11 Youth Teams to Pitch Innovative Solutions in LDS, BARMM

Young M’ranaw women youth leaders developing their proposal during the Ideation on 17018 Auguat 2019.

Cagayan de Oro City. Around 100 youth leaders from the 39 municipalities of the Province of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City joined the first-ever provincial-wide Youth-led Empowering Solutions  (#YES2SDG) Ideation held at N Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City on 17-18 August 2019. A total of 11 projects were chosen to advance to the next round of Pitching and may possibly win a grant of P50,000 each.

The #YES2SDG is  a component of the “Integrated SDGs Solutions Platform for the Bangsamoro Youth” project jointly implemented by UNDP, UNFPA, ILO and organized by The Moropreneur Inc (TMI). The #YES2SDG aims  to empower the Bangsamoro youth of Lanao del Sur to lead the discussion on issues on peace and security and find solutions encompassing economic, social, political and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

The project is working under the backdrop that young people constitutes an estimated 56 percent of the Bangsamoro population as of the 2015​. This number is significant especially that young people are increasingly taking roles as champions for peaceful, accountable and inclusive governance; repeatedly asserted that they are meaningful partners in finding solutions that will make a just and lasting peace in Mindanao a reality.​

The #YES2SDG Project was launched last 3-4 August 2019 on a Summit.  The Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur led in organizing the Sanngguniang Kabataan, Local Youth Development Officers and Out-of School Youth Leaders to participate in the summit. Two-weeks after (17-18 August 2019), the same youth leaders and selected  team members were capacitated on project design and management and were able to pitch their innovative ideas during the Ideation. 

Representatives from UNDP (Ms. Judith de Guzman), UNFPA (Ms. Rochele Angela Uy), ILO (Ma. Lourdes M. Rivera), and the Provincial Director of the Local Government (Mr. Macmillan Lucman) evaluated the 24 entries. The proposals pitched encompasses issues on education, capacity development, economic empowerment, gender, prevention of violent extremism, halal eco-tourism, health, peacebuilding, nutrition, environmental protection and empowerment of Out-of School Youth. After the rigorous pitching and evaluation, a total of 11 Teams (composed of 5 members) emerged as the top proposals and shall advance to the next qualifying round to pitch in a bigger audience during the Innovation Fair this 29 August 2019 at SKCC, BARMM Compound, Cotabato City. 

These project proposals are youth-led solutions that promote empowerment of young people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality and exploring interlinkages among the eight (8) SDGs​

The 11 winning projects are as follows: 

  1. Panginam– a project that aims to empower young M’ranao couples (wed at a young age), by providing them space to share, learn and provide  psychosocial support services, life skills as well as income generating opportunities.
  • Mushroom for Change– because there is “mush room for change” says this team who proposed an alternative livelihood project aimed at poverty alleviation by introducing a white oyster mushroom growing technology using rice stalks for farmers in Ditsaan Ramain. The project is also keen in promoting waste management. 
  • Kapheta – is a youth-led social enterprise that provides livelihood opportunities for Marawi siege affected youth through coffee and pastry ventures and by promoting other M’ranao products.
  • Tilamapia – is a project that aims to establish a dried tilapia production cooperative and provide a sustainable livelihood opportunity for mothers in Marantao.
  • Kapai Ginawa– is a capacity building project targeting out of school youths (OSYs) by making technical skills training mobile and available in otherwise conflict affected or far flung areas.   
  • IWeave – is a project re-introducing mat weaving to provide livelihood for women and preserve the cultural and artistic value of weaving in local areas. The project also aims to create a hub for Mat weaving.
  •  Aretes– is a social enterprise that aims to capacitate internally displaced persons (IDPs) with knowledge and skills in making Aretes, a fashion accessory made from langkit and other woven and locally available materials incorporating M’ranaw fashion.
  • TAdEM– is a project that aims to capacitate Marawi youth in peacebuilding using culture and tradition as point of reference and produce training contents in digital format to reach a wider audience.
  • TYAkaP – or Taraka Youth Against Plastic is a movement aimed at capacitating youth of Taraka inturning recyclable items into useful and marketable products and reduce plastic wastes in the community. Tyakap is also a M’ranao term for ‘care’. 
  • Sindao – is a formation program that aims to respond to the challenges of vulnerable groups like children IDPs through utilization of existing social structures including schools and communities as primary movers in bridging a culture of peace.
  • Kalilintad o Bangsa– is a project that aims tocapacitate and organize the youth of Marantao in cultural preservation and peace-building initiatives through performing arts and music. 

Lanao del Sur Provincial Director McMillan A. Lucman in his message, challenged the groups not only as they’ve come up with innovative solutions for the YES2SDG Projects but to continue “using your talents and skills in service to their communities even after the implementation of your projects.” 

“Panindigan niyo yan! Use your idealism, aggressiveness and talents to effect change in your communities because you have a big role to play in achieving these goals,”said Lucman.

“As young people, you will trigger the change in your communities. This project is very timely, because we all know what happened during the Marawi siege. Marawi was destroyed but we cannot leave it at that. We need to learn from our experience and continue to move forward, that’s why we need you to lead your communities,” Lucman continued. 

Meanwhile, Ms. Iya Rivera, representing ILO country office, gave a short message thanking all the teams for pitching their ideas and motivating the youth to participate in making SDG possible for Filipinos.

Mr. Gomer Padong, Executive Director of Philippine Social Enterprise Network (PhilSEN) one of the mentors and a negotiator on the part of the CSOs at the formulation of the SDG in his talk on Designing Impact Projects from the Grown Up, reminded the participants the importance of their projects not only in achieving the SDGs but also in realizing the Philippine Development Plan.

 “The SDG is especially relevant in our context because of the disasters, economic challenges and many problems our country faces which the SDG intend to respond to,” Mr. Padong related. 

Meanwhile, Limitless lab facilitated the sessions in Design Thinking and Project Management to help the teams prepare their pitch decks. 

Design thinking is a learning by doing process,”said Ms. Joie Cruz, Limitless Lab CEO, who shared with participants how working on their project idea is an iterative process that should be focused on the communities their project is intended for.

Project lead Jai Hadji Sapiin(Sindao), took particularly note of this saying that “before this ideation camp, akala ko okay na ‘yong project ko, but then I learned na minsan kahit gaano mo ka love ang project mo, kahit sa tingin mo maganda iyong idea mo, you should always think of the community, kung iyon ba talaga iyong kailangan nila. Hindi mo pwedeng ipilit lang, because it’s not about you.” [Before the ideation, I thought my project was fine.  But, I learned that despite loving the project idea, we should always think of the community, if this is what they really need. Hence, we shouldn’t be forcing it (the project) to them, because it’s not about us (but them].

Moving forward, Sindao and the other winning teams will continue to enhance their project design to pitch before the BARMM government, innovation and industry leaders for possible funding, collaboration and partnerships on 29 August 2019. 

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