Kabataan. Pag-asa. Pilipinas.

Monday, March 27, 2006

All you need to know about YAP

What is Youth Alliance Philippines (YAP)?

Youth Alliance Philippines (YAP) is an organization of young professionals which endeavors to create a network and to establish active partnerships with other youth and youth-serving organizations and individual volunteers involved in the active pursuit of good governance, meaningful and genuine electoral process, and an informed youth through Issue Awareness, Capacity Building, and Volunteerism.

YAP believes that:
  • Every Filipino youth given the opportunity can become a potent driving force in society.
  • Good governance must emanate from the citizens and as stakeholders, they must be assisted to actively participate in nation building to enable them to use their potentials and to create positive changes that would benefit the community they serve.
  • The youth must be empowered to make decisions for themselves and must be involved in addressing the issues that affect them as a sector.
  • Optimum learning is achieved when young people interact amongst themselves and engage in actions that foster:
    • self reliance
    • volunteerism
    • skills enhancement
    • social awareness
    • civic involvement
    • national consciousness

Who comprises the YAP Network?

YAP Network is composed of Partners (young professionals), Affiliate Organizations (youth or youth serving), and Individual Volunteers (in-school youth, and out-of-school youth). They work in synergy to achieve the shared vision of good governance and meaningful youth participation.

The Partners, who are part of the standing committees (i.e. Alliance Building, Communications Strategy, Research and Development and Resource Mobilization) oversee the day-to-day operation and coordinate with the affiliate organizations on programs and projects which are initiated and/or jointly organized or supported by YAP.

The Affiliate Organizations are those who believe in YAP’s VMG and with active partnership agreements either on a program or project bases that are jointly implemented or supported by YAP. The Volunteers are individuals who participate in any activity of YAP and its affiliate organizations YAP Volunteers, Partners, and Affiliates operate on the spirit of volunteerism and collaboration.

What are YAP’s Programs?

YAP’s vision of an empowered youth is translated through its three-point agenda namely: Issue Awareness, Capacity Building, and Volunteerism.

Young Voters Zone is a volunteer mapping program which hopes
to establish volunteer corps across the nation for clean and honest elections. Through collective youth action, the YVZ volunteers engage their fellow youth in peer learning towards an empowered YOUTH VOTE. It ran from August 2003 to May 2004 and covered 21 sites in 16 regions of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao through the Young Voters Caravan Project.

National Youth Platform is a long-term dynamic research document that started during the YVZ campaign. It hopes to establish empirical findings that will influence policy making relevant to the youth sector. It aims to periodically collect, process, and identify issues and concerns of the sector and society as a whole. In turn, propose and initiate actions to be implemented in their community. Currently, YAP and several affiliate organizations (from the YVZ campaign) are initiating dialogues for further collaborations.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

In the beginning

In December 2002, a group of young professionals sensed the need to create an arena for social involvement by the youth in light of the May 2004 elections. After months of reflection and research, the group forged to formalize the network last August 2003 into what is now called Youth Alliance Philippines (YAP). Since then, YAP has extended its network to include volunteer students, and affiliate youth and youth-serving organizations in its voters’ involvement campaign Young Voters Zone (YVZ).

Young Voters Caravan, the major activity of the YVZ campaign was launched on February 25, 2004, at La Salle Greenhills. It was attended by around 1,100 participants from the National Capital Region and nearby provinces. Former President Corazon C. Aquino, and institutions such as EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC), National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), and Focolare Movement have acknowledged the unique youthful nature of the Caravan. Volunteers journeyed across the country to conduct nonpartisan and nonsectarian voters’ involvement sessions and established Young Voters Zones.

The Caravan sought to rally young voters to draft and pushed for a clear and genuine youth program in the platform of the next administration, and encourage them to initiate activities that would echo the message and insights of the campaign experience – a socially responsible vote made by empowered young Filipino citizens.