Davao City - Most Outstanding Chapter Youth Council
by MICHAEL M. ESGUERRA,
Neighbors Helping Neighors International Youth Representative
For the third time, the Chapter Youth Council of the Davao City Chapter has retained the title as it has been chosen by the Red Cross Youth-Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) as the country's Most Outstanding Chapter Youth Council of 2008.
The search was conducted with the objective of providing national recognition among young people who have made a difference in providing service to and advocating for the vulnerable people in the community. The youth council that had made a great impact in the society was given due recognition so that what it had done can be adopted in the national level.
Mr. Paul Gwyn Pagaran, Director of the Administrative Office of the PNRC, head the judges, which was also composed of Ms. Catherine Martin, Manager of the Disaster Management Services; Ms. Zenaida Bentejan, Manager of Social Services; Ms. Audrey Zubiri, wife of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri; and Ms. Maan, Operations Manager of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The judges evaluated the six finalists. Among the general criteria were impact of the different projects to the community, participation of the youth, innovativeness and technology used, promotion of the Red Cross principles and services and promotion of the Red Cross Youth objectives.
Among the finalists, Davao City Youth Council emerged as the winner. Other finalists were from Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Manila, Rizal, and Isabela.
The Red Cross Youth Council in Davao City sent its three significant activities that made an impact in the community. The first one was the Pledge 25 College and University Blood Collecting Units which aimed to institutionalize the Pledge 25 Project in Davao City's tertiary educational institution. Its vision was to maintain sufficient blood supply in the city.
Pledge 25 is a young blood donor group of the Red Cross Youth that aims to encourage young people to regularly donate their blood starting the age 18 until they reach the age 25.
Another one was Project One for Tree ng RCY, an established partnership with People Collaborating for Environmental Economic Management in Davao (PCEEM Davao) Foundation Inc. and NCCC Cares Foundation Inc. They project adopted 20 hectares of land in Upper Tamayong, Marilog District, which is part of the Talomo-Lipadas Watershed, a highly threatened watershed in the city.
Its aim was to extend the tree planting activities of the Red Cross Youth in the barangay level and to establish preventive/mitigating measures against future severe flooding at the low lying and and landslide/soil erosion-prone areas in the hinterlands through tree planting. Aside from tree plants, the barangay community was also educated on the importance of trees and reforestation by the participating RCYs.
The third one was the technical team that composed of four independent units equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills on technical service promotions and output delivery. The four groups were divided into the Editorial Board (VITAL LINK) – official publication/newsletter, Fund Generation and Promotions which was the creation of various income generating projects, Production Unit – produce Audio-Visual Presentations and MIS which the systematic databank of RCY members.
Red Cross Youth is the youth program of the Philippine National Red Cross. Its mission is to educate children and youth in the spirit of Red Cross and provide opportunities for directing and harnessing their energy and idealism into worthwhile activities within the framework of the organization. Objectives of the RCY were Advocacy and Inculcation of Moral Values and character Building, Protection of Life and Promotion of Community Health, Service and Solidarity National / International Friendship, Understanding and Education for Peace and Dissemination of Red Cross Principles and International Humanitarian Law.
For two consecutive years – 2006 and 2007 – the Davao City bagged the coveted title making them now part in the Hall of Fame awardees on outstanding youth mobilization. ###