Youth-led relief ops stretch throughout Metro Manila

VOLUNTEERS from different parts of Metro Manila flocked to numerous drop-off centers to volunteer for Tulong Kabataan Volunteer Network, a relief effort launched by Kabataan Partylist and various national youth organizations.

Relief efforts, which include feeding programs, relief goods distribution, medical missions and clean-up drives, have covered various barangays in Metro Manila, particularly those most devastated by the torrential monsoon rains in the past days.

Tulong Kabataan National Coordinator Vencer Crisostomo stressed the need for collective action in times like this. “While many companies and institutions have already called for donations and volunteers for the relief effort, it is still important to actively go out and look for all those who are willing to volunteer and provide an avenue for them to help,” Crisostomo said.

Tulong Kabataan targeted remote barangays in Metro Manila which were not covered by mainstream relief efforts, including areas in Marikina, Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Valenzuela and Cainta. Three days into the relief drive, Tulong Kabataan has already reached over 30,000 flood victims.

The 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, Kabataan Partylist and Anakbayan, is dubbed as the widest youth-led relief effort in the country, with members and chapters mobilizing even in far-flung provinces.

“This is actually more of a grassroots campaign, encouraging all people to take part not just in donations but in gathering donations and generating clamor to serve the people,” Crisostomo said. “We hope to make a bigger impact nationwide and spark greater involvement for people’s issues and lives in general,” he added.

Students in particular have been very active in responding to the call of Tulong Kabataan. Here is a partial list of schools that heeded the call for volunteers and donations:

· -University of the Philippines (Diliman, Manila, Los Banos)
· -Ateneo de Manila
· -Miriam College
· -Adamson University
· -University of the East-Caloocan
· -Far Eastern University
· -Pamantasan ng Montalban
· -Univeristy of Santo Tomas
· -Lyceum of the Philippines University
· -Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila
· -Mapua Institute of Technology
· -De La Salle-College of St. Benilde
· -Makati Science High School
· -Rizal Technological University
· -University of Caloocan City
· -Philippine Women’s University
· -Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute for Science and Technology
· -Ramon Magsaysay High School
· -New Era University
· -Polytechnic University of the Philippines
· -Philippine Nautical Technology College
· -STI College

Even graduates and professionals pledged their time and support for the relief drive, coming after office hours and working late into the night or until early morning. People from Aegies People Support, ABS-CBN, Gerry Roxas Foundation and Philippine General Hospital came to contribute. Youth leaders from the Samahang Opersayong Sagip and the Malabon SK Council also joined the relief efforts.

“Tulong Kabataan is growing every day and will likely be able to reach even the affected provinces. We are still calling for more volunteers, donations and contributions in any way and we are also asking for solidarity within the youth and people to be a part of uplifting people’s lives” Crisostomo said.

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