The Official Publication of Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines

A millennial’s perspective: How to become a true VYL?



Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) Philippines is an initiative made to promote health advocacies that are not necessarily popular to many. Health advocacies such as the importance of newborn screening, public support to children with rare diseases, and folic acid supplementation were introduced and reintroduced to the public for awareness. VYLH is the only youth organization in the Philippines recognized to have supported such advocacies. 

VYLH has been organizing camps since 2009, has produced outstanding results, and has raised dynamic advocates in our country.  In the 2018 camp series of the Visayas cluster, the Negros-Western Visayas camp was the first to be held. And as expected, it helped in shaping the growth and understanding of the fresh young leaders of the advocacies of VYLH. The camp’s goal is not only focused on its organization’s specific activities, but also to the growth and enrichment of the individual volunteers that the organization chose and recruited for its cause.

Young leaders of different interests and fields were gathered in the City of Smiles, Bacolod, last May 18, 2018. Forty-six students from the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros (Occidental and Oriental) enthusiastically answered the call for new volunteers. A specific highlight of this camp and the succeeding camps is the honing of health ambassadors in each volunteer as epitomized by the theme, “HAYAW: Fostering Ambassadors of Health.” Hayaw is the Visayan term for rise or emerge, and this is the official batch name of this year’s new volunteers. 

To become a Volunteer Youth Leader (VYL) for health is definitely an honor and privilege, because not everyone who wants to be one can be one, and not everyone is presented with the opportunity. In order to be a VYL, one must go through screening, submit requirements, or be officially selected by their school or organization. VYLH longs for a partner that is loyal, passionate and dedicated - a lifetime partner that is to say. Once a VY, always a VY since may forever sa VYLH (on the advocacies and family side for that matter). No matter the age, the educational background, and interests, we can always say loud and proud that “I am volunteer youth leader for health”. 



“I am volunteer youth leader for health”. That is what one is expected to say when they finish the camp— young, loud and proud. It’s what anyone who heard about the network would dream of saying. A call for volunteers was given, a lot of dynamic youth leaders heard it, but only a few were chosen to be officially called as a volunteer youth leader for health or a "VY". 

The usual stereotypes definitely didn’t exist in VYLH. The organization may have standards on how they pick their new members but your educational attainment, course and interests won’t matter as long as you are one with the cause of giving the public awareness about the advocacies of the network. It was a collective effort of the VYs from different batches that serves as a strong element in keeping the fire alive up until now. 

The usual joke that circulates around the group is the fact that most VYs are unfortunately single (or so we think). Participants of the said camps were bred to love… the advocacies. Maybe they got their priorities mixed up after that. A life of a millennial VY is now about the advocacies of the organization, and adding hugots to any conversation that they are having.

To sum up, here are four points on how to become a true VY (as placed together by a millennial):

1. A true VY is loyal—loyal to its cause.

2. A true VY knows how to trust in their relationship… with their fellow VYs.

3. A true VY is willing to wait. Wait until all the organization’s advocacies are fulfilled.

4. A true VY is prepared to let go… of the brochures that they are distributing because they know by heart the reason for such activity, and that is to educate the community.#

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Written by Chloei Mae Libatog (Batch Kabilin)
Cebu City

Chloei is a first year BS Biology student at the University of the Philippines Cebu. 

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