The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

Youth on fire: VYLH marks four years of advocating health

Written by Joan Mae Barredo*

July 18, 2009. A challenge was accepted.

July 18, 2013. Four years after, the commitment, our commitment, is still on fire. Igniting, better than ever. Young health advocates all over the nation came together as we celebrated the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health or the VYLH-Philippines’s fourth anniversary. Distance was not even a hindrance as VYLH from different clusters—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao—bonded in solidarity as we commemorated our four years of health advocacies, four years of volunteerism, and four years of solid friendship.

“As we celebrate our 4th anniversary in our own unique and creative ways, may it be true to all to light four white candles representing our growth, and fly four VYLH colored balloons, where our wishes are tied,” states VYLH Philippines President Christian Emmanuel Enriquez.

VYLH-Philippines Annual Skype Gathering
 (Photo credits: Ms. Anna Lea Millares RN, inset)

United by the common objective to empower the youth for health and the goal to have a more health-conscious community, youth leaders gathered in each cluster marked VYLH’s four years through simple gatherings, happy chitchats via Skype, and commemorative “selfies” posted on Facebook days before the actual celebration.

Youth Leaders’ says

Christine Querubin, VYLH NCR Vice President enthuses, “friendship is one of the greatest treasures in life and I have gained hundreds of amazing friends because  of VYLH. The best part is that we share the collective desire to become harbingers of change and for four years now, we have become the change we want to see in the world.”

Irish Faith, from VYLH Mindanao, agrees through sturdy statements, “VYLH: good desire, good constituent, strong connection.” Remarkable events and accomplishments have colored the past four vibrant years of VYLH: a youth camp in Tagaytay, another three cluster-wide camps in different areas in the country, two nationwide congresses, among others. Amidst these gatherings, there’s the diverse activities each volunteer conducts in various institutions and communities, carrying VYLH’s three main advocacies: folic acid awareness campaign, newborn screening promotion, and orphan disorders support. This November, VYLH will once again exhibit the magnitude of deed youth can do during the International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities which will be held in Cebu.

We continue to expand and reach more volunteer youth leaders in every corner of the country, all in the name of a more informed and healthy Philippines. And as we embark the next four years and more of our journey, we remain steadfast to the commitment we have made during that rainy day, 18th of July, four years ago.

Related video: Anniversary Greeting from VYLH-Philippines National and Cluster Advisers

*Joan Mae Barredo is the former Coordinator for Advocacy and Development of the Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement (SACSI) Office of Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU). She finished her BS Mass Communications degree in ADZU last 2011. Joan became affiliated to VYLH-Philippines as a representative of her university to the 2010 VYLH-Philippines Mindanao Island-wide Camp.
**Video credits: Christine Querubin and Joan Barredo

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