Youth group

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Club Achievers

Rachel C. Barawid
Manila Bulletin
January 22, 2011

Head for thinking, heart for greater loyalty, hands for larger service, and health for better living…

MANILA, Philippines — In Barangay Pagaypay, Passi, Iloilo, a growing number of teenagers and young adults are all scrambling to be part of the coolest club in town.

Nope, it’s not a dance club, or an exclusive party club that the Passi youngsters can’t wait to get into. It’s a club that can teach them how to farm, raise swine and chicken, and process pineapple wine. It’s called the Pagaypay 4H Club.

“Sa club kasi namin, hindi lang kami natututo, kikita pa kami dahil sa mga livelihood activities namin. Dati walang ginagawa yung mga kabataan sa amin kundi mag party, manigarilyo, uminom, mag inom at maglakwatsa. Pero ngayon nakakatulong pa sila sa mga magulang nila,” shares Lanie S. Gaspar, public information officer of 4H Club and a former Sanggunian Kabataan chairman.

The community-based organization called Pagaypay 4H Club Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow was established to help alleviate the economic situation of the people in the barangay through livelihood activities such as pineapple wine processing, swine raising and chicken dispersal.

“4H means Head for thinking, Heart for greater loyalty, Hands for larger service, and Health for better living,” defines Lanie.

Something out of nothing

Five members who had undergone a fruit processing training conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) decided to innovate on their town’s most popular product, pineapple, by making it into a wine.

With a start-up capital of only P1,000, they were able to produce 25 bottles. Sold at P180 per bottle, the wine became a hit among locals and tourists. From there, their pineapple wine processing project expanded, allowing them to sell their product in agricultural fairs and exhibits.

For the swine raising project, five members are given P50,000 seed capital by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). Each member will then use P10,000 to purchase piglets and breed them until they are ready to be sold. After 18 months, a member returns the loan to ATI for the use of other members.

A similar scheme is applied to the chicken dispersal project where new chicken are acquired by the organization after four to five months from the West Visayas State University Research Center.

“Sa swine, kung minsan nakakabenta kami ng dalawa kaagad kaya kumikita na kami ng P19,850. For our Darag native chicken, 60 percent napupunta sa West Visayas State University Research Center, 40 percent naman ang sa amin,” says Lanie, breaking down the estimated profit for eac project.

4H Club members also plant vegetables and support the various activities of their barangay.

Developing talents

But it’s not all work for members of the 4H Club. They also do extra-curricular activities that help develop the members’ personality and character.

“We regularly hold dance, singing, and talent contests in our barangay so the members develop their singing, dancing, hosting and acting skills. Pati self-confidence nila nade-develop at hindi na sila nagiging mahiyain sa harap ng ibang tao. Binibigyan pa namin sila ng mga medalya pag nananalo sa mga contests. We also send our members to trainings in Iloilo. Marami kasi gusto pumunta sa city pero hindi naman sila makapunta kaya gusto nila sumali sa amin kasi we offer these kinds of opportunities,” explains the 20-year-old Information Technology student of West Visayas State University in Pototan, Iloilo.

Lanie adds that they even hold a Search for the Best Parents as a way of paying tribute to the parents of the members.

Helping their town

The most important benefit of being a member of the club is that members are now able to help their parents in their day-to-day living expenses. Some even pay for their own tuition in school.

They are also able to promote agriculture to the youth while boosting their town’s economic opportunities through the use of its natural resources.

Through their efforts and its far-reaching results, the Pagaypay 4H Club received several awards including the 2006 Most Outstanding Young Farmer of the Province, the 2007 Gawad Saka National Award and Most Outstanding Young Farmers Organization of the Philippines. Recently, it was also chosen as one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) of 2010.

Lanie says they are using the P50,000 prize money they received from TAYO to expand their pineapple wine processing project and in procuring equipment and materials for their laboratory.

Apart from exporting their wines in the future, the 4H Club also hopes to be able to help a greater number of youths become empowered, productive, and useful to their communities.

