NEVER TOO YOUNG TO LEAD

by Rex M. Dayao

 

I was on my way home one night of October 2016 when the jeepney that I am riding suddenly stopped. Three men had been shot dead. They, according the police, were drug users and pushers.

Drug users and pushers are considered the main culprits for crimes and illegal acts in the Philippines. While a part of me was at peace knowing that there were three less criminals in my community, I cannot help but worry about the lives that were lost because of not being given the opportunity to change, or perhaps given another option.

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YLEAD participants had to cross the “Spider Web” without touching the wires. Once a teammate touches the wire all of them have to repeat the process.

Our passionate President, Rodrigo Duterte launched a “war on drugs” with the fear of our country being a narcotic state. Since the launch, at least a million of Filipinos, majority are youth, have surrendered and are now being rehabilitated through a multi-sectoral approach.

More than 30 million Filipinos are in the age of 15-35. At least 20 million were not able to finish schooling and have limited access for jobs, or have no jobs at all. The lack of options gives these youth the ample time to engage on vices, gang wars or drug abuse.

This is the rationale that inspired Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc (KKFI) to develop a program that provides opportunities for the youth to learn about leadership, education, advocacy and development.

Youth, Lead and Advocate for Development (YLEAD) is a program that enables the youth to be a catalyst of change in their respective communities.

YLEAD was launched in September 2015 and was attended by 75 young leaders from communities in Manila and Bulacan. The seven groups were able to implement projects in their respective communities, to address challenges in education, economic and environmental concerns. It is good to note that majority of our Alternative Learning System passers undergo the YLEAD training, thus making the training relevant in shaping young leaders.

On its second year, the program team identified seven mentors composed of KKFI staff and Global Mission Fellows. To aid in facilitating the YLEAD Camp, 22 young facilitators applied and were competently trained to assist the mentors and co-participants.

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Barangay  Tibag group plans for their YLEAD project

Last October 25-28, 2016, 85 young leaders gathered at Gilead Training Center in Pulilan, Bulacan to learn more about themselves, their peers and their respective communities.

Ms. Nancy C. Nicolas, KKFI Executive Director opened the training by relaying her story of leadership. She said that her mother exposed her to national trainings provided by the United Methodist Church. Said experience propelled her to be the National President of United Methodist Youth Fellowship of the Philippines (UMYFP).

She told young leaders to never stop initiating change and believe in themselves amidst challenges.

The training was highlighted with the seven core groups presenting their community projects which aimed to provide people in their communities the knowledge and services they need to have a better life.

Axel Supleto, one of the participants said, “YLEAD is life-changing. I am thankful that I was able to attend. I was able to know myself better and I have the opportunity to do something for my community.”

While many fall victim of drugs and lack of opportunities, KKFI tries to find ways to create options out of challenges. YLEAD is a program that unleashes the power of the youth to be involved and prove to everyone that they are never too young to lead.

UNILAB: A PARTNER IN SERVICE

by: Nitz E. Nicolas

“We believe we cannot do everything without partners.”

These were the words expressed by Mr. Joey Ochave, EVP-Development Group, during the appreciation lunch for partners of UNILAB, a leading pharmaceutical company in Asia.  The theme is, “Isang Taos-Pusong Pasasalamat sa Ating Samahan at Sama-samang Paglilingkod sa Bayan.”  The ceremony was held at UNILAB’s  Bayanihan’s  Center last February 14, 2017 in Pasig City.

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KKFI Executive Director, Nancy Nicolas, was featured in the video presentation during the appreciation lunch.

According to Mr. Ochave, the celebration was UNILAB’s way of saying thank you to everyone especially its partners.  Partnership are a testament and an affirmation that through the Bayanihan spirit, UNILAB and its partner NGOs, LGUs, CSOs and other related organizations would work together for the common good of all.

“Husay at Malasakit,” UNILAB’S motto would continue to “inspire us as one family to help change the world which has become cruel and forgetting kindness.”

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The author, Nitz Nicolas offers KKFI products to guests and employees

He challenged all institutions and organizations which were present to network with each other; to talk and find commonalities and areas for collaboration; and maybe through this collaboration, we could achieve a better world for the future generation of our nation.

UNILAB’s vision is to promote a culture whose work ethic revolves around family and community, cooperation and sharing.

During the celebration,  Mr. Ochave thanked all UNILAB’s partners including Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. , which was represented by Mrs. Christian Love Daroy-Gagno, Program Director and Ms. Juanita Nicolas, Admin and Resource Director.

