Last July 13-18, Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines celebrated its 6th Founding Anniversary. The network held various social media activities: "Heart of a Volunteer Monday", "Advocacy Tuesday", "Jumpshot Wednesday", Dubsmash Thursday", "Fansign Friday" and "Skype Dinner Saturday". The Skype “Pasasalamat” Dinner is an annual dinner-celebration held in key cities such Manila, Cebu and Davao which are connected through Skype.
|How to join #DubsmashForACause|
Dubsmash is a free video messaging application for smart phones. The application allows users to choose an audio recording and record a video of themselves dubbing the chosen piece. Volunteers were invited to use the popular app Dubsmash and post their videos through their social media accounts with the hashtags #DubsmashThursday, #DubsmashForACause and #TatakVYLH.
Since 2009, VYLH-Philippines has used social media and the internet in connecting the network and its volunteers. Every year, the network innovates and adapts to popular trends among social media users. This year's activity is an example on how a popular app can be used not only for entertainment, but also in the service of the advocacy.
Founded on July 18, 2009, VYLH-Philippines is the result of the collaboration between the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG)-NIH, UP Manila, the Department of Health and The UPLB Genetics Society, a student organization from UP Los Baños. VYLH-Philippines is a network of youth leaders and youth organizations based in schools and communities throughout the country that will champion in increasing public awareness on existing health programs and on the significance of a healthy lifestyle at an early age.
Through the years, the network has conducted national leadership congresses, regional and island-wide youth camps, and youth leader orientations. As of present, VYLH-Philippines has trained more than 500 volunteer youth leaders representing more than 170 youth organizations nationwide. They conduct year-round health promotion and advocacy projects directed towards the promotion of folic acid supplementation, prematurity awareness and newborn screening. The network is also in the forefront of gathering public support for the passage of the Rare Disease Act, an act addressing the needs of Filipino rare disease patients.(RPascual)
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