Fourth cycle of expanded SUGPAT Program launched

To better address the adolescent programming in the city, SUGPAT officially launched its program last March 12 at Madrid Hall, Palacio del Sur, Zamboanga City. 

Now on its fourth cycle, the SUGPAT Program of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University’s Center for Culture and the Arts, fully funded and supported by UNICEF and ING was formally introduced to a crowd of more than 300. 

Among them were UNICEF Headquarters Adolescent and Development Specialist Fabio Friscia, UNICEF Philippines Education Chief Isy Faingold, Ateneo de Zamboanga University President Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ, Department of Education Region IX Director Isabelita Borres, and National Youth Commission Commissioner-at-Large James Ceasar Ventura who all gave messages during the launch.

Also in attendance were 64 ALS Implementers from Zamboanga del Norte who will be undergoing a 5-day training of trainers on the contextualization of work readiness modules. 

The SUGPAT Program officially launched its projects Power For Youth and the Executive Masters in Governance and Development. 

A year of expansion

“SUGPAT 4.0 will be a year of expansion as SUGPAT will expand to Zamboanga del Norte and work closely with the Department of Education Region IX, and nationally as we work with the National Youth Commission,” Program Director Marco Alfino Miranda said. 

New to the SUGPAT Program is the Power for Youth project and the Executive Masters in Governance and Development. 

Power for Youth project aims to capacitate the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Implementers in the delivery of life skills modules, and to strengthen of Out-of-School Youth Alliance in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte. 

In partnership with the Department of Education Region IX, SUGPAT Power for Youth aims to strengthen the implementation of DepEd’s ALS in the region. 

“This has been my long dream that there will really be a good transition from the school to the workplace and I’m happy that Ateneo de Zamboanga, through SUGPAT, including UNICEF and ING, were able to get the idea of what DepEd wants because DepEd cannot do it alone,” Department of Education Region IX Regional Director Isabelita Borres said.

To enrich understanding on youth development, SUGPAT in partnership with the National Youth Commission, envisions an Executive Masters in Governance and Development Major in Youth Development, also a new component of the program.  

In Ventura’s message, he said, “We need this because NYC and Ateneo wants to build what we envision to be a resource center, where our understanding of youth development, as a country, will properly be stored, kept and enriched.” 

Program milestones

During the launching of the new cycle of SUGPAT, Miranda presented the milestones of SUGPAT, starting way back its inception in 2015, two years after the Zamboanga Siege.

Responding to the summary of the program’s impact in policy, research, youth and barangay leadership, and alternative learning, UNICEF Headquarters Adolescent and Development Specialist Fabio Friscia said “It’s amazing to see how, with financial resources and quite limited technical support, you have come up with amazing results.”
The program believes that every dream matters, and this was further shown at the launch as the crowd sang the official theme song of SUGPAT, Bawat Pangarap, composed and performed by Nar Cabico, and flew paper kites; a reminder to the mission and call to continue working towards the dreams for the youth.

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