by Michael John D Alipio, SAFHA Publications
With the need for the country to respond in the many resiliency challenges, particularly at the local government level, the National Resilience Council (NRC) launched the Young Leaders for Resilience Program in the 2019 Top Leaders Forum. The program aims to engage the youth sector in co-creating solutions to address climate and disaster resilience in the country. In making this possible, the NRC, along with other government agencies and private organizations, partnered with eight local government units, one of which is Zamboanga City.
Three teams were formed from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) to take part in the local pitch, but only one team qualified for the nationals – besting other teams from other schools in the city. This team is composed of five students from AdZU, namely; Khatanya-Nur P. Mukattil (BS Psych-2), John Thronn A. De Jesus (BSEd-2), Aurea Lara S. Ragdi (BSEd-2), Aurelli Maria Bettina A. Lim (BS Psych-2) and Hesham T. Daud (BS IT).
Their project, entitled Salva Vida, is a mobile application that aims to heightened preparedness and awareness by providing accessible information on what to do when disasters arise.
The participating teams have undergone the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking Workshop, mentored by the Ateneo Center for Leadership and Governance. Comprising the workshop were resilience gap identification, user empathy map, ideation, prioritization grid, and prototyping.
The implementation of the program had 9 stages which started in July 2019. From program briefing, identifying local point persons to the selection of participants, design thinking workshops, iteration stage, and finally, the local and national pitch. The final stage was concluded during the 2019 Top Leaders Forum with the local chief executives of various provinces and cities in attendance.
According to Mr. Brian Joseph Bañgo, ACLG Program Officer, this program encouraged youth engagement through “contributing to efforts of promoting lasting and durable peace by pitching in programs and projects relevant to resilience.”
“Zamboanga City is vulnerable to threats both from natural and human-induced disasters. Creative, fresh and innovative ideas from the youth are very important in preparing for disasters, adapting to drastic changes and transforming institutional arrangements, all of which are necessary to form resilient communities,” he added.
This program is significant, as it “inculcates a responsibility among the youth to think about resiliency and form values, habits and norms which are relevant to the changing world where threats abound,” said Bañgo.