For those interested to join TAYO, text 09178988296 or visit

Source: Manila Bulletin

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Cebu’s youth get ready for the rainy days

Angelo G. Garcia
Manila Bulletin
January 18, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — Last year, the country experienced extreme heat in summer, up to the first few months of the rainy season. This caused crop fields and water reservoirs all over the country to dry up.

Fortunately, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the country will experience a wetter year in 2011. The summer season will just be a month while the wet season will run through most of the year.

With this forecast, the weather bureau has advised the people to prepare and expect more rains, but hopefully not too much to cause flooding, which has been a cyclic problem in this country.

However, there is one group of young people that has prepared way ahead of the rest of us. The Pag-asa Youth Association (PYA) of Talisay, Cebu has provided a simple solution to the flooding problem besetting their adopted barangays in their hometown of Talisay, Cebu.

The solution, called Ground Permeability Enhancer (GPE), is actually made of special hollow blocks put on top of one another to form a pyramid and installed underground to increase the ground’s ability to absorb water.

“When the rainy season came, we documented its effectiveness. We noticed that it’s really effective because in less than five minutes, the water was absorbed, covering almost the whole area. We also interviewed the residents what the effects were and they said the floodwater does not go inside their houses anymore,” shares 23-year-old, Rex Villavelez, a science teacher and president of the PYA Talisay.

With GPE, the residents also observed that water supply coming from the ground is now easily replenished.

“According to one resident, mas mabigat na raw and pump ng poso, indicating that the supply of water from underneath is rising. These testimonials are not from the organization but from the beneficiaries of the project we’re doing. We were also surprised,” Villavelez admits.

This simple solution that carries a big impact on the community is the reason why PYA won in the recent Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO).

Simple yet impactful

PYA worked in partnership with local engineer Lee Consul who conceptualized and designed the GPE. PYA members and volunteers, in turn, served as presenters to local officials and construction workers to show them the advantages and sustainability of the GPE system. They started the GPE project in 2009 in a few barangays in Talisay.

“The engineer was looking for a youth group to help in the project. DSWD recommended us. So we gathered all our officers from all the barangays of the city of Talisay and he introduced the project. Engineer Lee presented the project — what must be done, what are the benefits, how it would work,” explains Villavelez.

PYA officers endorsed the project to barangay captains. Since the barangay would only spend P5,000 per structure, Villavelez says that it was not difficult to convince them.

“So that’s how the organization was able to mobilize this project. The organization served as the motivator, we really pushed for it. What we’re thinking was, di ba may baha sa inyo at gusto ninyo mabawasan ‘yan, heto ang solusyon, magtulungan tayo,’’ he relates.

PYA volunteers built three of these pyramid structures in areas covered by Sitio Minggoy and Sitio Mangga. The workers dig a hole in the ground until they reach the sandy part of the soil. Hollow blocks are then placed in a conical shape into the hole and are covered by rocks and soil. The spaces in between blocks and the hollow center act as channels where water can enter and be evenly distributed. The sandy bottom then easily absorbs the water.

“The water gathers in one area and forms a vortex, talaga inaabsorb ang water. We were not expecting for it to be that effective. Ang gawain talaga dito dapat ipaalam sa ibang barangay kung saan malaki ang incidence ng flooding. Kahit community lang, mag-ambagan sila puwede nang gawin ang proyekto na ito. It can be replicated anywhere, which is a good thing about this project,” Villavelez adds.

Empowering OSYs

The PYA Talisay was established through the Unlad Kabataan Program of the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) in 2002. The organization was then re-established in 2007, which also reignited their projects for out-of-school youths (OSYs).

The nature of the organization is to create projects for OSYs that empower them to get involved and participate in their communities through trainings and workshops. Currently, the organization has roughly 1,200 members and operates in all the 22 barangays in Talisay.

“We develop potential leaders and they also bring other OSYs with them into the projects and activities like tree-planting, seminars, etc. We give OSYs avenues for development, wherein they can achieve something
despite being not in school,” he says.

