Empowered youth with bright ideas take the spotlight in 13th TAYO Awards
Not all young people spend their free time in often frivolous ways. There are those who would spend it to create better communities, better future, and a better nation. There is no better proof of this than the nominees of this year’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards.
Presented by the TAYO Foundation and Coca-Cola Philippines, the 13th iteration of the TAYO Awards recognizes formal and non-formal youth organizations whose programs have created positive impact in five categories: Culture and the Arts, Peace, and Human Development; Livelihood and Entrepreneurship; Health, Nutrition, and Well-Being; Education and Technology; and Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Climate Change Adaptation. A special plum is the Coke Barkada Award given to the youth organization that best embodies togetherness while making a positive change in the community. The 13th TAYO Awards was recently held at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacañan Palace.
Among the finalists was the Project BOHE (Building Opportunities through Health and Environment) of the Youth Working for Change in Basilan. Despite security threats, challenging terrain, and limited financial capacity, the group continued to work on bringing potable water to the upland communities in the island of Basilan. The group, led by Nasiba Salip, has provided potable water for almost 100 households in the villages of Limbo-Upas, Municipality of Tipo-Tipo and in Atong-Atong, Municipality of Lantawan.
For their unrelenting dedication to providing a simple albeit sustainable solution for a basic and urgent human need, the group was awarded the Coca-Cola Barkada Award during the 13th TAYO Awards.
Winners of the other TAYO Awards categories were no less inspiring. For the Culture and the Arts, Peace, and Human Development category, I am Making a Difference (I am M.A.D.), is a youth volunteer group that provides scholarship for children who serve as role models in their respective communities. The other group which triumphed in the category is the University of San Jose Recoletos School of Law Advocacy and Community Enrichment -- students who provide paralegal assistance for the detainees of Mandaue City Jail.
The Livelihood and Entrepreneurship category was won by the Bayugan City National High School – Youth Entrepreneurship and Cooperativism in Schools, a program that trains students in entrepreneurship.
Dramatic achievements in sports for children and medical missions to marginalized communities were recognized in the Health, Nutrition, and Well-Being category. The Youth Sports Advocacy Philippines, Inc. created a program for neighborhood children to be trained in various sports activities. In the province of Oriental Mindoro, the Keep Hope Alive organization would trek mountains and cliffs to bring basic services for the Mangyan communities.
The Education and Technology category winners were from the University of the Philippines-Academic League of Chemical Engineering Students (ALCHEMES), whose Research Fair project provides a venue for scientific research discourse. The Tobog Youth Organization in Albay created a safe and child-friendly day care facility to prepare children in the area for formal education.
The Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Climate Change Adaptation category lauded the programs of the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute (ECCRI) of the De La Salle Araneta University in Malabon, the Kanlaon Theater Guild of Colegio San Agustin in Bacolod, and of the Tanay Mountaineers in Rizal. The student members of ECCRI conducted risk assessment studies and installed a solar-powered ultrasonic flood detecting system in Tarlac, while the Kanlaon Theater Guild conducts short plays that provides entertainment and risk preparedness education for children. Meanwhile, the Tanay Mountaineers is changing the livelihood of communities in the mountain areas of Rizal by introducing them to charcoal briquetting.
The finalists include organizations from Tacloban City, which supplied farming resources in areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda; a student organization from the University of the Philippines that provided livelihood to sustain education; a water accessibility project in Basilan; a trekking group in Cagayan de Oro that raised funds for the medical treatment of indigent children; a traveling performing art group in Rizal that promotes recycling and positive values; a leadership-building group in Misamis Oriental; a student organization from the Technological University of the Philippines that invented a heat detecting and warning device; a career caravan that educates children on chemistry; and a student organization from the University of San Carlos in Cebu that provides books and reinforces reading in remote public schools.
“Every time I walk away from the presentations, I feel inspired. You have shown us that one can do so much with little,” said Atty. Adel Tamano, Public Affairs and Communications Director of Coca-Cola Philippines, addressing the participants who presented their stories and programs at the Philippine Senate during the start of TAYO Week.
Coca-Cola Philippines, through the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, has been a partner of TAYO Foundation in presenting the TAYO Awards for the past 10 years as part of its thrust for the holistic development of the Filipino youth. The award, which recognizes exemplary youth organizations throughout the country, is a testament of the commitment of Coca-Cola in its aim to empower future generations.
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Senator Bam Aquino expressed his admiration for the winners and finalists of the 13th TAYO Awards. The winners and finalists, Aquino said, should serve as inspiration for other Filipino youth.
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The Coca-Cola Barkada Award was given to Nasiba Salip (center), president of the Youth Working for Change in Basilan, for their Project BOHE (Building Opportunities through Health and Environment), which provides access to potable water in the upland communities of Basilan. In the photo are Coca-Cola Foundation Program Officer Ting Cabalza, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines Legal and Corporate Affairs Associate Director Atty. Juan Lorenzo Tañada, Coca-Cola Philippines Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Adel Tamano, Coca-Cola Philippines Foundation President Cecilia Alcantara, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Program Officer Pamela de Leon, and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Program Officer for Environment Monina Pacheco.
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The winners of this year’s TAYO Awards together with Coca-Cola Philippines Foundation President Cecilia Alcantara, Press Secretary Sonny Coloma, TAYO Foundation President Aika Robredo, and TAYO Foundation Chair Rollie Fabie.
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Coke Barkada awardee Nasiba Salip led the finalists and winners of the 13th TAYO Awards in expressing their gratitude and commitment to continue to strive to improve their communities.