Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines was selected as one of the Top Model Youth Leadership Programs of 2016 by the global youth leadership program search, YouthLeadGlobal.
YouthLeadGlobal is a collaborative engagement of Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Youth Health and Rights Coalition.
The global review aims to identify and examine effective youth leadership programs, models and strategies from around the world that aim to improve health outcomes for the youth through leadership. Qualified programs give focus on the youth’s health, as well as nurturing their leadership and knowledge skills. Such programs must have demonstrated positive outcomes for the youth in general, including the development of health services of youth-oriented organisations and communities. Furthermore, these programs should provide opportunities for the youth to practice leadership.
Since 2015, the global search has identified 11 remarkable youth leadership programs all over the world. Featured programs alongside VYLH (Philippines) are Global Changemakers (Switzerland), African Youth and Adolescent Network on Population and Development - Eastern and Southern Africa Region (South Africa), Project Jeune Leader (Madagascar), Uganda Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Adolescent Health (Uganda), Family Health Options Kenya (Kenya) and Hacey (Nigeria).
Meanwhile, four organizations were recognized as Top Youth Leadership Programs in 2015: Women Deliver’s Young Leaders Program (USA), Center for Creative Leadership’s Leadership and Debate Program (Ethiopia), Emerging Leaders Foundation (Kenya), and GOJoven International (USA).
Volunteers Youth Leaders for Health – Philippines (VYLH-Philippines) is a national collaboration of youth leaders representing various organizations from universities and communities in the Philippines. VYLH is part of an international effort to establish the March of Dimes - Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GNMIH). The network event was participated by youth counterparts in China and Lebanon who are linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service to improve birth outcomes worldwide through advocacy initiatives. Since its formation in 2009, VYLH has led the Filipino youth in promoting public awareness on folic acid and its role in the prevention of neural tube defects, newborn screening, prematurity awareness, preconception health, as well as the rights and needs of Filipinos with rare diseases.
VYLH-Philippines is honored to be the first Asian and the first Filipino youth organization to be recognized in this global search. This commendation will certainly serve as an inspiration to the network in fulfilling its goal of empowering the Filipino youth for a healthier Philippines, as well as to continuously innovate the network’s initiatives in sharing health advocacies.
Profiles of the identified youth leadership programs for 2015 and 2016 are posted online at http://youthleadglobal.org.#RPascual
Ryan Pascual (@rypascual) is a BS Biology major in Plant Biology graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (2010) and an MS student at UP Diliman. He is a proud member of The UPLB Genetics Society where he served as Education Committee Head (2008-09) and Folic Acid Campaign Committee Head (2009-10). He is also the first National President of VYLH-Philippines (2011-12).
Editor Joan Barredo