Friday, May 02, 2014

A leap forward: VYLH-Philippines ventures in CAR

Written by Jonah Chaangan
Baguio City, Batch E4

Baguio and Benguet universities sent their delegates for the Baguio City leg of the VYLH-Philippines
North Luzon Cluster Orientation CARavan.
Ready to champion awareness and empowerment, the Volunteer Youth Leader for Health (VYLH)-Philippines North Luzon Cluster recently launched its Youth Leaders’ Orientation Caravan in the Cordillera Administrative Region. After visiting Abra, Benguet, and Apayao early this year, the group still looks forward to continuing the trail to the rest of the region.  

Youth Leaders' Orientation held in Luna, Apayao
The orientation caravan organized by CAR's Center for Health Development (DOH CHD-CAR) aims to increase the participation of the region in VYLH Philippines’s proactive campaign for maternal and child health. A total of 118 youth leaders representing Abra, Benguet, and Apayao joined hands to look into issues concerning Folic Acid Awareness, Newborn Screening, and Orphan Disorders and pledged to be part of the VYLH-Philippines family. Other than being a milestone in creating discourse on VYLH’s core advocacies, the orientation served as an avenue to encourage youth participants to channel their effort in worthwhile causes.

Patterned from previous experiences, the orientation comprised a series of discussions on volunteerism and VYLH membership, child and maternal health campaigns, and action planning. Lectures were coupled with interactive activities ensuring interactions among the participants. Necessary information and insights regarding VYLH-Philippines and its advocacies were provided by the invited speakers namely Aster Lynn Sur, RN of the Institute of Human Genetics-National Institutes of Health (IHG-NIH), UP Manila; Francia Bartolata, Ryan Pascual, Rufus Adducul, and Edbert Jasper Jover, RN of VYLH-Philippines NCR-South Luzon; and VYLH-Philippines North Luzon Cluster Secretariat Roland Alcantara, RN of Newborn Screening Center – Central Luzon (NSC-CL). Baguio City youth leaders Crissa Sikki (Saint Louis University), Safrone Dicam (Benguet State University), Jonah Chaangan (UP Baguio), Keith Dakimas, and Sheema (University of Baguio) assisted the group.

Youth Leaders Orientation held in Bangued, Abra

Youth leaders were also asked to develop their own action plans for their respective schools and communities.  This planning session addresses the question “what can I do to advocate as a youth?” Thorough review and consolidation of these plans are still ongoing, as these plans can contribute to the overall health campaign in the region, and the country.




The advocacy trail started in Abra last March 31, 2014, followed by a recent visit in Baguio City and Apayao on April 14 and 22 respectively. Over 46 youth participants were oriented in Abra, 26 in Baguio, and 46 in Apayao. They will be listed as affiliated volunteer youth leaders (VYLs) along with 19 Baguio City student leaders who joined VYLH-Philippines in October 2013.


The recent success of the caravan was made possible through the collaboration of the DOH CHD-CAR, IHG-NIH, NSC-Central Luzon, VYLH-Philippines NCR-South Luzon volunteers, and Baguio City Youth leaders. Regional NBS Program Manager Dr. Virginia Narcisio and NBS Nurse Coordinator Joyce Rillorta represented CHD-CAR.


Acknowledgements VYLH-Philippines would like to thank the Center for Health Development - CAR, the Provincial Capitol of Abra, and the Municipality of Luna, Apayao for hosting the orientation of new volunteer youth leaders. Agyamanak unay! 

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Mr. Jonah Chaangan is a senior BA Communication student at the University of the Philippines Baguio. He joined the network in April 2014 and was listed as member of the batch E4 (Educate, Empower, Engage, Experience). 

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