Written by Renz Marione M. Bulseco*
Last July 18, youth volunteers and advocates from different points of the Philippines celebrated the third founding anniversary of the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) Philippines.
And the theme for the third anniversary of VYLH: V3 - Visible. Vigorous. Viral.
Vigorous. The continuous call to exceed previous achievements and undertakings of the network in the promotion of its core advocacies will require the undying energy and charisma of the member Volunteer Youth Leaders (VYLs). On its third anniversary, VYLH-Philippines takes a firm stand on the importance of the youth as catalysts of change and as pillars of nation building through health promotion.
Visible. As a result of the recently concluded Congress, the coverage of VYLs encompasses all of the regions of the country. This translates to the increased visibility of the network at the local and national setting. VYLs also help on the distribution and development of new information, education and campaign materials. At the same time, volunteers continuously engage on networking with other local youth leaders and forging partnership with other government agencies and non-government organizations.
Viral. With the use of the power of social networking and media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, VYLs take a step higher on the accessibility of the advocacy, most especially among the youth. Taking this opportunity, VYLH transforms its advocacies as infectious agents that will unite and mobilize the youth for a healthier nation.
BEFORE THE PARTY
The third founding year of the network has already been planned as early as June. Originally, volunteers will just have a simple Skype simultaneous online conference. As the anniversary date drew closer, the network's PIRO, yours truly, suggested to utilize the social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to propel the network's advocacies to the world using the #vylhPH hashtag. To make it more fun and interactive, Floyd Edrea of VYLH Dumaguete suggested that everyone should participate the "Call Me Maybe" YouTube craze, VYLH edition.
PARTY LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW!
Thanks to modern technology, we instantly felt this passion burning inside our hearts as we simultaneously celebrated our network's third birthday. Once again, camaraderie and unity filled the room as we joyously greeted our co-volunteers in front of our laptops.
Four clusters were during the Skype conference: VYLH NCR/South Luzon, VYLH Mindanao, VYLH Negros Oriental and VYLH Iloilo. The VYLH Mindanao cluster even had their own mini-game!
Everyone had fun, most especially after seeing the VYLH edition of Call Me Maybe.
I have been affiliated to the network for two years already and I must say that I had a memorable journey with VYLH. I have learned a lot of things - from the main advocacies to the value of friendship and the spirit of volunteerism.
Belated happy birthday guys and always keep the fire burning!
___________*Renz Marione Bulseco is the former Vice President for External Affairs of UP Mindanao Biological Society. He finished BS Biology (major in Ecology) in UP Mindanao. Renz became affiliated to the network during the Mindanao Island-wide Camp last July 2010. He now works as a professional blogger and a freelance writer and photographer and he is also currently the Public Information and Relations Officer (PIRO) of VYLH Philippines.