To unify varying advocacies towards a single vision, advocates from different sectors gathered to establish a network of youth advocates last Feb. 1, 2019 at the American Corner.
Trixy Macaraeg, the Davao Hub Young Southeast Asians Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) president, pointed out the rationale of launching Yabong.
“Yabong is the Filipino word for prosperous or progress. Youth Advocated Building Opportunities and Network through Governance (Yabong) Mindanao is a network of youth advocates. Daghan kaayo ug youth orgs diri sa Mindanao. They have diff advocacies all for Mindanao however walay connection between them. With yabong formulate a network with one vision although different advocacies ,” Macaraeg remarked.
The network launch also featured several projects presenting different efforts towards their respective advocacies.
Project Gypseas was a year-long project that benefited the Sama Dilaut or the Badjao Tribe which was eventually turned over to the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
Project Diyesabel, headed by Amiel Lopez, focused on marine conservation while empowering the Badjao community.
“We tested the quality of water there in Magsaysay and shared the results with the community. Also the children with the future educators of the community. I plan to broaden this network and from project Dyesabel, create an organization to encapsulate all the environment project—Davao Youth Environmentalists Sustainable Advocacies Building and Empowering Lives (Dyesabel),” Lopez shared.
Sole Lead Tribal Footwear, a social enterprise founded by Maurice Ondoy, aimed to upcycle the use of waste vehicle tires and incorporate tribal patterns of the Inabal Tribal Textile by the Bagobo-Tagabawa Tribe in Bitaug, Bansalan.
Family Planning Organization of the Philippines Davao Youth Chapter, represented by Dennis Ortencio, shared the advocacies of the organization on reproductive health as the group is the largest organization of the Philippines focused on family planning.
The YMCA also presented their history and thrust during the launching. Some of their projects included volunteers training at Marawi, dinners for a cause, Christmas outreach and Operation Tuli.
Macaraeg further disclosed that the Yabong network had three phases: school caravans, project pitching competition and actualization of the projects.
A Yabong Summit is projected to take place in August 2019 to further build connections among advocacy groups in Mindanao.