The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

VYLH CARAGA holds 2nd Regional Camp, welcomes Batch Hiraya

Written by Shane Paul Baula

As part of its expansion, the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) Philippines–CARAGA Region, in cooperation with Department of Health (DOH)–CARAGA Regional Office Caraga, City Health Office of Butuan, and Newborn Screening Center (NSC)–Mindanao, organized a youth camp to increase awareness on health issues at Veranda Beach Resort, Carmen, Agusan del Norte, on October 15-16, 2015.

The camp, which is on its second year, also welcomed Batch Hiraya, the new set of VYLH volunteers composed of 28 participants from different organizations in the community and academe. Hiraya is a Filipino word for dream, imagination, or vision. The camp also hosted the Peer Educators Training and Workshop organized by the City Health Office of Butuan and DOH-CARAGA.

This year’s activity highlighted the history of VYLH, youth empowerment, and the roles of volunteers in advocating health issues. The current situation of the newborn screening program in CARAGA and how the new volunteers can achieve VYLH’s advocacies were also presented. There were also lectures on newborn screening,expanded newborn screening, folic acid and rare disorders.
During the camp, Batch Hiraya prepared its action plans and presented it to the facilitators. On the night of the second day, the new volunteers went through a commitment ritual where they lit floating candles at the beach, followed by cultural presentations. 

Overall, the camp was a colorful and productive experience for the new members of the VYLH family. Despite hailing from different walks of life and having diverse insights, the new volunteers would become catalysts of change and actors of the network’s vision.

VYLH-Philippines CARAGA  hosted the first VYLH-Philippines Regional Camp on October 2011. SPBaula

This article was also published in the September-October 2015 Issue of Newborn Screening, the official newsletter of the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC)-NIH, UP Manila. To download a copy. visit

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