ILIGAN CITY, Mar. 1 (PIA)--Two youth organizations based in Lanao del Sur province receive in-kind grants worth about $5000 (P240,000) through the Marawi Response Project (MRP) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Plan International.
Each grant package consists of many in-kind commodities that will help youth organizations pursue and launch their project proposals.
The two grantees are Sindao based in the municipality of Lumba-Bayabao and Young Professionals from Marantao.
Sindao group aims to provide safe spaces for women and children and respond to challenges through social structures, including schools and communities, to move and bridge people to a culture of peace.
Jehan Alongan, a representative of Sindao, shared that during the YOUth Innovation Summit held on March 2020, their group planned to conduct a mobile peace education campaign in remote areas but was not pushed through because of the pandemic. Their group instead obtained a learning hub in Barangay Bacolod II in their municipality.
"We want to instill peace sa mga kabataan [to the youth]. We do believe na ang peace education mas effective kung i-instill [that it is more effective to instill peace education] at the very young age," said Alongan.
The grant from Plan and USAID provided them equipment such as a sound system needed for their learning hub. With their safe space, they also facilitate tutorials to kids to help them understand their modular lessons.
Jerhan Dagalangit, also a member of Sindao, shared their group's motivation despite the challenges they faced.
"Napakahirap at the same time napaka-challenging ang pinagdaanan ng Sindao. Kasi ito yung project na kailangan talaga ng mahabang pasensya. Ito ang project na walang hiningi na kapalit, mapagod ka man o masaktan," said Dagalangit.
[The path that Sindao experienced was difficult at the same time challenging. Because this is the kind of project that needs patience. This project does not seek something in return, whether you get tired or get hurt.]
Meanwhile, the Young Professionals group pursues their passion in preserving Maranao culture through promoting delicacies. The group also seeks to provide employment opportunities and income to elderly and out-of-school youth.
"We want to give livelihood to senior citizens na talagang sila ang master na gumawa [who have mastery skills]. We also want to help those out-of-school youth in our community para atleast mabigyan ng opportunity ng livelihood na imbes tumambay sila ay may magagawa sila para makahelp sa [so that they will be given with livelihood opportunity so that instead of not doing anything they can do something to help the] community," said Norfaidah Mangotara.
Mangotara also shared that they aim to enhance the packaging of their products so that they can promote it nationally and globally.
Maya Devero of Plan International shared that MRP embraces positive youth development."We see youth as an asset that can be trained to become agents of change, to be able to positively contribute or give back to the community and create an enabling environment where they feel included and can engage creatively and collaboratively," said Devero.
Under this program, the youth underwent technical and life skills training, engaged in community-based enterprises and social, civic activities that would have an impact on their communities.
Of the 21 youth groups, 10 already received in-kind grants, five of them were trained in technical skills, two of them are set to undergo training in March, while one group received starter kits from the Department of Trade and Industry to establish their home-based bakeshop. Other grants are still in the pipeline.
The awarding of these grants took place during the culmination program of the Arts Month celebration in Robinsons Place Iligan. (LELA / PIA ICIC)