Maasin City – To jumpstart a people-centered and participatory style of governance, the Local Government Academy (LGA), together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government – Eastern Visayas is investing in the youth to become empowered agents of nation-building through the Youth Engagement for Sustainability, Welfare, and Empowerment of Communities Across the Nation (YES WE CAN!) program.

The three-day program aims to strengthen the capacities of the youth to be enabled, involved and patriotic citizens to bolster their participation in nation-building. The activity was launched on November 24-26, 2019 in Maasin City, Southern Leyte.

Day 1 kicked-off with a clean-up drive at the coast of Maasin City, followed by a discussion on the role of the youth in nation-building in cooperation with the National Youth Commission (NYC).

Breakout sessions allowed the participants to take on governance topics of their choice on issues such as HIV-AIDS and Teenage Pregnancy; Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict; Illegal Drugs, Alcoholism and Smoking; and Social Media Ethics.

Day 2 of the camp showcased the youth key leadership skills through the team-building exercises. It also helped foster teamwork, social interaction, camaraderie, and resourcefulness.

LGA OIC Assistant Division Chief Elmo L. Dimaano of the Local Governance Training and Development Division discussed the topic on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptability followed by a lecture – exposure on basic first aid and rescue operations.

Day 2 activities concluded with a showcase of talent and solidarity where participants were allowed to artistically express themselves.

On the final day, participants were immersed in the realities of the day-to-day operations of the local government of Maasin by interfacing with local officials. This was done to open up opportunities for the participants to identify services and facilities where they can contribute best upon their return to their respective communities.

Armed with the "Yes We Can!" attitude, participants were able to get through the three-day camp. They bring with them lessons and newfound duties and responsibilities for the country and their communities.

An important aspect of the youth camp was the commitment setting of youth leaders that signifies their willingness to be active agents of nation-building in their respective communities.

The youth leaders vowed to organize their fellow youth to join in the crusade for nation-building and be catalysts of change.

And as they commit and took an oath, one can't help but remember Rizal's words that the youth is truly the hope of this nation.


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