Youth: The Catalyst of Change
"The world I want is a kind of world that’s full of hope. I want the world to give every child a chance to a free education coming from an efficient and responsive government. A world that does not condemn less-educated people but rather gives them better job opportunities. A world that provides a healthy venue for the youth to express what they feel and children being taken care of, not harmed or neglected. Lastly, I want a God-fearing world that embodies all kinds of kindness I know of." I remember this part of the article I have made three years ago, its entitled ‘The World I Want’. After reading it again, I came to a realization that those wishes for the whole world could also be my wishes for my own community.
There is always a time for me to wake up before crowing of the rooster because a baby’s crying, son of a young mom. At first, I was thinking it is normal but when the time goes by, a one cry becomes more and more, just like the first one, the mother of those toddlers are all teenagers. Some of those girls did not finish schooling, runaway to their families, but some of them saying they just fall in love as early as their age because it is timely nowadays.
One late night when I am about to reach our house, I've seen people talking about a girl who was crying with her child on her hands. I asked those people what happened and why they just watching, then they said the stomach of this young girl is aching, then I asked again if where is her husband, then someone replied to me that made me mad “Her husband is sleeping, he is drunk, I saw a while ago he’s punching this girl.” Without thinking twice I called our Barangay hall to ask for an ambulance and for people from BCPC (Barangay Council for the Protection of Children) to talk to this girl’s husband. However, this story was not just the first story that I have encountered on how some men abuse his children and wife.
Youth in our organizations used to call me "Ate Case" even though we are on the same age or they are older than me. They said it is a sign of respect for an organizer, however, when I heard their second reason that I’m on school, I’m in college but they are not, even to graduate in high school they can’t, even they really want. This reason made me sad.
Early pregnancy, child and woman abuse, and out of school youth are not only the problems in my community. There are Children In Conflict with the Law (CICL), lack of job opportunities, health and nutrition, but the most difficult problem that we encounter is that many people, many politicians do not believe in youth’s ability, skills and power to dream and create a better future and better world.
The first solution to solve those problems is to believe that there are lots of youth that can do great things for the community and can empower other youth to serve the people. Second, support us and third, recognize what we have done. For the adults, you can talk to us every time we are doing off beam things but please do not say or do harmful things.
I have done attending, creating and organizing, Leadership Training, Forum, HIV and Early Pregnancy seminar/training, Disaster Risk Reduction Management, Child Protection, and so on. Why I’m doing this? Because I believe that knowledge is just knowledge if you will not share it and if you will not use it. However, if you will use your knowledge, share your knowledge and empower someone through your knowledge, therefore knowledge is POWER.
I sometimes asking too much from society and for the people that have power, but I believe that my fellow youth will give more answers than I can think of. There are lots of youth that is more passionate to help because, like me, they also thinking that we, youth, could be the catalyst of change. We are youth but we are not JUST a youth.
© 2019 Casey