1st IP Youth Leadership Summit takes off in Davao Oriental

ip youth

A group of around 185 young people of the Indigenous Peoples sector from the different parts of Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur provinces, have gathered to attend the first Indigenous Peoples Youth Leadership Summit 2016 with the theme: “Winning Peace for a Champion Province” last May 24-27at Lambajon Central Elementary School, Brgy Lambajon in Baganga town here in Davao Oriental.

The 4-day activity, which was supervised by the 25 facilitators from the Youth for Peace Movement Davao Oriental (YFPMDO) and personnel from the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, saw young IP participants with the passion and the heart to become proactive youth leaders and genuine peace advocates.

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While the youth summit has been conducted all throughout the country since 2003 in the national, regional, provincial and municipal level, the organizers say it is high time that the IP youth sector, which is one of the important segment of our society, most formidable yet an untapped and unmanaged sector prone to vulnerabilities of false hope and empty promises be included in the summit.

The activity was designed to develop the youth personal leadership, enhance their knowledge and awareness in societal development and team building activities through obstacle courses and Action Plan making which was reinforced by the different lecturers and experts from the Department of Health, Department of Education, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Philippine Army.

IP youth participants having fun during the obstacle course game as one of the team building activities of the IP Youth Summit

IP youth participants having fun during the obstacle course game as one of the team building activities of the IP Youth Summit

Meanwhile, aiming to build up the talents and skills of the IP youth participants, the YFPMDO during its activity highlighted different activities, which included the “Cooltura” night wherein IP youth participants showcased their acting, dancing and singing skills through Mandaya Culture and Traditions.  The IP participants said described it as a unique experience, but what underlines its uniqueness is that IP young people converge with the idea of building peace.

A new set of officers was also established for the first batch of IP YLS in order to sustain the plans and projects in the future, thus making them part of the different activities that the IP communities has to offer.

It can be recalled that Davao Oriental province is rich in culture and tradition and has a diversified environment where the heartland of Mandaya tribes is situated. With this, certain objectives, collaboration, partnership and networks had been established to strengthen peace and development efforts in this specific sector of our society.

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During the Culmination, Mr Ednar Dayanghirang, the Multi Sector Advisory Board (MSAB) Chairman of 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army who is also a proud Mandaya shared his thoughts to his fellow tribesmen on the importance of being considered as a special people in the world. He emphasized to the IP youth to absorbed what they learned and experience during the series of discussions and lectures so that when they go back to their respective places and communities they will be able to share the knowledge and encourage others to be a catalyst of change.

The 1st IP YLS was particularly inspired through the efforts and advocacy of the following: Colonel Bienvenido R Datuin Jr, Commander of the 701st Brigade; Dr. Abdullah B. Dumama Jr., Regional Director, DOH Region 11; Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon of Davao Oriental and Hon. Arturo C. Monday Municipal Mayor of Baganga.

Through this coalition of stakeholders, IP YLS was realized, and make these young people have a great contribution to the community and inspire other IP youth and to the Filipino youth as a whole to believe that young leaders are the key element in creating and maintaining authentic peace.

The 1st Indigenous People Youth Leadership Summit was developed and organized by the Youth For Peace Movement  Davao Oriental (YFPMDO) together with the different Agencies that includes the Philippine Army thru 701st Infantry (KAGITINGAN) Brigade, Department of  Health (DOH), Department of Education, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Davao Oriental Local Government Unit which serves as a coalition of organization that promote genuine peace. By CPT ANDREW M LINAO (INF) PA

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