Most of the officers of PYA are OSYs themselves, with ages ranging from 15 to 24 years old. Through PYA, many OSYs have gone back to school, either formally or through the Alternative Learning System.

Because of its outstanding performance, PYA gets P200,000 from the DSWD for their projects. They have also helped their members get jobs, with around 40 PYA members now working for the local government of Talisay.

With their TAYO win, there is just no stopping PYA from doing what its needs to do. With steady support from the government and the community they work in, PYA has a long way to go, with more young people rolling up their sleeves to work and be of help.

Source:  Manila Bulletin

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The movement that revolutionizes education

Angelo G. Garcia
Manila Bulletin
January 11, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — On a piece of paper, an out-of-school youth writes down what his dreams are. But when asked if he thinks he can achieve these dreams, he immediately answers ‘No.’

This is the first thing that youth organization called Education Revolution Movement (EdRev) asks its potential beneficiaries to do, whoever and whatever age they are.

“Tinatanong namin sila, ano ba ang pangarap mo sa buhay? May nangagarap na gustong maging simpleng teacher, pero iniisip nila agad na hindi nila ito matutupad,” explains 21-year-old Cherwin Ramos, and EdRev officer.

Sadly, most of the people who answer this question believe that there is no chance in this world that their dreams could still come true, however simple it may be.

The growing number of hopeless out-of-school (OSY) youth in San Jose Patag in Sta. Maria Bulacan prompted the people behind EdRev to start the Education Crave Project, which aims to bring back the young people’s belief in themselves, that they can achieve their hopes and dreams.

“We always tell them: Ang mga pangarap na ‘yan hindi natin hahayaang maging pangarap lang. Magtulungan tayo, tutulungan namin kayo matupad ang mga pangarap ninyo sa buhay,” Ramos says.

For its simplicity, practicality, and impact on the community, the Education Crave Project recently won for EdRev a spot in the recent Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards. Operating for almost two years only, the organization is the youngest group this year to bag the TAYO award.

Door-to-door recruitment

EdRev was conceived in 2009 by a group of college students from Sta. Maria who had a strong desire to provide an alternative learning system (ALS) for the estimated 500 OSYs in their community.

The project is a four-month review session that aims at getting the OSYs a high school diploma by helping them pass the accreditation and equivalency exams given by the Department of Education (DepEd.) Beneficiaries’ ages range from 22 to 75 years old.

“Pinuntahan namin sila door to door, nag-iikot kami sa community. May public announcement system na nag announce na inaanyayahan namin ang lahat ng elementary and high school drop-outs na sumama sa programa.’’

Believing that education is for all, EdRev encourages even the old ones to participate.

“Mahirap i-encourage sila to undergo the program kasi nga dala na rin ng katandaan, nahihiya na. But we tell them that it does not say anywhere that you have to be 16 years old to finish high school or 21 to finish college because education is for all. Sa kanila kasi when the reach the worst part of their lives, ‘yung pinaka extreme challenge sa buhay nila, they feel na hanggang dito na lang ako, hindi na ako puwede mag excel, it is the end of my world,” Ramos adds.

The EdRev people are not ones who easily give up. They enlisted the help of DepEd and the barangay council to assist them in their mission. They also solicited donations in cash and in kind.

The group also harnesses the spirit of volunteerism. Professionals, academics and students from the community have rendered their services to help teach the beneficiaries. Among the volunteers are an engineer, a former professor, a former government employee, and so many more who believe in the project.

They also use a personalized approach in reviewing and educating their beneficiaries where existing teaching modules are assigned to one instructor per subject and difficulties are modified to suit the levels and the abilities of the learners.

As an initial result, out of the 81 reviewers in the first batch, 35 passed the DepEd’s exam, 15 got high school diplomas and nine are now in college. EdRev is still waiting for the results of the second batch of beneficiaries.

They are currently on their third batch.

They also help their beneficiaries by looking for scholarship for them to continue and finish their college education.

