Open Heart’s Catarman Youth participates in the Municipal Youth Camp 2019

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Six youth beneficiaries of the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. in Catarman, Northern Samar participated in the recently conducted Municipal Youth Camp 2019 of LGU Catarman. Sharing you is the short write-up made by Mr. Jhan Jhan Balleta, 1st year BS Information Technology student from University of Eastern Philippines.

The Catarman Municipal Youth Camp 2019 theme is “Empowering the Youth in the pursuit of Development in the Municipality of Catarman, Northern Samar.” It was a two-day activity held at the Catarman Covered Court on October 24-25, 2019. The event centered on the participation of the youth from different villages or barangay and the SK or Sangguniang Kabataan in the municipality of Catarman. Our group, the Open Heart Foundation (OHF) youth was one of the invited youth organization, through our volunteer coordinator, Ms. Irmina Delorino of the MSWD Office.

It started at 8:00 in the morning with the registration of the participants, a prayer and singing of the national anthem. Ms. Irmina Delorino gave her opening remarks while Hon. Francisco Rosales Jr. gave an inspirational message. Introduced to the participants were the AFP Northern Samar brigade who expressed their support to the youth development program of the municipality. The army group is consist of different profession and high rank officials. The first topic was an Orientation on Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction given by the MDRRMO (Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office). We learned the different types of hazard, warning signal and how it works, and some tips and ways to be prepared in terms of emergency. Also discussed are the roles of the youth in environmental protection.

There was also the Gallery of Services for the Youth. Spearheaded by the MSWDO (Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office) and different agencies and organizations life PLAN International, PNP, DOLE, TESDA, MSWDO, PESO, MHO, MDRRMO and many others. It showed the mission, vision and objectives of each organization, their services and how youth can access it. In the afternoon, we played some games. The day’s activity ended by a candle lightning ritual headed by the Catholic bishop, where I was really overwhelmed.

The second day started with socialization during breakfast. Then, there was a talk on HIV/AIDs, its effects and how to prevent it. The speaker who was a doctor from Catarman Hospital, also shared about emerging issues on HIV in Catarman. In the afternoon, the speaker who was a police official gave a brief orientation on “Kabataan Kontra sa Droga at Terorismo’ Program. He talked about drugs and what NPA and the communist party are. Also, the challenges of the municipal police station about the criminalities in our municipality, the involvement of the youth in various crimes and delinquency. Other topics discussed are current issues that concerns the youth, like ALS education for out-of-school youth, teenage pregnancy, and some tips on a healthy and productive living. The program ended with the distribution of Certificates.

I gained new information and knowledge that I know I must not keep to myself alone but share to other youth like me. Also, disseminating the awareness to the youth and encouraging them to be involve in our community. The activity taught us how to be leaders and how we can create more leaders. The speakers shared the different aspects on how youth can be the agent of change, success and development in the community and society as a whole. It was a fruitful event that moved my heart to be the change agent in our own municipality.

Article prepared by Janette Corollo, RSW

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