AdZU project wins funding from US Embassy, Office of Vice-Pres Leni

For their community project to out-of-school youth in Zamboanga City, Ateneo’s SUGPAT Adolescent Development and Participation Program received a P25,000 funding from the US Embassy in the Philippines and the Office of the Vice President Leni Robredo last July 16 at the Angat Buhay Youth Summit in Cagayan de Oro City.

The AdZU-SUGPAT team pitched the “SUGPAT HeART Intensives (SHI),” a creative peace-building workshop that will gather 30 out-of-school youth with diverse backgrounds to create short films on issues surrounding their communities. These short films will then be screened in different communities and high schools in Zamboanga City.

Special Projects Head Raffy Magno of the Office of the Vice President, one of the panelists during the project pitching competition, commented that the project is a creative way to highlight the stories of ordinary Filipinos and another chance for people to be inspired by stories of hope, resilience, and faith.

Sa mga panahon ngayon, malaki ang pangangailangan ng buong bayan na marinig ang tunay na kwento ng mga Pilipinong nakikibaka sa mga hamon ng buhay araw-araw,” Magno said, “and we are happy that SHI will bring us closer to these stories.”

The team was represented by its Education Officer, Rogin Eribal, and the Advocacy and Communication Officer, Val Amiel Vestil.

Eribal said that what made the win at the summit more memorable and meaningful was because he felt like he was not just representing the team, but the entire out-of-school youth sector in Zamboanga City.

“Truly, if you stay true to your advocacy and work hard for others, people will recognize that sincerity, giving more opportunities to the youth and taking your cause to the bigger arena for partners to reach out and help,” he quipped.

The Angat Buhay Youth Summit – Mindanao is a four-day conference for 30 youth organizations in Mindanao aiming to create a hub of ideas for community-based projects and peace-building initiatives.  

Besides SUGPAT, Ateneo’s SALAAM Organization represented by Abdul Warith Abdulah and Sitti Chua also became one of the 30 selected organizations out of over 200 applications who got accepted to the summit.

Dulaang Crimson and Peace Advocates Zamboanga, both organizations hailing from Zamboanga City, also made it to the cut and received funding for their community projects.

“Sabi nga natin na kayong mga kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. Pero higit itong naging totoo ngayong lingo sa inyong pagbuhos ng inyong panahon, husay, at talino sa mga programang naglalayong i-angat ang antas ng buhay ng mga kapwa niynong taga-Mindanao,” VP Leni Robredo said during her keynote address to the summit participants.

VP Robredo added: “And mga programa niyo ay ang konkretong hakbang natin tungo sa isang maunlad na pamayanan para sa lahat.”

                                                                                                                                             

The Assistant to the President for Social Development John Mayo Enriquez and the Ateneo Center for Culture and the Arts Director Kiko Miranda graced the event as mentors to the different teams as they prepared for their project pitching.

“It was an experience worth remembering seeing the youth show their talents and skills,” Enriquez said, “and it is a good reminder for us mentors to continue to inspire and motivate our youth to press on towards the mission of peace-building for Mindanao.”

The Angat Buhay Youth Summit is a program by the Office of the Vice-President in partnership with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), Millenials PH, and the Oro Youth Development Council.

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