Bacolod-based youth organizations will converge Saturday, August 21, for the first Bacolod Youth Advocacy Fair in celebration of the International Youth Day to call for advancing the welfare of the youth in Barangay 10.
In the middle of strict community quarantine protocols in Bacolod, eight youth organizations will setup their socially-distanced booths in the basketball court of Brgy. 10 to encourage young individuals to join their respective organizations.
The event called “YOUTHniverse: Pagtipon sang mga Pamatan-on” will be participated by Akbayan Youth-Bacolod, Youth Empowering Youth (YEY!) Initiative, SocFem Bacolod,First-Time Voters Network-Negros, Children Optimization for the Revitalization of the Environment (CORE), Youth for Mental Health, Sowing Legacy Movement Inc., and Agila Bacolod.
The groups have also created mini-activities in their respective booths like Babayin workshop, menstrual hygiene and napkin donations, voter’spre-registration, mini-hinampang, mental health consultation, photo booth, knot-tying, selling of merchandise, among others.
AY-Bacolod Chairperson Ken Paolo GIlo said this is an opportunity for the youth to gather and join an organization to exercise their passion and skills.
“The pandemic has resulted individualism and left no space for the youth to convene”, Gilo said, adding “this advocacy fair aims to give that space for them to select and join the organizations that forwards their respective advocacies and welfare.”
Agila Bacolod will also ensure that safety and health protocols are observed in the event by putting various placards, monitoring participants’ temperature, and ensuring social distancing in the venue.
YEY Chairperson Coleen Awit also said that this is also a space for the youth to know and connect to various youth-led organizations and an effort to better the youth development programs that we have in the city.
“We are organizing this fair to provide spaces for the youth to collaborate with each other in this difficult time. It will be a full day of exciting activities and programs for the youth and by the youth,” Awit added.
Meanwhile, these organizations have also met with SK-Bacolod Federation Chairperson Ayesha Joy Villaflor and discussed the formation of the Local Youth Development Council in the city, Aug. 2
The move was initiated in the pursuit to ensure that the voice of the Bacoleño youth is heard in making policies in the city council.
Villaflor assured the youth organizations that the LYDC will be organized, adding that the projects that will be made will have their respective budget allocations.
“Rest assured that we will continue to empower our youth-led and youth-serving organizations as well as our young leaders in the grassroots level,” the SK Federation President said.
The SK Federation also opened a call to all youth organizations in Bacolod to join the LYDC and fill the 19 positions of the said youth council as agreed by the organizations initially consulted.
Gilo said that the reestablishment of the LYDC is the long-awaited equalizer of all youth organizations especially those in the grassroots with little to no resources as it opens up opportunities for funding and partnerships.
He added that it will consolidate the voice of the youth in the city especially in government representation and participation.* (Mark Raymund Garcia)