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Bacolod youth orgs hold advocacy fair

Members of YEY Initiative during their International Youth Day celebration in 2018*

Bacolod-based youth organizations converged Saturday for the first Bacolod Youth Advocacy Fair, in celebration of the International Youth Day, to call for advancing the welfare of the youth in Barangay 10.

Amid the strict community quarantine protocols in Bacolod, eight youth organizations setup their socially-distanced booths in the basketball court of Brgy. 10, to encourage young individuals to join their respective organizations.

The event, called “YOUTHniverse: Pagtipon sang mga Pamatan-on”, was participated in by the Akbayan Youth-Bacolod, Youth Empowering Youth Initiative, SocFem Bacolod, First-Time Voters Network-Negros, Children Optimization for the Revitalization of the Environment, Youth for Mental Health, Sowing Legacy Movement Inc., and Agila Bacolod.

The groups have also created mini-activities in their booths, like the Babayin workshop, menstrual hygiene and napkin donations, voters pre-registration, mini-hinampang, mental health consultation, photo booth, knot-tying, and selling of merchandise, among others.

AY-Bacolod chairperson Ken Paolo Gilo said it was an opportunity for the youth to gather and join an organization to exercise their passion and skills.

“The pandemic has resulted in individualism and left no space for the youth to convene,” Gilo said, adding that “this advocacy fair aims to give that space for them to select and join the organizations that forwards their advocacies and welfare.”

Agila Bacolod ensured that safety and health protocols were observed during the event.

YEY chairperson Coleen Awit also said this was a space for the youth to know and connect with various youth-led organizations, and an effort to better the youth development programs in the city.

Meanwhile, these organizations also met with SK-Bacolod Federation chairperson, Ayesha Joy Villaflor, and discussed the formation of the Local Youth Development Council in the city recently.

The move was initiated to ensure that the voice of the Bacoleño youth is heard in making policies at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Villaflor assured the youth organizations that the LYDC will be organized, adding that the projects will have budget allocations.

“Rest assured that we will continue to empower our youth-led and youth-serving organizations as well as our young leaders in the grassroots level,” she added.

The SK Federation also called on all youth organizations in Bacolod to join the LYDC and fill up the 19 positions at the youth council, as agreed by the organizations that were initially consulted.

Gilo said the reestablishment of the LYDC is the long-awaited equalizer of all youth organizations, especially those in the grassroots, with little to no resources, as it opens up opportunities for funding and partnerships.

He added that it will consolidate the voice of the youth in the city, especially in government representation and participation.*MLG

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