The year 2020 is proving to be a memorable year for everyone. From the Taal Volcano eruption and several earthquakes that ravaged the Mindanao region last January, to being in quarantine for 7 months and counting, and now with the wake of a record-holding Super Typhoon that ripped through Luzon, many are forced to be resilient and look for a promise of better days in 2021.
Yet, in the midst of all these tragedies, youth groups took the challenge to address gaps in social services and collaborated with local government units and NGOs to develop projects that prioritized the survival, health, and livelihood of many of our fellow Filipinos.
Here is a list of Visayan youth groups that moved beyond their homes to their communities during this quarantine:
1. Red Cross Youth Negros Occidental, Bacolod City
In a mission to provide aid in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, Red Cross Youth (RCY) Negros Occidental initiated a project called RCY Drumvatory Handwashing Facilities. They created handwashing basins from drums and distributed those to different hospitals, medical centers, establishments, checkpoints in cities and municipalities all over Negros Occidental. They have already distributed more than 20 hand washing drums with more still pending for distribution.
2. Order of Asclepius, Lapaz, Iloilo
The Order of Asclepius with their Project COpeVID provides psychosocial help for the Ilonggo youth through accurate info dissemination, webinars and workshop on mental health awareness and coping mechanisms during the pandemic, They also created a youth hub where people with questions and/or concerns can ask or inquire about mental health..
3. Tabang PH, Baybay, Leyte
Tabang PH is a youth-led initiative that aims to promote civic engagement, youth empowerment, and collaborative volunteerism in Eastern Visayas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tabang PH was able to empower around 90 volunteers across 4 cities and 6 municipalities in Leyte island and raised almost P110,000 to produce and distribute personal protective equipment, health kits, and pamphlets to local frontliners, health workers, and daily wage earners.
4. The Estrawngheroes, Tigbauan, Iloilo
The EstrawngHeroes started MANONG, an errand-service program that allows sikad drivers to shop for essentials of Tigbauanons who are staying at home. Not only do they help through livelihood but also in providing scholarship opportunities for the young sikad drivers whose education, health, and family savings are severely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
5. Project Kalibo, Kalibo, Aklan
Project Kalibo started as an initiative to help the frontliners of the municipality in Aklan. It now has reached many sectors through their several projects which include provision of PPEs and hot meals to almost 10, 000 residents; Adopt-a-Toda campaign that provided relief packs to tricycle drivers in 16 barangays; and addressing need for radio units and bond papers for students through bartering.
These five youth organizations are part of the 20 National finalists for the Search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards. The National Awardees and Finalists will receive Php 50,000 and Php 20,000 seed grants respectively during the National Awarding Ceremony on December 5, 2020. This Annual Search is the premier award-giving body in the country, recognizing the effort of Filipino youth groups since 2002. The Search is co-presented by the TAYO Awards Foundation, Coca Cola Foundation Philippines and San Miguel Corporation, and its Official Media Partner, Prime Insignia.