GATHER Alumnus Lo Ivan Castillon Shares Update from the Philippines
Greetings from Phillippines!
The Volunteers’ Initiatives in Bridging and Empowering Society (VIBES) is pleased to share with the Goldin Institute’s supporters about our activities in September 2019.
What were the highlights from your work this month?
VIBES through its Chairperson, Lo Ivan Castillon, participated in the Consultation Meeting as an organizational member of the Technical Working Group in the finalization of the Bangsamoro Transition Youth Priority Agenda (BTYPA) of the Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on 13-14 September 2019 in Kutawato Resto, Cotabato City. The objectives of the activity were to present and discuss the draft document and arrive at a final version which can be presented and discussed with the youth-serving ministries and development partners. BYC Executive Director Marjanie Macasalong, PhD, also a member of parliament, was in full support of the crafting of the BTYPA as a transition plan for 2019 to 2022. It was supported by UNICEF and UNFPA.
There were five priorities – health, education, peacebuilding and security, governance, and active citizenship. The peacebuilding and security priority ensures the promotion of human security, inclusive disengagement with reintegration programs, and the prevention of youths from association in armed groups, including participation in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and management initiatives, as well as safety efforts and development in the Bangsamoro region that contributes to national peace and security. It also integrated the youth, peace and security in all the strategies, objectives and programs considering the current and relevant issues confronting the youth in the region.
The draft BTYPA was presented to the ministries and offices of BARMM and to the development partners in the region on the 16th and 23rd of September 2019, respectively. Also, VIBES, as one of the members of the Technical Working Group of the Kutawato Messaging Hub, had a strategic planning on September 19-20, 2019 together with other CSOs and government agencies in Cotabato City and provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato. Hosted by Moroprenuer Inc. in the Bajunaid Building in Cotabato City, the activity was initiated and supported by the Equal Access International Philippines.
The Messaging Hub was also officially launched on the 20th of September with the goal of engaging grassroots communities on peacebuilding in the BARMM. It has the following outcomes:
- Increased community engagement in the normalization process and in the transition of BARMM
- Increased participation of youth and women in promoting peace
- Improved community socio-economic condition through social enterprise promotion
- Established positive and interactive community platform for information sharing and advocacy development
What activities were organized?
- In line with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month and International Day of Peace, VIBES conducted Basic Peace and Conflict Workshop for Children to 53 young leaders of Notre Dame Village Central Elementary School (NDVCES) on September 25, 2019 on the NDVCES grounds in Cotabato City. Several activities were facilitated where young leaders enjoyed and had fun during sharing and discussion sessions.
- September 5 October 5 is the celebration of Teachers’ Month. VIBES officially launched “Message for My Teacher” where the public were invited to share their messages to their teachers and take a selfie photo with them to be posted on their social media pages.
- VIBES is one with the world in striking for the climate. As part of our strike, we are challenging our fellow Vibers to take a video of themselves stating their commitment to save the environment and challenge 3 friends to do the same. This is an online platform campaign.
Thank you and more power!
Lo Ivan Castillon