The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

VYLH-Philippines, UNILAB Foundation hold iStorya for NCR youth

MANILA – Last October 15, 2016, UNILAB Foundation together with Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines hosted the National Capital Region-leg of ISTORYA: Stories of Youth in Action at the National Institutes of Health Conference Room, UP Manila. The event open to youth age 18-30 years old was participated by students and representatives of organizations from UP Manila and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). Representatives of various College-Y Clubs also attended the event as part of the YMCA-Manila delegation.

iStorya-NCR Parctipants sport the "Istorya Pose" together with the organizing team from
VYLH-Philippines and Ideas Positive. (Photo: Ideas Positive/UNILAB Foundation)
As envisioned by the UNILAB Foundation, iStorya is a platform and youth-led conversation where Filipino youth leaders can come together and exchange innovative ideas on how to solve different public health issue in their community. 

The said activity also aims to increase participation to Ideas Positive, a nationwide youth program of the same foundation that enables youth leaders to implement their ideas in their selected community. In the contest, teams with the best ideas will undergo mentoring at the Ideas Positive Boot Camp and receive up to 100,000 pesos seed money for their projects. 

Talks from Youth Organizations and their projects: MUbility (Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity, UP College of Medicine)
and K4Health Community Youth Training Program (VYLH Philippines/The UPLB Genetics Society)

For the event, VYLH-Philippines invited Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity to give a talk on one of their on-going projects. The organization which is known to be the first fraternity in UP College of Medicine and the Asian region is a Gawad Chanselor Hall of Famer and 2016 Most Outstanding Student Organization in UP Manila. In his talk, Angelo Rafael Cruz presented the Mu Sigma Phi's 10-year program MUbility which included a series of activities directed to the health and wellness of differently-abled Filipinos. He also shared the process of conceiving the project as one of the service arms of the fraternity.

The Mu Sigma Phi session was followed with a presentation on VYLH-Philippines and its advocacies by Immediate Past National President Ryan Pascual. Pascual talked about the inception of VYLH-Philippines and gave a preview on the progress and activities of the network. He also gave an overview of the K4Health community youth training program, a program recently launched by the network in partnership with The UPLB Genetics Society in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija. Recently, VYLH-Philippines was recognized by YouthLeadGlobal as a top model youth leadership program, while the K4Health program qualified to the National Finals of the 14th search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organization or TAYO Awards which will culminate in 2017. 

Aside from the talks from youth organizations, iStorya also featured a youth conversation where participants had the opportunity to exchange concerns and positive ideas on solving existing health issues. 

Ideas Positive Program Manager Dr. Christian Gomez (left)
and Team Sinag member Chelsea Fandinola (right)
Also included in the program is a brief introduction of Ideas Positive by Ideas Positive Program Manager Dr. Christian Gomez, and a workshop on making the Ideas Positive proposal. During the workshop, participants were encouraged to write down their positive ideas addressing a specific health concern in their target community. It is expected that the output of the participants during the workshop can be further refined and submitted as an entry to the competition. 

After the workshop, UP College of Medicine student and Ideas Positive alumnus Chelsea Fandinola shared their team’s experience as an Ideas Positive finalist. Fandinola was a member of Team Sinag which pioneered “Oplan Tacayan”, a public health intervention program designed to eliminate filariasis for a community of Panay Bukidnon indigenous people in Barangay Tacayan, Tapaz, Capiz. Team Sinag won the third place at the 2016 edition of the contest. The team was composed of UP Manila medicine and UP Visayas undergraduate students.

The half-day program concluded with the closing remarks given by Ms. Aster Lynn Sur, the National Secretariat of VYLH-Philippines. Ms. Sur noted that the desire to bring change, especially for heath, is the special reason uniting the event’s organizers and participants. 

VYLH-Philippines National Secretariat Ms. Aster Lynn Sur

In addition to iStorya-NCR, other Ideas Positive promotional events were held in Manila. On the same day of iStorya youth forum, former Ideas Positive Alumni Community President Roy Dahildahil shared the mission of building a healthier Philippines through Ideas Positive in a gathering of Rotaractors in Paco, Manila. This was followed by the promotional talk by Dr. Christian Gomez at Perspectives 2016, the UP Manila Mental Health Forum. 

Ideas Positive also collaborated with other youth organizations and their alumni community in holding iStorya sessions in Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Palawan, Camarines Norte, Cebu, Capiz, Leyte, Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, and Basilan.#

For more details about Ideas Positive, visit the program's website and Facebook page.

Written by Ryan John Pascual
VYLH-Philippines would like to extend its sincere gratitude to UNILAB Foundation, particularly Ideas Positive, for the opportunity to host Istorya-NCR. The network would also like to thank the Institute of Human Genetics and the National Institutes of Health, UP Manila for approving our request to use the NIH conference rooms.
Ryan Pascual (@rypascual) is a BS Biology major in Plant Biology graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (2010) and an MS student at UP Diliman. He is a proud member of The UPLB Genetics Society where he served as Education Committee Head (2008-09) and Folic Acid Campaign Committee Head (2009-10). He is also the first National President of VYLH-Philippines (2011-12). 


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