Solon calls on youth to volunteer in relief efforts

IN celebration of the International Youth Day, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino called on the youth to show the spirit of volunteerism by actively participating in various relief efforts organized in the light of recent floods brought by the monsoon rains.

“In these trying times, it is the youth’s duty to actively serve the country in all ways possible. Let us show what impact the youth can make when we act together,” Palatino said.

The youth solon encouraged the youth to participate in ongoing relief efforts, particularly in activities being held by Tulong Kabataan, a volunteer network formed by national youth organizations including the National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement, and Anakbayan.

Tulong Kabataan is dubbed as the widest youth-led relief effort in the country, with over 5,000 members composed of students, young professionals and out-of-school youth, mobilizing in almost all parts of the Philippines.

Since Thursday, the volunteer network has launched dozens of relief efforts, including relief goods distribution, feeding programs, medical missions, and clean-up drives for flood victims in various barangays in Metro Manila. Three days into the relief drive, Tulong Kabataan has already reached over 30,000 flood victims.

“The challenge for the youth is to transcend individualism and show what collective action can do to make a difference,” Palatino said. “Imagine what great difference 20 million Filipino youth can make if all of us heed the call to volunteer,” he added.

Tulong Kabataan is set to continue its relief operations today, with feeding programs in several barangays and clean-up drives in schools and communities. The volunteer network is also set to distribute school supplies to students devastated by the flood and offer “art therapies” for children traumatized by the torrential rains.

“At the heart of celebrating International Youth Day is affirming the relevance of the youth in society. Let us do so by actively participating in efforts to rebuild our countrymen’s lives after the past disasters,” Palatino said.

In 1999, the United Nations (UN) declared August 12 of every year as International Youth Day, an awareness day designated to draw attention to worldwide youth issues. “Young people today face pressing global challenges such as high levels of unemployment, vulnerable working conditions and marginalization from decision making processes,” the UN stated.

Palatino said that the theme of the 2012 International Youth Day, “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth,” reflects how valuable the youth’s contribution is to society, both on the economic and political scene.

“Without the youth, the world will lose everything – the dreams of the past, the aspirations of today, and the hope of tomorrow. As such, the youth should take active and concrete roles to ensure that our country will progress towards a future where development is inclusive and the rights and welfare of everyone is respected and safeguarded,” Palatino said.

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