BESAO, Mountain Province – Peace advocates in Mountain Province joined efforts to conduct the three-day Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) at Tamboan National High School, Tamboan, Besao, Mountain Province with the theme “Moving and Empowering the Youth Towards Peace and Sustainable Development.”
The activity was organized by the 69th Infantry “Cougar” Battalion in partnership with Mountain Province Youth Organization (MPYO), Officer Candidate Course-Reserve Officers Training Course (OCC-ROTC) Class 1-2022, Bravo “Bravehearts” Company of 54th IB, 2nd company of Mountain Province Police Mobile Force Company (MPPMFC), Besao Municipal Police Station, Besao Local Government Unit, and other different government agencies of Besao.
Fifty-five (55) youth participants from Dandanac and other sitios of Barangay Tamboan joined the educational and empowering activities, lectures, and workshops offered by the organizers. The series of lectures were about a healthy lifestyle, teenage pregnancy, mental health awareness by the RHU-Besao, basic first-aid by Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), principles of leadership by the members of the OCC-ROTC Class 1-2022, Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC), Anti Bullying, Anti-Illegal Drugs by the PNP, Knowing your BJMP by Dina Calpi, and Anti-Terrorism Information Drive by the 69th IB.
Some workshop sessions are beads crafting, slogan making, and poster making with the theme “Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terrorismo.” On the third day, a team-building activity was also observed to give a small challenge to the participants and to instill the importance of camaraderie between and among the participants including their facilitators.
Barangay Tamboan, specifically its sitio Dandanac is one of the previously declared barangays influenced by the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).
Today, under the NTF-ELCAC under Executive Order 70, development programs and livelihoods have flooded the area as a way to help the grassroots in the area to improve their way of life. This then paved the way for the basic needs such as education, health, goods, and commodities to become more accessible to the community people.
According to Captain Jayson S. Barbosa, the course director of the OCC-ROTC class 1-2022 who served as facilitator of the activity, the YLS activity is a good avenue for the cadets to immerse themselves on the ground and learn new knowledge and ideas in the community that they could soon apply in their future job as field officers in the Philippine Army.
“The cadets as future leaders in the field became facilitators in which they were immersed with the youth and the ground thus they can see their importance,” Barbosa said.
The facilitators also shared their experiences and gave pieces of advice to the youth as a way to inspire or encourage them to do their best in studies and be good citizens of the country.
With the activity also, the organizers and stakeholders who sponsored and supported the activity wished to aim the objectives of educating and empowering more youth to take part actively in activities that gear for nation-building.
“Youth activities that help the youth gain more confidence and become active are needed especially these days that the youth are becoming addicted to gadgets. The lectures integrated such as the teenage pregnancy are needed for the youth in this place, thus, this is really a good activity that is recommended to be repeated for the next years,” said Ms. Melody Abuan, a teacher from Tamboan National High School where the activity was held.
During the closing program, one of the participants during her testimony appreciated the activity as an opportunity again for them to socialize and learn new things aside from the learnings in the school.
“I have learned that even as young as we are, we can do something for our fellows and for the betterment of our place. We can do simple clean-up drives, tree planting activities and take part in pieces of training to improve ourselves” said Fernie Mangallay, a participant in the activity.
By Carmen T. Malabong