by Louie De Real, Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO Chair
Nine of the largest youth organizations in the country, including Rotaract, jointly organized a national youth festival which aimed to solidify the commitment of the youth in advocating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dubbed as the Philippine Festival of Youth Action (PFYA), the activity featured various youth-oriented online events on 20 to 25 October 2020. Staged to coincide with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN), the festival included webinars, workshops, quiz bees, and cultural exchanges that enabled participants to connect with fellow youth leaders, share common advocacies and passions, as well as start conversations for potential partnerships.
The highlight of the festival was the live streaming of videos of each of the 17 Philippine regions showcasing what various youth organizations in the area have done to advance sustainable development. Various Rotaract clubs in the country contributed showcase videos and photos of their service projects. The festival also featured a youth solidarity concert where each of the presenter organizations demonstrated their members' talents in singing, dancing, poetry, and more.
Some of the Rotaract Club projects featured in the PFYA Video Showcase
The PFYA was a product of collaboration of Pilipinas Rotaract Multi-District Information Organization (MDIO), AISEC in the Philippines, JCI Philippines, Kabataan sa Kartilya ng Katipunan, Kabataang Lingkod Bayan ng Pilipinas, National Youth Volunteers Coalition, Samahan ng Kabataang Boluntaryo ng Pilipinas (SKBP), Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition, and Youth Advocates for the Philippines. In organizing the festival, the MDIO worked on the marketing and publicity of the event together with SKBP.
“Filipino Rotaractors are very heavily involved in advancing the seven causes of Rotary which are all aligned with the UN SDGs. With Rotaract’s participation in the PFYA, what we strengthened is our commitment to SDG 17 which is Partnership for the Goals. If Rotaract wants to create lasting change in the Philippines, it has to expand its reach and unite with other youth organizations to take action together. Joining PFYA is our starting point in opening that opportunity, of being part of a national sustainable development journey that is driven by the Filipino youth,” Louie Boy De Real, Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO Chair, as he explained the rationale for Rotaract’s participation in PFYA.
More than 3,000 youth leaders, including Rotaractors, across the nation joined the various PFYA activities. “PFYA is one of my most memorable life experiences. It gave me an opportunity to work with different organizations and eventually meet people coming from different walks of life. I learned that when we work together, listening from different perspectives, we can co-create a common future that will benefit all. As the aim of the UN SDGs, no one must be left behind,” shared Reian Mark Tamayo from the Rotaract Club of Greater General Santos and Rotaract’s PFYA Region XII Representative.
Mark Ababao of the Rotaract Club of Manila Bay as one of the emcees
Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO’s core functions include promoting multi-district service projects and expanding opportunities for inter-organization collaboration. To know more about the MDIO, visit pilipinasrotaract.org.
This article was featured in the December 2020 issue of the Philippine Rotary Magazine as seen below.