The Words of the Lorenzana Family

Empowering Youth to Fulfill the UN MDGs The 8th International Youth Day in Manila

Joshua Lorenzana
August 12, 2007
Student Times
8th IYD Delegate

The 8th International Youth Day (IYD) was held last 10-12 August 2007 at various locations in Manila, Philippines. The IYD is a national gathering of youth leaders to strengthen commitment in the fulfillment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

W-CARP was represented by 3 of its young leaders in this 3-day event that was organized by the United Nations Association of the Philippines (UNAP) with AIESEC and the Youth Federation for World Peace (YFWP) as principal partner.

The event kicked off with a wreath-laying at the monument of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The vice mayor of Manila City, Hon. Francisco Domagoso, graced the occasion to represent the mayor.

An opening program held at the City Hall then followed where encouraging messages from the vice mayor and the AIESEC Philippines President, Ms. Tanya Aletheia Bagadion and UNAP officials spearheaded by Director Arcilla Ang, enjoined the audience to take more action.

Talks were then conducted at De La Salle University, one of the leading schools in the country. Lloyd Luna, a successful young entrepreneur who was awarded Collegiate Ambassador for Peace (CAP) in the last World University Students Assembly held in Seoul Korea, gave a message on valuing our dreams and taking action on it.

The director of the National Youth Commission, the youth agency to the office of the President of the Philippines, gave an encouraging report on youth activities around Southeast Asia. Francis Kong, a motivational speaker, caught the audience's attention with his effective talk about having the right attitude to be successful. Speakers from the International Labor Organization (ILO), Ms. Ina Ortiz and UNICEF, Mr. Colin Davis also gave updates on the MDG's achievements emphasizing that if we are not going to beef up our efforts, we will not reach our development goals by 2015.

On the second day, participants were up and about going to a barangay (smallest government unit in Philippines) to plant trees around the barangay hall and park. Seedlings of hard wood trees were stripped of their plastic bag casing and transferred to holes. It was a wonderful way to give back to Mother Nature.

In the evening was the closing ceremony. Greeting everyone was music from violinists from the De La Salle University Pops Orchestra rendering Filipino classic songs. A speech by the youth leader of Silliman University, Mr. Ian Berch Ranis, stirred everyone's conscience as he shared his awakening to act for the community around him and eventually dedicate his time as volunteer health worker in their city. The delegates signed a pledge of commitment to support the MDGs. Soon after, they were awarded certificates of participation.

On the last day, selected delegates discussed action plans for the establishment of United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines, the youth body of UNAP in achieving the UN MDGs.

As reflection, there is a real urgency for us young people to wake up and be aware of the responsibility that is ahead of us. We play a very important role in the fulfillment of the UN MDGs. We have the mission to impart a sense of unity among young people towards an aim that is to restore our nation.

By: Joshua Lorenzana, Student Times, 8th IYD Delegate

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