Today's Builders, Tomorrow's Leaders

MANILA, Philippines - "It's time to build," said 21-year-old Alexandra "Alex" Eduque who founded the Habitat for Humanity Philippines Youth Council in 2010. We ought to build homes, relationships, trust and teams amongst our circles and beyond our circles, said the bright-eyed political science student from Columbia University in New York, who comes home and joins builds every chance she gets.

Indeed, here is a new generation of youth leaders, whose young hearts and idealism, coupled with hard work and sacrifice, take a walk and take a hammer, to build a home for someone else. The problems that occupied their time used to just cover homework, fitness and dating. Now, they take their country's problems as their own too. Together, they brainstorm, meet and donate their own allowances and schedule for those who need it more-the people who have less.

It wasn't hard for Alex, who chairs the Youth Council and has been helping Habitat since she was 16 years old, to make her young, willing and able team of "helpers" grow.

"I've invited my friends to go on builds and they've seen my passion for it. A lot of people really want to help out, they just don't know how, or they're looking for ways to do so. So when you approach them, it's so refreshing to see them, not really go out of their way, but to give what they can, their time to build. For them, it's not the money, it's their time."

Also making time out of her busy academic life is Isabel Martel Francisco, President of the Habitat Youth Council. Isabel is a senior at International School Manila who serves as Editor-in-Chief of her school's NewsFlash Magazine, and has been a volunteer at Virlanie Foundation since 2010. Her devotion to Habitat came from exposure to a Habitat build.

Kevin Yang, the current Habitat Youth Council vice president and a junior at International School Manila, is part of several charities like the Ronald McDonald House charities, UNESCO Global City, and Hands on Manila. Kevin shares some ideas on how other youth can join the charity bandwagon: "The youth can give in any way they can, small or big may it be dropping off old clothes donations for the victims of typhoon sending or going on builds to help the victims themselves. Every action will make a difference."

Simon Tantoco, Habitat Youth Council's communications officer, says "It is important for the youth to be socially aware of the current state majority of the people in our country are, in order for them to change their priorities and look for ways to uplift the lives of those who work the hardest and get paid the least."

"I come from a family who has been doing public service for generations. I see the joy and fulfillment they get whenever they give, and I think I have inherited that trait. It is a mutual feeling between you and the people who you help in Habitat. Whenever you help build their house, you experience the joy and fulfillment their family experiences. This is why every time we have meetings, projects, projects, I look forward to creating ways to help make their lives better," he added.

Pedro T. Roxas, who is Habitat Youth Council's secretary, was inspired by his mom's involvement in Hands On Manila. Now that he has a hand on the Habitat Youth Build himself, he can't contain his excitement. "I believe that it is of crucial importance that the youth of today get involved with charity because it is the youth of today that will be the leaders of tomorrow. If the youth get accustomed to doing charity work at an early age, they will be doing it for the rest of their lives."

These youngsters, from age 18 to 21 now make up the Habitat Youth Council who think of fundraising partnerships and events, and mobilize groups to join builds to help Habitat for Humanity.

They have also organized numerous successful fundraising concerts and events in the past year including the launch of Habitat Watch by Swatch.

Their next event, set tomorrow, January 14, 6pm, at the Greenbelt Fashion Walk is particularly important because in it, they will announce their quest for 2,000 volunteers and as many sponsors as possible to make build homes for 200 families displaced by Typhoon Pedring in Barangay Tanza, Navotas, Manila.

At the said event, Habitat will also announce the Habitat Youth Leaders Movement the Alex Eduque Legacy Project which aims to find and develop 200 youth leaders like Alex to help elevate socially-conscious volunteerism to a whole new level. Habitat will also thank and acknowledge the following schools and sponsors that have partnered with them for this momentous build: Krispy Kreme, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Ralph's Wines, Washington Group of Companies, iFlick Photobooth, and Panasonic. University of the Philippines-Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Sto. Tomas, Rizal Technological University, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Collegio San Juan de Letran will be sending their student leaders.

Habitat Youth Build 2012, which is set on May 12, aims to attract 2,000 Filipino youth volunteers from all over the world to help build homes in the Philippines. The thrust to involve the youth spans through the Asia Pacific region, where students and young professionals in countries like China, India, Indonesia and Thailand are also mobilized to give their time, sweat and networks to advance Habitat's mission and vision.

Joining Alex, Isabel, Pedro, Simon and Kevin as young Habitat advocates are ABS-CBN soap star Matteo Guidicelli, singer and theater actress Cris Villonco, Eugenia Zobel de Ayala, and Alex's and Kevin's sisters, Michaela Eduque and Kay Yang. They join Kris Aquino, Manny Pacquiao, Derek Ramsay, broadcast journalists Karen Davila and Arnold Clavio, TV host Kim Atienza, former beauty queen Margie Moran-Floirendo, and basketball star Chris Tiu as brand ambassadors for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity Philippines (HFHP) is a pioneering non-profit organization that serves Filipino families in need of decent homes. Visit www.habitat.org.ph or www.facebook.com/habitatphilippines for more details.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines
    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend. …

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

  • No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday
    No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday

    No lotto tickets will be sold and no lotto draws made starting tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, up to Easter Sunday in observance of Holy Week. In a statement, Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and general manager, said the selling of lotto tickets and lotto draws will resume on April 6,  Monday. “We thank all Lotto players for your trust and confidence in the PCSO games, and we count on your continued support of our efforts to raise funds for …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options