Ilocos Sur youth discovers advocacy via Tsinelas leadership forum

Participants of the Tsinelas Youth Leadership Forum pose with Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlso S. Medina (photo by Imelda C. Rivera / PIA Ilocos Sur)

VIGAN CITY – Leadership with purpose: finding your advocacy. 

“The Tsinelas Youth Leadership Forum with this theme is where we confer to the youth of Ilocos Sur the power they need to fulfill their life purposes,” Vice Governor Jeremias C. Singson said to the 45 leaders and advisers of school government councils of the province who joined the event on Jan. 12 at Baluarte Function Hall in Barangay Salindeg of this city.

“One’s young life not only bridges childhood to adulthood, but also a period when one must be trained with skills to be responsible citizens,” Singson said, “You define the memory of Rizal and live by his legacies.  Being leaders in progress, you must drink from the cup of wisdom of your elders and the authorities. From here you develop your mind, and carry in your heart a purpose, a goal, a vow and a commitment.”  

Singson challenged them: “As you work today you will find out that today is your bright opportunity to revisit what your parents, your teachers, your elders told you – the basic of life which you need to anticipate effectively how your future will be.”

He thanked them for responding to the call of the forum, a great step they took to become productive residents of the province, inspiring not only their peers and other children, but also their families and communities.

Singson voiced his appreciation to the Tsinelas Leadership Forum, one of the programs for the youth by the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Mika Mendoza, and the speakers that included Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlso S. Medina who has been a Tsinelas speaker in the region.

In the forum conducted by the Provincial Government, Department of Education in cooperation with the foundation, the student leaders learned about project management, project proposal preparation, the role of the youth in nation building, and about the leadership style of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, called the tsinelas leadership. This is the ability to connect with and serve the people in the grassroots. 

Mika Mendoza, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member and chair of the SP Committee on youth, family and social services, pushed for this event, saying that the province’s young leaders must be empowered now that they may help fellow youth to follow the right way towards self-development, and nation-building.

Mayor Medina, as one of the speakers, shared the story of the youngest Noble Peace Prize winner, 17-year old Malala Yousafzia from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 because of her diary about her life under Taliban rule which was broadcast by the BBC.  Instead being intimidated, she took her campaign to the world after recovering from her injuries.  The Taliban was against her belief that girls have the right to be in school and get educated. In a presscon in Birmingham she sent a message to the children all over the world – “Stand for your rights.”

Janina Tabios, Federated Provincial SK President, urged her fellow young leaders to “think about other people’s needs before your own” as she encouraged them to “discover your personal advocacies, and ideals you greatly believe in and transform them into reality.”  

She acknowledged that the community needs more aspiring leaders, creative and fresh answers to solve persistent social issues. “Let us unite to move our fellow youth through timely, relevant goals,” she said, pushing fellow youth to express themselves, and show “how you transform to be the leaders you ought to be – purposeful, with a will to move forth.”

“This forum is about our advocacy and we are happy to share that in our school we fight for environmental sustainability, and peer counselling which we hope may reach fellow teeners under mental stress.  We collect bottles from each student every afternoon, clean-up the school on Wednesdays and Fridays,” said Alliah Nicole Sayo, federated president of the government council of the biggest high school in the province, Ilocos Sur National High School.

The Jesse M. Robredo Foundation (JMRF) through the Tsinelas Leadership Forum aims to introduce and share the life and leadership style of the late Secretary to college and university students and make them realize their potential in helping build the nation.  

The JMRF developed this forum to empower the youth to help solve issues confronting the country such as violation of rights, corruption and lack of people participation.

The foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to continue and perpetuate the legacy of genuine public service and good governance as lived by Robredo, was established by his family and close friends. It aims to introduce and share his works, accomplishments, and is committed to promoting development by empowering local communities. (Imelda C. Rivero / PIA Ilocos Sur)