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Huge success of the 1st Zamboanga Youth Leaders Parliament


Seventy student leaders from various student councils and high school governments convened for the 1st Zamboanga Youth Leaders Parliament (ZYLP) last February 22-25, 2012 in partnership with the Sangguniang Kabataan, the lead governing body of the youth through Councilor Joana Mas held in various strategic places in the City of Zamboanga.

In the spirit of multi-stakeholder engagement, the initiative to convene Student Leaders from Secondary and Tertiary Schools in Zamboanga City to craft resolutions on Peace, Governance and Development for the Youth of the City of Zamboanga became a reality worth emulating in other parts of Mindanao especially Basilan and Zamboanga Peninsula.

The ZYLP included support from various institutions to include the City Government of Zamboanga, Peace Advocates Zamboanga, Youth Solidarity for Peace, Western Mindanao Command, Ayala National High School, Katilingban Para sa Kalambuan Inc., Department of Interior and Local Government,  Ateneo Peace and Culture Institute-Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology, Barangay Mariki and America Field Service.

The 1st ZYLP is an offshoot of the previously held Alliance of Peace Government last 2008 and Mindanao Youth Peace Forum last 2010. It is the youth led initiatives of Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP), El Consejo Atenista of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Western Mindanao State University- University Student Council, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology Supreme Student Council , American Field Service- ZamBaSulTa Chapter.

The Alliance of Peace Governments and Mindanao Youth Peace Forum and ZYLP, being youth-led initiatives is instrumental in developing programs on peace, development and governance among the in-school youth and student leaders from secondary and tertiary schools in Zamboanga City. Moreover, it strengthens the alliances of student governments of respective secondary schools and colleges, state colleges and universities in collaboration with significant partners and stakeholders coming from the Local Government, Civil Society Organizations, Academe and other Organizations;

The four-day intensive training program for youth leaders in the city commencing February 22-25, 2012 in various strategic places intensifies engagements of the youth in crafting resolutions and policies as well as initiates programs and projects anchored on the three priority themes namely PEACE, DEVELOPMENT and GOVERNANCE;

The objectives includes convening youth leaders capable of influencing social change focused on peace, development and governance as main thrust and initiates sustainable programs; initiating reforms on existing structures that prejudices the creation of an environment for learning and re-learn leadership grounded on the local context in Zamboanga city and strengthening community and school organizations in crafting policies and resolutions that could effectively channel programs to various stakeholders and yearn greater commitment in the spirit of SOLIDARITY.
It covered workshop, activities, plenary discussions, community immersions and presentation of projects, policy papers and resolutions through a panel of stakeholders following parliamentary proceedings, integrate the Bridging leadership Framework highlighting Multi-stakeholders engagements, and develop a YOUTH LEADERS AGENDA highlighting approved policies and resolutions which eventually have forwarded such to concerned institutions for proper actions.

With the goal of crafting resolutions, the youth being exposed to parliamentary procedures  grasps clear understanding of such proceedings beneficial in also strengthening one’s student council and government internal rule of procedures in the long run.  At the end of the ZYLP, the youth enabled to pass various resolutions anchored on the above-mentioned themes and proposes to conduct another ZYLP for the out-of school youth and sustains the initiative through the formation of the Alumni Program for graduates of the ZYLP.

Convening the student leaders served as an opportunity of exposing realities and confronting various societal divides in some areas where interventions were being held through the help of some institutions. The interactions from various stakeholders that serve as community partners gave the youth better realization of how to integrate the concerns into their resolutions.

Positive result and impact of success motivated the youth leaders to implement more programs on Peace, Development and Governance especially involving the youth and further proposes to expand the program with proper coordination of the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education for their endorsement and active support and collaboration.
Commending the 1st Zamboanga Youth Leaders Parliament is one of the best way that we could do in the spirit of solidarity and peace of its success for the implementation of the program.  It had motivated the youth to dream more, act better and moved one’s heart to help fellow youth in the greater scheme of things.

by: Aldrin Bucoy Abdurahim

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