In an era dominated by Facebook and TikTok, how can we ignite the interest of young people in community and political issues? This question serves as the backdrop for our 2024 capacity-building activities for Indigenous youth, supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. As of March 2024, this initiative has already led to two youth camps focused on cultural enrichment.

 

This initiative builds upon the successful completion of five modules comprising the Indigenous Youth Leadership Skills Roadmap, implemented by IAG from 2021 to 2023. The roadmap trained 25 Indigenous youth from various communities, including the Teduray, Lambangian, Higaonon, Arumanen Menuvo, and Dulangan Menuvo, equipping them with essential knowledge and skills to actively engage in political discourse and address pressing issues within their communities.

 

With the culmination of advocacy development and leadership immersion activities in 2023, the 2024 program marks a pivotal moment as the 25 IP Youth Champions, having completed the roadmap, stand ready to embark on the next phase of their journey.

 

The IAG IP Youth Program for 2024 serves as a platform for these emerging leaders to test their capabilities in organizing and mobilizing community-driven initiatives aligned with their advocacy objectives. Organized into five groups representing distinct geographical areas, including Upi, South Upi, and Ampatuan in Maguindanao provinces; Wao in Lanao del Sur; and the BARMM Special Geographic Area, each group will conceive and execute a community-based activity.

 

Thus, the 2024 Program becomes a dual-sided engagement, with senior IP youth leaders conducting their community-based activities, and a new cohort of Indigenous youth being introduced to IAG’s brand of capacity-building for the first time.

 

The South Upi IP youth team took the initiative to conduct the first youth camp last February 24-25, followed by the Ampatuan team on March 9-10. These are the highlights: