Bangsamoro youth’s health project wins grand prize during International Youth Day

A Bangsamoro youth-led health project bagged the grand prize at the Ideas Positive Awarding ceremony held during the International Youth Day 2019 celebration in Davao City.

Leading a project promoting mental health in elementary schools, specifically for young learners in Maguindanao, Team Kabanatan, composed of three young professionals, implemented a six-month health project which aimed to co-create safe spaces for children in distress.

The project, “Project Kabanatan: Youth for Community Care”, targeted the elementary pupils in three pilot schools in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. The project, aptly named Kabanatan, a Filipino term meaning resilience, emphasized on the importance of community care, a concept of a communal approach in taking care of one’s mental wellbeing. Specifically, the team aimed to develop a safe and supportive school environment in handling children in distress by capacitating teachers to be sensitive, supportive, and responsive to the students’ needs.

Engaging 48 teachers from these selected schools, the team has established a referral system for students needing support, and developed tools in promoting the culture of communicating their emotions. The project’s main innovation is called the Emotions Box, a box that facilitates the sharing of the students’ feelings and problems with their teachers.

“Knowing about an issue is one thing, immersing in a community is another. Immersing

would give you a full picture of what the struggle is and would allow you to facilitate

community-based solutions,” Taj Basman, the team leader for Project Kabanatan remarked.

At the end of the project, a record of over 2,000 students in three schools disclosed and shared their feelings to these trained teachers through the Emotions Box. The project also forged a partnership with the Ministry of Social Services (MSS-BARMM), gaining commitment and support for the implementation of the project and passing a child mental wellness safekeeping policy code of conduct for teachers.

 Out of 14 national finalist teams, the team rose up the ranks to be declared the Husay at Malasakit Awardee, the grand champion title during Ideas Positive Run 9.

A tradition of Positive Ideas

Ideas Positive is Unilab Foundation’s youth engagement program that builds the youth as leaders for healthier communities. As the country’s premier youth engagement program for health, Ideas Positive has been calling for the youth to submit their most innovative health projects and make it happen. It recently wrapped up its ninth run during the International Youth Day (IYD) 2019 celebration in Davao. The IYD 2019 celebration is part of the three-day event, preceding the two-day Ideas Positive Youth Forum on Public Health (IPYFPH) 2019, where the Grand Finals was held.

On its ninth run, Ideas Positive, through 14 national finalist teams’ health projects, has reached around 200,000 Filipinos nationwide, improving the lives of more than 15,000 people, and empowering over 26,000 youth from 9 regions in the country.

These teams addressed various health issues, from revolutionizing emergency response in Pangasinan, improving the wellbeing of Persons with a rare genetic disease in Capiz, to providing a sustainable water source in a geographically isolated area in Tawi-tawi, among others. [Read about the teams’ projects here!]

Steadily gaining traction in youth-led projects the program launched iPLUS 20, a knowledge product summarizing 20 of the most innovative and replicable projects the program has gathered was launched during the IPYFPH 2019. iPLUS 20 will be available online and in print, and will be open for replication.

By far, Ideas Positive has engaged 50,000 youth, helping transform 208 communities, and touch 2.4 million lives nationwide. This impact adds up to 2.4 million Filipinos’ lives touched throughout the program’s runs.

#YOUthCan: Unleashing the Power of the Youth

The numbers that the program reached during its ninth run is a testament that, given the right platform and support, the youth can create positive change in their community. From August 10-12, #YOUthCan: Unleashing the Power of the Youth, aimed to engage more youth to take part in nation-building by initiating conversations on local and global issues today. Gathering 2,000 youth from 81 provinces in all 17 regions of the country, #YOUthCan created a historic move towards youth engagement and nation-building by gathering 1.9 million commitments to build a better world for all, from its youth participants.

#YOUthCan is organized by the Positive Youth Development Network, and presented by Unilab Foundation’s Ideas Positive, UNICEF in partnership with ING, Malayan Colleges Mindanao, and Sangguniang Kabataan ng Lungsod ng Dabaw. The event is supported by Ideas Positive Alumni Community,  Heads Up PH, Aboitiz Foundation, OPPO, San Miguel Foundation, Enervon Activ, Biogesic, Smart, YSEALI and Sun Life Foundation. Being the most endorsed event for the youth by far, it gathered the support of National Youth Commission, Department of Interior and Local Government, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health.

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