INFORMATION BLITZ: Paalala sa mga OFW-members ng PhilHealth: Ang PhilHealth membership and contribution ay MANDATORY ayon sa batas kaya magpamiyembro at magbayad ng kontribusyon bago umalis ng bansa. Seguraduhin ang proteksyon ng kalusugan ng iyong sarili at pamilya.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

101 OSYs complete literacy, skills training in Isabela City

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan - One hundred one out-of-school youth (OSY) here have reclaimed the chance of a better life after completing their literacy and skills training last Jan. 13.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Bea Ellaine Quicho of Lower Lanote Barangay of this city, shared her predicaments in pursuing higher education that despite economic hardships, her parents had continued encouraging and supporting her.

“When my parents told me that I can’t proceed to college, it was hard to accept but it was not a surprise for me because I knew it they cannot afford [to support my studies],” she explained. Having five other siblings, she had no choice but to help her parents first.

“I was helpless and it really bothered me. While my former classmates are excited about their coming college life, I was busy helping my parents at home and taking care of my brother with cerebral palsy,” she said.

Quicho said that she could not blame anyone for her status in life. But she felt that she could still do something about her situation, especially when she learned the offer of the Nagdilaab Foundation to provide skills training to OSY.

“I was hesitant at first, but my parents had encouraged me. I felt more comfortable when our life skills were honed and eventually enjoyed it,” she said.

While attending the food processing training and learning cooking skills, Quicho said that her biggest gain was learning how to mingle with other people and develop her self-confidence. She thanked the USAID Mindanao Youth for Development (MYDev) program for this opportunity.

Youth as the hope of the nation

Kevin Corbin, Chief of Party of EDC MYDev affirms the exhortation of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal that “the youth are the hope of the nation and in this part of the country, the hope of Mindanao and the Philippines.”

He noted the role of government agencies and private sectors in making peace, stability, and economic growth a reality in the region by supporting the youths’ aspiration for a better life ahead.

Meanwhile, Robert Burch, Director of the Office of Education, USAID/Philippines-TBC was honored to have visited this city for the third time.

“I feel proud today to be able to stand in front of this group and recognize the accomplishments of the out-of-school youth that they have made through this training program,” he said.

Burch cited the significant presence of young people, as they comprise the majority, which spells the kind of future in store for the world.

“You [the OSYs] are a part of a very important demographic. More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. And the youth today have many opportunities compared to the youths of the past. You have access to the internet. You are the most energetic group that we have in the world. You have new ideas. You have a future ahead of you and you are the future of the Philippines,” Burch said as he also recognized the many difficulties and challenges the youth are also facing today, especially quality education and jobs.

This is why, Burch said, the US and the Philippine governments have looked for ways to provide opportunities to the OSY in Isabela City and other parts of Mindanao to capacitate and provide them with new knowledge and skills with positive attitude to help them find employment and become leaders in the community.

Some 80 OSYs completed the Basic Literacy Program with the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd) and 21 others completed the TESDA course on food processing NC-II.

These OSYs came from the barangays of Small Kapatagan, Tabiawam, Carbon, Diki, and Kapatagan Grande.

Present during the ceremony were the members of the OSY Development Alliance (OSYDA) chaired by Mayor Cherrylyn Santos Akbar together with Paul Mason, Mir Tillah, Jona Cabaguio, and Capt. William Luka US Army of the USAID.