The Habitat Young Leaders Build is a testament to the old saying “no man is an island” as cooperation and camaraderie are instilled while making programs for our adopted communities. However, this entails a fresher perspective on the term teamwork because not only do we provide sustainable solutions to the issues they are dealing with, but we also let them become a collaborator by encouraging them to come up with their own innovative ideas.

In a disaster-prone country like the Philippines, disaster resilience is a critical value that the Filipino youth need to embrace and delve into. That’s why young advocacy mover John Oliver Tablazon prepared a program focused on this value for the people of Sarangani Province.

John’s team, together with five local authorities, conducted a forum on disaster risk reduction management for an approximately 150 citizens, around 100 of which were from the youth sector. The training aimed to capacitate the youth with DRRM knowledge and skills so they could smoothly coordinate with LGU partners and mobilize their fellow youth to lead Emergency Action Plans within their communities.

John’s team believed that the young people now are the realizations of yesterday’s dream. After being trained, the youth now have an essential role to play in planning and executing actions to prevent and mitigate risks and disasters. They also motivated the participants to come up with appropriate policies and an upright system that would eagerly involve the whole community, despite the diversity. This inclusivity could lead to a disaster-resilient community with knowledgeable and reliable volunteers.

The village officials recognized the efforts of the youth and offered them guidance and resources to make their action and development plans possible. The participants also elected their chapter youth organization officials. The training had been instrumental in providing avenues for emerging youth leaders to implement their proposed program and activities.