in the construction of the GPEs were given honoraria. The residents in the area were happy with the decrease in the flood levels. Other barangays in Talisay City and other locations in Cebu who have heard of the project are now looking forward to the creation of GPEs in their own low-lying areas.

Converting the TAYO prize: PYA aims to save the prize money for the administration of their group. Also, they will use it to educate OSYs for entrepreneurship and fund their small snack businesses like munchkins and yema-making.

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adminPag-asa Youth Association-Talisay City Chapter Talisay City, Cebu
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Mandaya Tribal Youth Organization (MTYO) Mebatas, Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley

Chain of Change (Entrepreneurship): Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime and this case that you have fed a community. The Fishpond Production Project has given more benefits other than fish.

Linked Up!:
Department of Labor and Employment; Department of Agriculture.

Things were looking up for the Mandaya tribe when they were granted their ancestral domain claim.  Unfortunately, the area held no other viable livelihood opportunities except for mining, which proved to be a dangerous occupation for the Mandaya men. Exposure to the harsh working conditions in the mines has even shortened the life of the president of the MTYO, who died at the age of 32 from complications related to his lung ailment.

They also had limited access to education. If they had the money, the nearest school was still kilometers away.

The MTYO decided to help their fellow Mandaya raise money for their education through their Intensive Offshore Fish Production Project, which provides a source of needed protein for Mandaya tribe members and cheaper commodities to the other residents of the outlying area. They raised tilapia, African hito, and Taiwan clams through off-shore production by fish-cage culture. They were able to tap the underutilized communal waters of the area.

Initially, these out-of-school tribal youth ventured out with a project in the face of a critically endangered environment and massive poverty. After gaining some training from agricultural offices and a loan from the Department of Labor and Employment, MTYO worked with 2 hectares of land awarded by their tribal chieftain.

Following the successful run of the livelihood program, they received 8 more hectares from Datu Latiban. After securing financial assistance from provincial and municipal offices, this resulted to the planting of a total of 1800 hills of Mahogany, Falcata, Banana, Rubber and high value fruit trees.

These projects greatly affect the lives of the organization’s members and their families, and peripherally their families.  Because of the empowerment they receive from the trainings and the livelihood opportunities provided to them by the organization, MTYO members are looking forward to a future that will allow them to stay in their ancestral lands while earning a decent living.

In 2008, MTYO received the Gawad Saka Outstanding Young Farmers Organization Award. True examplars of self-reliance and faith in one’s abilities, these youngsters showed that great things can be achieved no matter where you are, how old you are or how little you have.

Converting the TAYO prize: The MTYO hopes to expand their enterprises to provide a more stable source of income to more members of their community.

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adminMandaya Tribal Youth Organization (MTYO) Mebatas, Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley
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Education Revolution Movement (EdRev Movement) Brgy. San Jose Patag, Sta. Maria, Bulacan


Chain of Change (Education): The chain of change usually comes from the elders guiding the young. EdRev Movement proves revolutionary in that aspect, that the youth can educate the generation before them as well. They are proving that an old dog can learn new tricks indeed.
Linked Up!:  Department of Education

The TAYO Connection: Through a National Youth Commission meeting with student officers in Bulacan, EdRev VP Cherwin Ramos learned about TAYO through its posters.

The Education Revolution Movement (EdRev) was conceived by a group of college students from Sta. Maria, Bulacan, who lived in an area with one of the biggest population of out of school youth in the province. They decided to push for Alternative Learning System (ALS) classes as a response.

Their desire was born out of one of the founders being an OSY for 9 years, an experience that badly affected his life. His more fortunate friends became grateful for the private education that they received and decided to share it with the community. Their efforts lead to the establishment of the Education Crave Project that aims to address the problem of the growing number of OSY in the area.

Initially, it was focused solely on the OSYs, but soon some parents and grandparents in the community were also hopeful of fulfilling their dreams of getting a college diploma. It became a testament of the concept “Education for All”.

EdRev enlisted the help of DepEd and their Barangay Council to assist in their mission. They solicited donations in cash and in kind and benefited from the support of an international school in the area. Furthermore, they injected a more personalized approach to existing teaching modules by assigning 1 instructor per subject and modifying difficulty to suit the abilities of the learner.

At 8th TAYO Area Finals, Cherwin spoke of the lack education as a root problem for the underprivileged. He explained that he believes focusing on education is a way of responding to other problems like poverty, unemployment, and delinquency.

They have conducted three batches of learners for the Education Crave project already. Their learners range from 22 to 75 years old. For the first batch alone, out of the 81 learners, 15 got their high school diploma. 8 are currently enrolled in college.

When before, their barangay was plagued by OSYs and a growing hopelessness due to lack of access to education, the barangay now boasts of a newly-constructed hall where EdRev can hold their ALS classes. Not bad for an organization which started barely 2 years ago.

