400 Mindanao youths take part in the first Bangsamoro Youth Hope Conference
Cotabato City (03 June 2015) – Approximately 400 youths from different parts of Mindanao are taking part in the first Bangsamoro Youth Hope Conference hosted jointly by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through its Coordinating and Development Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (CDO-BYA) and the Gawad Kalinga (GK) in this city.
Isa Tom del Monte, CDO-BYA executive director, said the three-day conference, which started Tuesday and will culminate on 04 June, will equip the participating youths with the knowledge to be prime movers of the nation in the future.
He said activity will help them prepare “to build peace and a future full of hope for the next generation.”
The conference is a joint project of the ARMM and GK with participants coming from the regions of the ARMM, Socksargen and Davao, the province of Lanao del Norte and in Zamboanga Peninsula.
GK is a nongovernmental movement that aims to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity among the poor. It is currently active in over 2,000 communities nationwide and has been recognized as 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and 2012 Skoll Awardee for Social Entrepreneurship.
Luis Oquinena, GK executive director, said the conference will provide the participants with knowledge in nation-building, poverty eradication, and on the means to contribute to peace and development in Mindanao.
“Young as you are, we are inviting you to have the courage to dream for a better future. Being successful is helping others succeed,” he said.
Among the participants is Nurfaisa Hasalal, a 20-year old Yakan from Ungkaya Pukan town in Basilan. She said the conference helps “awaken the minds of the youth about the role we hold in the peace and development of Mindanao.”
Hasalal, a fellow of the Basilan Young Leaders Program (BYLP) – a program backed by ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, said it also widens their understanding about the youth’s role in nation building and in poverty eradication.
“Kahit kabataan, may maitutulong. Maliit man o malaki ang kontribusyon natin, magiging opportunity pa rin ito para makatulong tayo sa ating bansa (We can help even if we’re young. Great or small our contributions may be, it will still become an opportunity to help our country.),” Hasalal said.
The participants will draft the Bangsamoro youth declaration that will serve as their commitment and action plan to apply what they learn in the conference in their respective communities upon their return.
Dayanara Aming, 21 and an active member of the Tawi-Tawi Youth Network, said the guiding principle of the conference helps educate and build hope for the youth.
“Napakaganda ng guiding principle ng conference kasi naeencourage niya ang mga kabataan na gumalaw para sa kaunlaran ng ating bansa (The guiding principle of the conference encourages the youth to contribute to the development of our country.),” Aming said. (Bureau of Public Information)