TSPís Vic Hao Chin
pushes for youth development
Posted 2 May 2008
||Vic Hao Chin shares his actual and personal experiences on handling youth and setting up an alternative school in Manila, The Golden Link School.
Balay Mindanaw recently
invited Vic Hao Chin, President of the Theosophical Society of the
Philippines, to hold a session on how to handle and help develop our
youth. The topic is very important such that Balay Mindanaw is now
looking at a more strategic intervention towards community youth
development and peace.
The session, held April 17 at
the Balay Mindanaw Peace Center was joined by two youth
representatives from the community, three local women leaders, some
staff and members of Balay Mindanaw and the TSP-Mindanao. Though
brief, the session was meaningful and substantive. It also became a
venue for sharing diverse experiences from the small group of
Balay Mindanaw recognizes the
critical role of the youth in the peace and development of the
island. Youth awareness on peace education already started with
activities like the arts for peace workshops. The members of the
youth council of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) had already
participated in community-based peace trainings, taken from Balay
Mindanawís Operation Peace Course program dubbed as OPKORS. There
is a need now to formalize it and find more strategic approaches.
Hao Chin said that in
pursuing a youth development program, it is important to be clear
with two things first: 1) the long term goals of the program and 2)
the kind of adults we want to develop. He further compared that
youth development is just like parenting. If we are confused on how
to provide growth to our children, we will transfer our confusion to
them. Interventions with the youth are often effective because at
this young age, they are still very receptive to change and could
easily be molded.
Hao Chin proposed that our
youth program should also have a character-building element which
will nurture the emotional intelligence (EQ) of the youth, enabling
them to handle their emotions well. In that way, an impact will be
tangible on the person. Our educational system, he said, focuses
more on the skills, math, science and English. Having a high IQ will
land you a job but it is emotional intelligence that will get you
promoted. In the experience of the Theosophical Society,
self-transformation sessions and follow-up sessions are very
A youth development program
should also tackle parenting because the two are closely
interconnected. He said that character-building starts at home.
Violent parent produces violent children. Love that is felt by
children results to happiness, and they become non-defensive and
non-violent. It is important for young people to get listened to and
feel appreciated and loved.
The youth, he says, plays a
critical role not only today but in the future, since they will
become the next leaders. Hao Chin presented a research by
Transparency International which looks on the 10 most corrupt
leaders of the world and took note that 2 out of the 10 came from
past Philippines presidents -- Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada.
Marcos, he said, was very intelligent and talented but he became one
of the most corrupt leaders in the world because he lacked the one
important thing for a leader, emotional intelligence.
He said it is important for
the youth to develop into principled leaders in the future. Great
leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were not remembered because of money or
power but for how principled they were and how they stood for it. A
politician may buy votes but he will never earn the respect of the
people. He said that if you do not buy votes, you may not win. But
people will respect you and see you as a person of integrity.
The session also brought out
some important realizations and reflections, especially from the
participants from the partner community. The barangay kagawad was
struck by Hao Chinís topic on principled leaders. Vote buying is
rampant in their barangay that is why she too bought votes during
the barangay elections. She made a resolution to never again buy
votes. The chairperson of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) was also
enlightened by the session saying that she agreed that most of the
SK projects were basketball leagues and initiating disco or dance
events. She was very glad to have attended the session and when she
gets back to the their barangay she will immediately propose
relevant activities that will have more lasting effect on the youth.
Another participant, the president of a womenís organization who
is also a mother, said that she was touched by the topic on
parenting. She said it is never too late to change the way she
raises her children and that as president of their organization, she
will propose peace building seminars for parents.
The input of Hao Chin was
indeed a valuable contribution to the development of the youth peace
building efforts of Balay Mindanaw. We hope to pursue our vision and
mission towards the development of the youth.