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LIlia Bejer, Livelihood Coordinator was also featured in the video.

KKFI exhibited its products at UNILAB’s X-Quadrant, the venue for introducing UNILAB’s new products. KKFI is one of UNILAB’s valued social partners in promoting economic empowerment in marginalized communities in Quezon City.

A video featuring the interview with Ms. Nancy C. Nicolas, KKFI Executive Director, and Ms. Lilia Bejer, KKFI Livelihood Coordinator was also shown during the event.

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE

By Glenda Gutierrez

“I always wanted to be a teacher; it was my childhood dream,” Marjorie Seda, 21, confessed.

Marjorie knew how important education is in achieving one’s dream. But then, she got pregnant when she was just 16 years old. She had to stop schooling and married her boyfriend. They now have two sons, aged 6 and 3.

Her condition in life drastically changed, but not her dream. Little did she know that the opportunity to finish her high school was just around the corner.

“When I learned about the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), I immediately grabbed the chance,” Marjorie narrated. “I was one of the members of first batch in 2014.”

It was Teacher Lovely Joie Orgado, an Instructional Manager, who promoted the ALS Program of KKFI in Navotas City, where Marjorie resides. When she learned about it, she excitedly enrolled with high hopes.

However, there was not straight road to success. In fact, it was extra-long and extra-winding for a young mother like Marjorie.

“I almost gave up,” she said. “I was a bit embarrassed because I had to bring my two sons to ALS classes.” Her children slept while classes were ongoing.

But her desire to offer a better life to her family prevailed. She knew that education is the key to a better future. Inspired by her sons and husband, Marjorie struggled on.

“I failed on my first attempt so I studied harder,” continued Marjorie.

She was determined to pass the Accreditation and Equivalency (A & E) examination of the Department of Education. She borrowed modules since she could no longer attend classes when they moved to Malolos, Bulacan. She read and practiced writing essays at home.

She and her husband were overjoyed when she passed. She had to set her dreams aside however, to work in abroad as a domestic helper. She flew to Saudi Arabia a few weeks after learning she passed the A&E exam so she was not able to attend KKFI’s 66th Founding Anniversary celebration, where a graduation ceremony was conducted by KKFI for the new batch of passers.

She was unlucky, however, with her employer so she came back to the Philippines in October 2016. She is now looking for a scholarship grant so she could pursue her dream of being a teacher. Her back up plan is to take a course in welding or tailoring in Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Indeed, the pathway to success may involve crossroads. We need to choose and go on. That’s life.

Success is Kind to Those Who Persevere

Success is Kind to Those Who Persevere

By Glenda B. Gutierrez

 

The reason why Lilibeth Eliver, 38, decided to pursue high school diploma was she wants “the best for my family. She said she wants to help her husband earn money so her children can enjoy the best they, the parents, can offer.

Lilibeth is the wife of Vicente “Vincent” Eliver, a social worker of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) who is in-charge of the organization’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program. Vincent knew the value of education and that of ALS as another route in achieving one’s aspirations. Hence, he encouraged her to pursue her dreams and the journey starts with ALS.

But the destination did not come easily nor immediately to Lilibeth. Nothing did. Lilibeth hails from Lucena, Quezon. The youngest in a brood of eight, she had to stop schooling because her parents could not afford it. So she looked for a job to help augment her family’s income. She worked as a secretary to a photo printing company. She gained the skills in photo printing and was promoted as printer.

She was in the first level of high school but was able to pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) of the Department of Education to qualify for third level of high school.

In 1997, she met Vincent, fell in love, lived together and had four girls. Their eldest was born deaf, a   challenge they hurdled by learning sign language by observing their daughter’s class.

Lilibeth enrolled in the Massage Therapy training of KKFI and graduated in October 2013. She became a certified massage therapist when she received a National Certificate II (NCII) from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The next year, she set her eyes on finishing her high school studies and enrolled in the ALS Program. She came upon another bump on the road when she failed to pass the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) examination in 2015.  However, she was unfazed. She pursued and dedicated whatever free time she had in studying her lessons.

She borrowed and read the modules at home. She took the essay portion of the exam seriously and practiced at every opportunity.

Indeed, perseverance and dedication are the key to success. Lilibeth was able to pass the A&E exam on her second try. She was among the 23 who successfully passed in July 2016 who were honored by KKFI on its 66thFounding Anniversary.