Recognizing the leadership potentials of the youth in helping the government with its rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City and its residents, a four-day leadership camp is being held at Mindanao State University(MSU) – Main Campus.
Dubbed as Bangon Marawi: Youth Leadership Camp, the convergence brings together 50 internally displaced youth staying in evacuation centers in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
With the theme “Empowering Fillennials Towards Universal Peace and Development”, the camp is organized by the provincial government of Lanao del Sur, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Lanao del Sur, Project OGOP, United States Grantees- Alumni Association Marawi, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police; and in partnership with Xavier University, MSU, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement and other sectors and agencies.
In the span of four days, the youth participants will undergo workshops and lectures to provide them knowledge in environmental leadership, peace education and community building.
Speaking to the participants of leadership camp, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director-General Harold Clavite emphasized the importance of being responsible in utilizing social media in spreading information.
“You own the gadget, you own the time.. no one else tells you what to do with it. Let us self-regulate. Use your cellphones responsibly to protect yourselves; your communities,” said Clavite.
As social media had become prominent in recruitment strategies used by terrorist groups, Clavite encouraged the youth to fight back and “have your own social media strategy, individually and collectively.”
Kince Alhansah M. Panondiongan, a 4th year Political Science student of MSU, expressed his gratitude for being one of the participants of the camp.
“This event helps us how we can appreciate and help the communities, especially that Marawi siege brought a lot of destructions,” said Panondiongan.
He also encouraged his fellow youth that the siege is not a hindrance to their advocacies and responsibilities for their community.
Similarly, Abdul Zhaiff L. Mama, from Bito Buadi Itowa evacuation center, agrees that there should be a careful information dissemination as fake news can alarm people.
“Dapat tayo magkaisa, magkaintindihan at mag cooperate. Lagi pong isipin kung paano tayo makakatulong sa ating kapwa,” Mama talking to his fellow youth.
[We must be united; understand each other and cooperate. We should think how we can help our community.]