This was the message of both Mayor Oscar “Oca” S. Moreno and Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc (BMFI) pioneer and Chairman Emeritus Charlito “Kaloy” Z. Manlupig during the launching of Leadership Communities (LeadCom 2015) at the Balay Mindanaw Peace Center recently.
LeadCom is a program of Ayala Foundation that aims to empower youth by enhancing their involvement in addressing their communities’ pressing needs and issues through projects that they themselves will propose, plan and implement. Ayala Foundation implements this program in partnership with BMFI, JCI Kagayhaan Gold, Ayala Young Leaders Alumni Association – Region 10, Ayala Business Club – Cagayan de Oro, and the Local Government Unit of Cagayan de Oro.
Manlupig then acknowledged the importance of youth formation. “We are all talents waiting to be discovered…Sooner or later, thet person or institution or group who will discover us will come,” he said, sharing how he, too, underwent mentoring and formation as a youth and how the principles he developed then helped make Balay Mindanaw what it is today.
However, Mayor Moreno emphasized that LeadCom “will not make you a perfect individual,” Moreno said. Instead, he continues, it “gives [the youth] a better idea [of] what it takes to serve.”
Moreno also stressed that while the modern world of the youth of today is very different from the times when he was still a young man, “the fundamentals remain the same.”
“What you are going through now will make you what you will be in the future. To put it differently: what you will be in the future is what you are doing today. And this program gives you a snapshot, a glimpse [of] how it is to be a leader, how it is to be a man and woman for others. You are here not for yourselves, but so you will learn, to have some ideas what it is to be part of a team, to be part of an undertaking,” he stressed.
Both Manlupig and Moreno encouraged the youth taking part of LeadCom 2015 to rise to the challenge, to not waste the opportunity given them but to grasp and soak the lessons they will learn from the program since “learning is continuing, it never stops.”
“This program is one opportunity for the youth to discover themselves (and) their direction through their role models, mentors, formators and eventually close friends (that you will) never forget. This program is an opportunity for you to undergo a process that will help you realize your) full potential as human, as youth leaders,” Manlupig said.
Moreno also encouraged the youth to “treasure” their time with LeadCom, as he cautioned them that the process of leadership can be like Philippine politics where intrigues cannot be avoided. “What is more important is to understand the others,” he advises.
The LeadCom Launch was the kickoff the continuing training and empowerment of community-based youth organizations by helping them design and implement projects that address their communities’ most pressing needs. It enables young leaders to make meaningful contributions to the development of their communities.
“These youth groups will undergo the ideation and project management phase with workshops and capability sessions to effectively implement their proposed project. LeadCom will strengthen our youth’s desire of being active citizens. It will continue to transform more lives, which someday will make the difference our society needs,” said Sabrina “Sabcee” Garcia-Balais, BMFI CDO Team leader.
Last year, youth groups from nine barangays in the city successfully developed and implemented projects through the first ever LeadCom program. The projects they implemented ranged from solid waste management, youth skills training, youth empowerment, to advocacy against illegal drugs.
Since 2012, LeadCom has trained 953 youth leaders and 754 facilitators. The youth groups have then in turn implemented 97 projects that have touched 6,771 direct beneficiaries and mobilized 827 volunteers from local stakeholders. LeadCom has awarded a total of Php 970,000.00 to different youth groups projects all over the country.
Despite their potential, many young people still consider their contributions to society as insignificant. Addressing this, Moreno advised them to continue because someday and somehow, someone will benefit from that insignificant contribution.