PYAP Davao, K4
There’s much I have to say about my experiences to the Third National Leadership Congress of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health Philippines, but first THANK YOU.
Thank you to Dr. Conchita (Tita Conch) Abarquez for inviting me to be a part of the 3rd Congress. Thank you to the entire Newborn Screening Center – Mindanao for believing in my capacity to do volunteerism in our advocacy. The sheer logistics of getting us all from one place to another, and with all the materials we needed such as the brochures, posters and others including moral and spiritual supports. Thank you to my co-delegates in Mindanao; Shane, Ram, Aple, Sassy, Khen, Jash, Kuya Anthon, Zaldy, Kat, Mark and Robin who were willing to get in a plane or car and travel great distances to hear what I have to say and see how I work with rare orphan disorders in the community. I really felt their warm welcome and was able to communicate and relate with one another as we share the same goals in achieving our advocacy. They were not only open-minded people, but were also able to resist as necessary with their incisive questions in order to improve our efforts. An added bonus was the one of a kind experience having been in the country’s famous hotels and dined in first class restaurants especially the Shangri-La Hotel and Spa. It was an amazing experience to be with you all.
As the congress went by, I really felt the presence of the almighty God, amidst the ranging surge brought by super typhoon Yolanda and damaging the island’s natural beauty. He provided us the safer place to stay upon and brought us warmth and comfort through our Tito’s and Tita’s. After what had happened, I really believed that our prayer is more powerful than any other tool, its water proof and cannot be overpowered.
|VYLH-Mindanao volunteers together with Dr. Conchita Abarques|
Finally, on the last day some of the VYLH delegates went home. Thanks to the March of Dimes and Institute of Human Genetics for choosing me as one of the Philippine Delegates for the International Conference of Birth Defects and Disability in the Developing World on the same venue. The conference theme was Embedding Birth Defects in the Continuum of Care on November 10-13, 2013. I had a wonderful experience meeting foreign delegates from other countries and the Global Networks of Newborn Screening Centers, attending workshops with wholly calibrated speakers. Of course, I have had met different medical professionals including the infamous father of Birth Defect Surveillance, Prof. Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo. I was also able to befriend with Dr. Sely Akbar from Indonesia, who have been closest to me for the entire conference.
I felt a lot of heart and overwhelming compassion in the said event; And so, in behalf of the City Government of Davao and the Office of the Department Head II of City Social Services and Development Office, Thank you so much for the loaded experience and surely we will continue to advocate “Kabataang Dabawenyo, Kabataang Pinoy!”. Maraming Salamat Po!
Jeb Saludar is currently employed as a Technical Staff at the City Social Services and Development Office of the City Government of Davao. He is also one of the Regional Lead Conveners of the 10th National Youth Parliament and the current Secretary-General of PAG-ASA Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) in Davao City. Jeb became affiliated to the network during the Mindanao Island-wide Youth Camp held in 2010.