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Pasil Youth Leader to Join International Youth Congress in Germany

CEBU, Philippines - In a world of standards, it is refreshing to know that you don’t have to be somebody to make a difference. All you need is to take a stand and inspire. If Buboy can do it, what’s stopping us?

In today’s massive world population only 40 were chosen to represent the youth of the entire world in the International Youth Camp to be held in the city of Bonn in Germany from January 13 to 25, 2011: 10 German youth, 15 from selected European countries and only 10 from the rest of the world. Two of them are Pinoys, only one of them is Buboy.

Emmanuel Barwado, or “Buboy” to his peers is a youth leader of Don Bosco Youth Center in Pasil—a place considered by many to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. While drugs and crime run rampant in the streets of Pasil, Buboy sets a prime example of how one person can break free from the cycle, and be a role model for the whole community. He will be attending the International youth Congress with another Salesian scholar, Mae Kristine Goopio from Don Bosco Youth Center in Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental.

This will be the second international youth activity that Buboy will be joining. Last 2008, he was among the three delegates of the Cebu South Province to join the World Youth Day in Australia.

Buboy was just 9 years old when he first entered the Don Bosco Youth Center in Pasil after his sister invited him to join her. Coming from a broken family, he had just moved to Cebu from Bulacan after their parents separated while his sister grew up in Pasil with their paternal grandmother. Instead of taking to the vices of the streets like many out-of-school youth, he instead frequented the youth center to play with the other children until he found himself a member of one of the center’s youth clubs, the Knights of the Altar (KOA). The club was a group of young boys who served as altar boys or sakristan during masses held in the Pasil Parish Church. Then he became an active member of the DBYC-Pasil and from there he has helped organize and led various clubs catering to the different talents of the youth of Pasil.

The conference itself is in line with the UN Year of Youth 2010, proclaimed on August 12, 2010. Its goal is the development of a deep global awareness, promotion of understanding among young people long term and provide an opportunity for personality development and communication. It intends to support a viable and sustainable global development and promote international cooperation among young people and encourage the exchange of intercultural experience.

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The young leaders will be given the opportunity to present their issues, concerns and vision at the Don Bosco Forum to a wide audience. The forum annually covers various issues of the international youth with the participation of at least 300 delegates, supporters and decision makers of the German development aid.

At present Buboy is working at the Don Bosco Technological Center -Labangon as an instructor for the out-of-school youth who are there learn various technical skills of their choice as a means to gain decent employment.

He should serve as an inspiration for all Cebuanos, especially the youth; that no matter who you are and no matter where you come from, you can make a difference in your own way.

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