UNYPAD Organizes Community- and School-based Chapters in Sulu Province

ZAMBOANGA City (March 3, 2014) – The United Youth for Peace and Development Inc. (UNYPAD) successfully organized a group of student leaders from various schools last January 2014 in Jolo, Sulu.

Julfhikar Samsaraji, the City Chapter President of Zamboanga said: “They were oriented on what is UNYPAD all about, and its programs and services, which are a aimed at advancing peace and development works in the community.”

“How this organization became a vanguard of the youth sector in addressing  issues and concerns affecting communities is among of the important contents of the presentation,” Samsaraji said.

Samsaraji disclosed that some of the students are willing to undergo leadership training, campaign and advocacy programs, and to participate on other basic services that the organization has been rendering in the community.

He also reported that significant roles of youth in participative governance were discussed. “Youth of today is very fortunate for they enjoy the benefits of the struggles of our ancestors. They don’t need to hold weapons to defend themselves but instead they now defend themselves from ignorance,” Samsaraji pointed out.

“The sacrifices of our ancestors in depending our faith, land, life and property should not be put in vain. Today, as youth leaders, it’s our time to give back to our ancestors the sacrifices they have contributed in order to protect us from colonialism,” he added.

“As we move forward in advancing for new significant history of our time, let’s not forget what we have now – this is our credit to our ancestors. Let’s utilize our time productively. We have now the UNYPAD that can help us in capacity building program and this is one of the venues where youth become more instrumental in community through their dynamic programs,” he furthered.

During the first day of the organizing, the core group members were oriented by Datuan Magon, the Secretary General for Administration and currently acting as the Vice-President for External Affairs of the UNYPAD. He shared his views to the participants about the roles of the youth in the society. He reminded the participants that the youth are the next liners of the present generation of the Bangsamoro leaders.

“Today, you should be prepared for the future of the Bangsamoro. Whether you like it or not, and sooner or later, you will become a leader of your homeland, and it will depend on you how you will lead your people in achieving the Right to Self–determination,” Magon said.

In the organizing, Magon was accompanied by Haji Nur Tingkasan, a resident of Jolo and a former teacher of Notre Dame College but now an anchorperson of “Bangsamoro Transition Commission on the Air” heard over the areas of the province of Sulu.

Halik Abdurasad and Abbilun Arabani, members of UNYPAD, have provided logistic assistance that made the organizing very successful.

Some members of school faculty also participated in the organizing that encouraged the students to join the activity and later pledged their membership to the UNYPAD.

The participants from different school expressed their happiness to the organizers. According to them, they will recruit and continue to accept new members for UNYPAD school- based chapter in Sulu.

“Hundreds of students from Mindanao State University (MSU) and Sulu State College expressed their voluntary membership to be part of UNYPAD family and considered them as new established chapter in Sulu province,” Magon said.

Meanwhile, another community-based chapter was also established in Pangutaran Municaplity wherein some 30 participants from the area joined the UNYPAD. The participants are expecting more seminars and trainings to be conducted in their area since it is an Island municipality.

Jun Muha, the Sulu Provincial Chapter President, showed full support in the organizing program of the organization in their area.

Magon said that there was a brief discussion with Muha with his co-officers, which  was part of the updating.

In his update, Muha said: “The UNYPAD Sulu Chapter is one of the signatories to the ‘Bottom up budget for the poverty reduction project of National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) in the municipality of Jolo.”

“The UNYPAD is now expanding its chapters in the different areas of Sulu so that it could provide its members the necessary programs that will enhance their skills and knowledge particularly in peace building work,” Muha added. (UNYPAD News with report from Julfhikar Samsaraji)