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Villar SIPAG honors 11 youth organizations

PINOY YOUTH POWER: The awardees of the 1st Villar SIPAG Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge pose with Sen. Cynthia Villar and former Senate president Manny Villar after receiving their trophies and cash prizes as ‘Most Outstanding Youth Organizations’ working to reduce poverty in their communities. Joining the ceremony held recently at the Villar SIPAG Hall in Las Piñas City were the Villar children – Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Vista Land CEO Paolo Villar, Starmall EVP and All Home president Camille Villar and grandson Tristan.

MANILA, Philippines - Eleven youth organizations were recently honored in the 1st Villar SIPAG Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge, a competition designed to encourage and empower the Filipino youth to embark on activities that will help address poverty-related issues in the country.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, director of Villar SIPAG, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar led the awarding ceremonies held at the Villar SIPAG Hall in Las Piñas City.

“We at Villar SIPAG believe in our Filipino youth and we trust that young as they may be, they are capable of effecting positive change in our communities and in our country as a whole, to address our most pressing problem which is poverty,” the senator said.

According to her, the youth are a key component in the growth and development of the Philippines. They comprise 27 percent of the Philippine population.

“As such the youth sector has one of the highest potentials in breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty. They can contribute greatly to our dream of a poverty-free Philippines,” the senator added.

The competition, which was launched last year, invited youth organizations with members aged 18-29 years old to present their activities that have been proven to be a sustainable platform to reduce poverty in their chosen communities. The competition welcomed entries from college students and out-of-school youth.

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Nine youth-led groups received the award for Most Outstanding Youth Organizations for the year, receiving P150,000 each in cash prize. Two other organizations were given special awards and a cash prize of P100,000 each.

Named Most Outstanding Youth Organizations were the following: Cropital (UP Diliman, Quezon City); Young Farmers 4-H Club Organization (Barangay Tabtabungao Rosario, La Union); Aulo Working Youth Club (Barangay Aulo Palayan City, Nueva Ecija); Kapwa Greens from Laguna (NHA Southville 7, Barangay Dayap Calauan, Laguna); Keep Hope Alive from Oriental Mindoro (Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro); Endless Summer from Albay (P-1 San Rafael Guinobatan, Albay); Sowing Legacy Movement (Mabini street, Bacolod City); Taluksangay 4-H Club (Taluksangay, Zamboanga City) and Working Youth Club of Tubay Inc. (Baranga. Doña Rosario, Tubay, Agusan del Norte).

Receiving special awards and P100,000 each were youth organizations Project Lily PH of Taguig and the Malaybalay Youth Transformation Movement of Bukidnon.

The Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge is a competition for youth organizations that have at least three youth members and must be operating for a minimum of one year.

Entries underwent rigid evaluation, comprehensive screenings and rational project defense. Winners were selected by a panel of respected judges.

To qualify for the competition, the youth organizations should focus on food or agricultural products, recycling waste materials or agricultural waste products, green inventions/environment saving inventions/green technology, water/waste/energy solutions, rural and urban innovations,  information technology and livelihood development, among other things.

Entries were judged based on the uniqueness and originality of their concept and must be able to creatively demonstrate how they will solve the poverty problem in their communities.

The winning youth organizations also showed that their activities could respond flexibly to any given situation, could address a specific need and could be sustainable.

Another important criteria for the competition is how the participants’ activities could help uplift the conditions of the poor and disadvantaged communities.

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