Over thirty participants gathered at the Garden Orchid Hotel to attend “HU YOUth?: A Participatory Workshop to Understand Our Adolescents in Zamboanga City,” held last March 14 and 15.
Organized by ADZU’s Center for Culture and the Arts, the workshop aimed to gather stakeholders in analyzing key issues that adolescents in Zamboanga City were facing.
“As we dive deeper in our program development process, we have to ensure that we understand the problem with our stakeholders,” said Kiko Miranda, project director of ACCA-SUGPAT, “so we brought everyone into one common understanding of complex problems facing our adolescents.”
A myriad of data
Different data on adolescents from the global perspective down to the local landscape were presented.
Adolescent and HIV Officer Emee Valdehuesa of UNICEF Philippines presented their study on their consultation of over 6,000 children in the Philippines. It showed that “Vices” followed by “Health” were the most important issues facing young Filipinos today, from among a pre-determined set of issues.
Further, bullying, humiliation, and addiction were some of the important issues not pre-enlisted, but surfaced as key problems among the youth.
Meanwhile, National Youth Commission (NYC) Officer for Region 9 Raymond Domingo shared about the government’s Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP).
In his presentation, Domingo showed that almost 30% of the Philippine population is composed of the youth. This showed a window of opportunity for the PYDP’s thrust in youth participation which the NYC defines as the “youth’s attendance and immersion in programs and projects conceptualized and implemented for, by, and with them.”
Showing the status and framework of the alternative learning system of education of the Department of Education was Mr. Danilo Tolentino, Division ALS Coordinator.
Tolentino mentioned that an estimate of almost 4 million Filipinos aged 6-24 years old were out-of-school-youth, according to the 2016 Annual Poverty Indicator Survey.
Adolescent health was also given prime importance during the workshop as McDan Aporador, Assistant Regional Coordinator of the City Health Office Region 9, showed that there have been over 350 cases of HIV and AIDS in the city since 1995, with more than 60 deaths reported.
A causality analysis of the key issues
Of the many issues that were presented, three prevailed: youth participation among adolescents, violent extremism, and alternative education for out-of-school-youth in Zamboanga.
From these, participants broke out into groups and did a causality analysis of the issues at hand, which was eventually followed by the creation of the Theory of Change, a specific type of methodology to show the change processes in possible interventions to a desired goal or outcome.
“Because of this process, I can already picture out what the future looks like for the OSYs in Zamboanga when this program gets implemented,” said Al-Rashid Ismael, OSYDA representative.
Among those in attendance included Commission on Population Regional Director for Zamboanga Peninsula, Reynaldo Wong, Officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga City Police Office, Police Community Relation Branch PSINSP Abdulgafur Maani, Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Zibtiya Uddin, Ayale Techincal Vocational School Administrator Christian Olasiman, and MARIPOSA President Edwin Abu.
The Social Development Office of ADZU was also in full force led by John Mayo Enriquez who is Assistant to the President for Social Development. Joining him were Aurora Gonzales, director of the Ateneo Center for Leadership and Governance with Alma Bulanon and Alvin Arcete, as well as Al-Fatima Ahiyal, Program Officer of the Center for Community Extension.
The Human Development and Empowerment Services (HDES), Out-of-School-Youth Development Association (OSYDA), Silsilah Dialogue Movement, Liga ng mga Barangay, ALS implementers, as wel
l as former SUGPAT learners and their parents were all well-represented during the workshop.
After the two-day workshop with key stakeholders, the ACCA-SUGPAT team together with UNICEF’s Communications for Development officer Kathleen Solis, HIV Specialist Mx Mario Balibago, Valdehuesa, and SUGPAT Advocacy and Communications independent consultant Dr. Mayette Rivera further met and created the communications plan as a result of the causality analysis done with stakeholders.
“We were able to validate the issues and hear really interesting insights which will help guide us in programming,” Valdehuesa said.
SUGPAT is now on its third year and will focus on Adolescent Development and Participation with the aim of establishing a resource center for adolescent development, leadership, and participation.