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Youth Day

The twelfth of August could have been a triple celebration worth commemorating by the people of Catanduanes: International Humanitarian Law Day, International Youth Day, and the start of International Year of Youth, which spans from August of this year to August of 2011.

At least with the first, Red Cross Catanduanes Chapter has consistently sustained the event through a parade tagged with "Walk for Humanity" battlecry. It was participated in by densely populated DepEd schools in the capital town of Virac and TESDA-affiliated tech-voc schools.

The second and third celebrations must have been largely concentrated in Manila, being the host of the 11th International Youth Day Convention on August 10-12, 2010. Said gathering was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), expecting a delegation of 600 student and youth leaders ages 15 to 24 (which represent one sixth of the global populace) from the Philippines and the world.

Since its birth in 1991, International Youth Day was declared with the aim of espousing fundraising and promotional purposes to support the United Nations Youth Fund in partnership with worldwide youth organizations.

With this year’s IYD theme, "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding", it sure looks fun to take note of the following recommendations to local youth and student leaders (better catch up sans the launch) as they carry on with the year-long celebration.
  • Educational radio show. Contact local radio stations to request a slot to have a discussion between politicians or policy-makers and the youth.
  • Organize a youth forum, public meeting, or debate in the center of town, at high schools, or at university centers to exchange ideas and raise awareness on youth-related and global issues.
  • Organize a concert and invite your local musicians.
  • Organize an exhibit. Get permission to use a public space for an arts exhibit, showcasing culture, arts and music.
  • Write to your Minister of Youth to express everyday challenges young people face today and to suggest solutions. A list of Ministers of Youth can be found at
IYD suggests worldwide, countrywide, and regional implementation of the World Programme of Action, which pursues achievement in 10 main fields. These are: starvation, poverty, education, employment, health, drug exploitation, childhood felony, recreation events, women and children, and environment. (That leaves me with a painful question, is it not too much for the Philippines to hurdle?)

In the Philippine scenario, the year 2011 will prove a magnitude of celebrations – the start of the 5-year countdown to achieving the Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under the United Nations Development Program, the 25th Year of Human Rights, the 115th Year of the 1896 Philippine Revolution, and the 25th Year of the 1986 People Power.

Youth leadership metamorphoses in school campuses. Here’s just hoping that the youth of our time and of our beloved province, Catanduanes, do their share in trying to make positive contributions to the community and to the world.

By Babes C. Masagca
Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 19 August 2010

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