Most of their beneficiaries are now working college students.

“I believe we are able to make them realize that one way or another, they can go beyond where they are right now. Hindi lang hanggang ganyan ang buhay mo. Although you’ve been an OSY for a very long time, hindi hanggang diyan lang ang buhay mo,’’ Ramos says.

To dream again

EdRev started with zero funds and survives on donations and sponsorships. Sometimes, the money comes from the members’ own pockets. But it is the group’s collective willingness, sincerity, and passion that keep them going.

“The fact that we have no fund motivates us. We are able to prove that the lack of money is not a reason not to continue and do something good for the community,” Ramos shares. “But the mere fact na nabago mo ‘yung buhay ng tao at na instill mo sa kanya ang value na importante ang edukasyon, sobrang biyaya na ito sa amin.”

With the TAYO cash award, EdRev plans to use the money to support their projects and finish the training center that they are building. They also plan to purchase computers for their e-learning project.

Their efforts are paying off, Ramos observes. The number of OSYs is slowly decreasing as the amount of support from the community increases.

“Ang sa amin lang, huwag sana mawalan ng pag-asa ‘yung iba. Kahit matanda ka na, puwede ka pa rin mag-aral. Kailangan lang mangarap ka ulit at tutulungan ka naming tuparin ‘yun,” Ramos ends.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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Youths from Surigao del Sur win TAYO Awards

Jocelyn E. Morano
Philippine Information Agency
December 12, 2010

Butuan City (10 December) — The Pro-Drop Out Reduction Program (PRO-DORP) Team from Cantilan, Surigao del Sur received an award from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as one of this year’s winner of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) in a ceremony held on December 9 at the Heroes’ Hall in Malacañan Palace aired over Radyo ng Bayan stations nationwide.

Seven years ago, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur only had one public high school, the Cantilan National High School having a population of 1,013 students.

Based on records, the school had an alarming dropout rate of 15.28% in the school year 2003-2004.

As a response to the disturbing 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.

In line with this program, 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.

From the Suporta Ko, Kinabukasan Mo program, it was found out that 80% of the students could not pay miscellaneous fees on time which was resolved by launching an effort of scouting for some sponsors.

Through Feed My Brain, the problem of poor comprehension because of malnutrition was countered with a feeding program.

Meanwhile, Maglaro at Mag-usap Tayo focused in addressing the presence of gangs inside the campus by intensifying school activities and group counseling.

EmpATHY or Empower the Teachers to Help the Young on the other hand realized that teachers likewise needed to address the personal as well as the student’s emotional problems through counseling.

Painstakingly the PRO DORP Team sustained the programs which resulted to positive results.

As of school year 2009-2010, the drop-out rate has been successfully reduced to 1.87%, a staggering 13% difference compared to the drop-out rate recorded in school year 2003-2004.

To this date, the PRO DORP Team continued with the programs and is now aiming for a 0% drop-out rate by 2015, inspired by the improvement showed by students of Cantilan.

Other TAYO Awardees are Mandaya Tribal Youth Organization from Mabetas, Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley; Pag-Asa Youth Organization Talisay City Chapter from Cebu; Pagaypay 4-H Club of Barangay Pagaypay, Passi City, Iloilo; Link.Exe-West Visayas State University of Iloilo City; Brotherhood for Peace, Baguio City; Education Revolution Movement (EdRev), Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Pochon Maanichar Centennial Batch Association, Inc., Ifugao Province; Alay ni Ignacio (ANI)-Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City and the Philippine Stagers Foundation from Balic-Balic in Manila.

Each of the winning groups received 50,000 pesos cash grants from Coca Cola Foundation Philippines and custom-made trophies specially crafted by Artist Toym de Leon Imao, wherein a total of 70 youth organizations made it to the finals, 19 of them were from Mindanao.

TAYO campaigns for citizens not to rely on government, but to work on improving their communities by themselves where qualifiers range from 15-30 years old. (Radyo ng Bayan Butuan/PIA-Caraga)

Source: PIA

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