Prepared by the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) few elections back as a concrete response to the need to form young people in social awareness and involvement, and as a particular tool to aid the youth ministries, the module has been revised to make it more relevant and ready for use by youth ministers with the young people.
Titled “Kabataang Bayani: Youth for HOPE”, the module is a concrete action for the young people to know how to exercise their right to suffrage.
According to ECY, this formation program aims to bring out the “hero” that is in each young person, believing that young people have the power to effect change, especially in our society, and that they are indeed the hope for a better world.
The expanded program include a formation module, and an invitation for young people to be pro-active in the midst of socio-political issues which aims to provide a venue for Filipino youth to become more aware of the country’s socio-political scene and make them realize their vital role in transforming the situation.
The module will also help form the youth into conscientious citizens and inspire them to concretely express their love of country by participating actively and responsibly in the national and local elections.
It also promotes a simultaneous prayer service on the eve of every national and local elections, where the youth, together with the members of their community – at home, among friends and peers, in the parish, diocese or organization— pray for honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE).
The module has included three workshops. The first workshop titled “May Pakiramdam Ka Ba?” aims to bring to participants awareness and process their feelings regarding their experience/s of past elections and/or the upcoming one, reflect on their voting behavior and value system and how these contribute to the prevailing political and electoral culture; and identify behavior, value systems and practices that needs to be maintained and/or transformed.
Workshop 2 which is “Konek Ka Riyan!” hopes to enable the participants to realize that all people are part of the society and that “what we do, or do not do, contributes to the situation that our society is in” and aims to promote a deeper understanding of co-existence and co-responsibility.
The 3rd workshop, titled “Vote ko ‘to”, aims to instill in young people a greater love of country, to empower them to dream of a better world and see how this can take shape through the choices that they make, particularly for the coming elections.
The formation program has three components, namely the formation module: “Make It Happen”, the re-entry component which is “Make A Stand” (concrete political action), and liturgy: “A Candle for HOPE”.
Make it happen aims to instill in the minds of young people a deeper love for country and an awareness and appreciation of their ability to effect social transformation while Make A Stand is a re-entry session that invites and guides the youth to commit to a concrete political action from among possible ways of active participation in the electoral process in particular, and in social transformation in general.
“A Candle for HOPE” is an activity started last May 2001 elections enjoining the young to light a candle at exactly 6 pm on the eve of the elections and pray for an Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections.
Youth organizations and movements who are interested to know more about the formation program may call the ECY office at (02) 527-9567 or 527-9566 and visit the website www.cbcp-ecy.ph. (Jandel Posion)