Converting the TAYO prize: They plan to upgrade their training room for OSYs.

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adminEducation Revolution Movement (EdRev Movement) Brgy. San Jose Patag, Sta. Maria, Bulacan
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Brotherhood for Peace (BFP) Baguio City

Chain of Change (Peace): Violence begets violence. Yet, Brotherhood for Peace is countering this problem by creating a chain of unity among street gangs.

Linked Up!:
Police and the Mayor’s Office

The TAYO Connection: Local officials have been pushing BFP to join TAYO for a long time. President Jason Balag-ey eventually took notice when he learned that “A” meant accomplished and he certainly wanted the brotherhood to earn that title.

An eye for an eye… so the saying goes. Jason aims to prove this wrong. As a victim of gang violence, Jason does not ultimately feel hatred but sympathy for these people’s ignorance on the result of their actions.

He initiated the project Youth for Peace after experiencing gang-related violence first-hand. Once, he saw a 13 year-old boy die by the hand of a fellow teen. Another time, he was stabbed while trying to mediate during a fight. This is the reality that moved him to establish the Brotherhood for Peace.

Jason estimates that there are at least 200 members in each of Baguio City’s 28 gangs, each engaging in some form of illegal behavior, like rape and drug selling, aside from the escalating gang violence.

BFP works to disband gangs through awareness campaigns and vigilant protection of defecting gang members. To intensify the program, the organization partnered with the local authorities and agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare Department (DSWD), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Baguio Character Council, and Balikatan sa Kaunlaran.

Seminars and corresponding activities on livelihood, nation-building, and social volunteerism are held to engage participants. Through these activities, they are transformed into productive members of the community who work to help tourism, environmental protection, as well as campaign against child abuse and illegal drugs.

Through the efforts of BFP, known gang members are now raising awareness on the perils of being in a gang by addressing audiences in different schools— proof that peace can reign amidst adversity and even past enemies can have a semblance of brotherhood.  These sharing sessions present opportunities for former gang members to relate experiences first-hand to their audience, making their stories relatable and realistic to ordinary youth.  They have also resorted to more popular medium such as rap and dance to spread the ideals of BFP to Baguio City’s youth.

Converting the TAYO prize: The BFP aims to create a short film depicting the realities of joining a gang. To make the film more believable, former gang members will portray their roles. They plan to reach more OSYs in Baguio through film showings.

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adminBrotherhood for Peace (BFP) Baguio City
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Alay ni Ignacio (ANI) Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City

Chain of Change (Education): Education is not all about the books because students don’t meet mathematical equations on the street but people and life’s challenges. As such, emotional intelligence is a step up too in life, especially when entering the big world of college and soon the work force. ANI is paving the path between high school to college that is not abrupt but more of a natural progression in their lives.

Linked Up: Pathways to Higher Education

The TAYO Connection: ANI won during TAYO 4.  Eumir Angeles, the current ANI Principal, was one of the beneficiaries of their project entry for that year. They decided to join the TAYO Search again because of the enhancements they made on their program for public high school students.

Learning begins from having the self confidence to learn, grasp and understand. Eumir relates that many public school students like him have some trouble getting their foot in the door as they reach college. Their insecurities in coming from a public school and lack of exposure on EQ (emotional quotient) enriching extracurricular subjects impedes them from even speaking up at university entrance interviews. And once they wade into the deep ocean of university, some may not be able to cope with the currents of college and could be swallowed up by the tide.

To fulfill this need, Alay ni Ignacio (ANI), the student arm of Pathways to Higher Education, implements a summer school program which caters to third and fourth year public high school students. The program aims to help these kids be on equal footing with their private school counterparts in terms of readiness for college.

The Non-Academic Formation Program of ANI provides support to public high school juniors and seniors through activities that cater to their hunger for self-expression and opportunities for personal development. At the same time, answering the challenges of their time. This is why guidance classes are given at this crucial age. They are taught responsibility for discipline, mentoring and overall well-being, with events like Career Day and Love and Courtship Talk.

The Clubs portion of the project exposes students to different fields such as Art, Asian Films, Creative Writing, Entrepreneurship, Music and Sports. Through “Enrichment” and “Christian Living”, teamwork, public presentation skills, and moral values are given importance. Activities such as Graduation Song Making and Recollections are carried out while Confirmation is conducted for students who have yet to undergo the rite.  

ANI works to bridge that missing link between being an average student and a well-rounded member of society— something that public high school students are more often than not deprived of. ANI promotes holistic development, expanding the horizons of underprivileged students, giving them a renewed sense of self.

Converting the TAYO prize: They will use their prize to further develop their modules for their program.

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adminAlay ni Ignacio (ANI) Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City