Around the world, young people are redefining what it means to participate and get involved in social issues and community affairs. With digital media tools that are easy to access and use, many youth find opportunities to express their advocacies and political views in creative ways, including through music, vlogs, memes and hashtags. To cultivate the digital civic engagement of the youth, they must be empowered to not only respond to the many challenges and opportunities presented in these digital spaces, but to also articulate their digital rights in today’s modern democracy.
The Youth Leaders Incubator is a digital civic learning opportunity for Filipino youth groups and organizations that aspire to create concrete social impact in their communities and encourage youth participation. In Phase 2 of the program, which runs from November 2021 to April 2022, ten (10) youth organizations will be under the support of the Incubator as they implement their advocacy projects. Each team receives seed funding, in the form of cash and Facebook ad credits, and technical support through mentoring and fellowship activities.
Simulan Natin 2022
Panubli: An Ilonggo Heritage Preservation Initiative
Lider Ako Kit: An Empathy-based Leadership Learning Kit for Kids
#KAMALAYAN: Kabataan para sa Malayang
PROJECT HIGH FIVE DIGITAL
Capacity Development Project for Southern Tagalog Pride Member Organizations for Community-Based HIV Screening (CBS)
Project Rayaw: A youth-led journey with
Project Busoy: Local Seedling Nursery
November 17, 2021
Youth organizations from all over the Philippines are set to kick off their advocacy campaigns this November 2021 with the goal to address different needs in their chosen communities and sectors.
Under the Youth Leaders Incubator, a digital civic learning program launched in September 2021 by Out of The Box Media Literacy Initiative (OOTB), together with Mano Amiga Philippines and Meta, 10 organizations will receive mentorship and technical assistance from civic and community leaders and receive seed funding to amplify their advocacies for the next five months.
The 10 organizations were selected from a pool of nationwide applications and screened through the advocacy plans they crafted in the program’s earlier training phase, which included workshops on digital citizenship and community engagement.
The campaigns are diverse, with advocacies ranging from press freedom to good governance; from HIV awareness to environmental sustainability. The teams will launch community initiatives that focus on the common good and promote general welfare.
Among the projects to be launched are Positive VIBES’ “#KAMALAYAN: Kabataan para sa Malayang Halalan”, a voter’s education campaign for the youth of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; “Simulan Natin 2022” by GoodGovPH, which seeks to engage youth voters from Cavite for the 2022 elections; and Love Education Philippines’ “#LiderAko Campaign,” an empathy-based leadership learning kit for children; UP Community Development Circle’s “PAHAYAGAN kontra AGRESYON,” that aims to highlight the role of the campus press in fighting development aggression
Other campaigns set to roll out include “Panubli: An Ilonggo Heritage Preservation Initiative” by Junior Executive Society, which aims to promote the work of local Ilonggo artists through collaborations; “ArtivisTAYO” by Black Canvas, which aims to raise awareness on artists’ welfare and advocacies; and Team Dugong Bughaw’s “Project High Five Digital” that seeks to address the lack of HIV/AIDS awareness among Iloilo youth.
Also included in the top 10 orgs are UPLB Babaylan’s HIV screening initiative for Southern Tagalog Pride organizations; Youth of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente’s “Project Rayaw: A youth-led journey with the Mangyans,” a Romblon- and Mindoro-based initiative to raise awareness on the issues of Mangyans; and Zero Waste Youth Romblon’s “Project Busoy: Local Seedling Nursery” that aims to establish a community seedling nursery.
By the end of the mentorship program, top three teams will be selected and will receive tokens and continuous technical support for their advocacy campaigns until the end of 2022.
Out of The Box Media Literacy Initiative (OOTB) is a non-government organization that works to mainstream media literacy practices in the Philippines through campaigns, workshops, and educational resources. Founded in 2014, it has helped students, teachers, and individuals become media and information literate and get involved in social issues and community affairs.
05 March 2022
Out of The Box, a media literacy organization, presents the ongoing projects of its Youth Leaders Incubator, an eight-month-long program that trains Filipino youth organizations to create concrete social impact in their communities and encourage youth participation.
The program, which was done in partnership with Meta and Mano Amiga, was launched in September 2021 with the aim to encourage youth organizations to use digital platforms to spotlight the needs of their communities. After two months of workshops on digital citizenship and community engagement, the organizations with the best advocacy plans were given seed funding and technical support to implement their projects starting November 2021.
Below are the implemented projects:
Voter Engagement Advocies
Simulan Natin 2022 by GoodGovPH
“Simulan Natin 2022” opens opportunities for the youth to learn the power of their vote in the lead-up to the May elections. Their recent conventions with participants from Luzon focused on fighting disinformation and understanding how one can vote for leaders that will promote economic recovery.
#KAMALAYAN: Kabataan para sa Malayang Halalan by Positive VIBES (Volunteers’ Initiatives in Bridging and Empowering Society)
#KAMALAYAN: Kabataan para sa Malayang Halalan” (kamalayan is Filipino for awareness) uses their Facebook page as a repository of election-related materials for the youth to “practice their right to suffrage” in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, particularly in the mainland areas of Cotabato City and Maguindanao.
Positive VIBES produced election-related short films for their series, “E-leksyon – Gabay sa Halalan” to raise awareness on the importance of voting.
Lider Ako Kit by LoveED
LovEd Volunteers came up with the Lider Ako Kit – an “empathy-based leadership learning kit” that contains modules and coloring materials that hope to help students recognize the good qualities of a leader. The organization distributed 35 kits to two communities in San Pablo, Laguna and Coron, Palawan on February 27, 2022.
Sustainability and Empowerment
Project Busoy by Zero Waste Youth Romblon
As part of their thrust to “transform local communities and turn [the] Zero Waste dream into a reality,” Zero Waste Youth Romblon kickstarted Project Busoy in January in the hopes of planting 1,000 native trees in Romblon. Romblomanons can ‘adopt’ a tree by requesting native seedlings they can plant in their own area.
“Project Rayaw” by Youth of Iglesia Filipina Independiente Diocese of Romblon and Mindoro (YIFI-ROOM)
Motivated by the desire to empower and support the Mangyans in Mindoro, Project Rayaw is a a “youth-led journey with the Mangyans.” Through promotional campaigns, gift-giving initiatives and cultural presentations, the faith-based youth organization aim to raise public awareness and support for the needs of the Mangyan communities in the province.
The organization recently held a benefit concert to purchase solar lights and build communal comfort rooms for a sitio in Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro.
PANUBLI: An Ilonggo Heritage Preservation Initiative by Junior Executive Society
Among the multitude of sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs and artists are among those hit the hardest. University-based organization Junior Executive Society, took the opportunity to launch a project that aims to showcase local artisan-entrepreneurs in their area. They will be producing a series of feature videos that highlight the work and life of local artisan-entrepreneurs.
Black Canvas is also using its multi-arts network of collaborators to feature the insights and lessons of “artivists” (a portmanteau of artist and activist) in a series of workshops.
Among others, they have hosted workshops teaching the value of art in healthcare, as well as the place of art in the fight for global justice and creating safe spaces.
All these are proof of the youth’s willingness to care for others and to translate this into action.
HIV and AIDS awareness advocacies
As the health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, other organizations are also sustaining awareness campaigns on reproductive and sexual health.
Team Dugong Bughaw, an Iloilo-based organization dedicated to promoting HIV and AIDS awareness, held webinars with Sangguniang Kabataan leaders on stigma and discrimination against HIV-AIDS in January and February.
They also revived their Yuhum Mail program where people can send creative messages to People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
“It’s a way to let them know that the Ilonggo youth is now being made aware about the science behind HIV and AIDS to put an end to the stigma and misconceptions surrounding the community,” said Rain Labiano of Team Dugong Bughaw.
House of Red by UPLB Babaylan
UPLB Babaylan, a university-based organization for LGBTQIA+ rights, launched House of Red to promote HIV and AIDS awareness and safe sex. The organization regularly posts educational materials on its Facebook page that aims to break the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. Among others, they advocate early treatment and testing.