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Little Voices, Big Dreams, Brighter Future

PARACALE, CAMARINES NORTE - 34 children from our partner barangays in Paracale, Labnig and Dalnac, actively participated in a leadership training for children and youth on April 26-27, 2017 in Marsan’s Resort here as part of the Center for Disaster Preparedness and UNICEF's implementation of its second phase of the DRREAM BIG Project, Disaster Risk Reduction through Education and Management of Barangay Integrated Goals.

Through participatory activities and inputs, the children and youth were given refresher lectures on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and detailed discussion on children’s national and community situation, children in times of disaster, organizational management, qualities of a good leader and the formulation of action plan per organization.

Children and youth participants were given a time and safe space to also share their experiences on how they were perceived in the community, school and family as vulnerable and weak. In the sessions, some of the common experiences among them that came out were that of bullying and the resulting lower self-esteem and confidence brought by it. It was through the group discussions however still, that they were able to share key steps and approaches they used to cope with these experiences.

“Children have rights too and we should fight for our rights!” says 13-year-old John Lloyd Badinas of Labnig youth organization, who had been inspiring his co-participants to take advantage of the training in order to energize youth participation in their locality. Badinas says the training helped them in understanding their rights and encouraged them to actively participate in community undertakings.

They agreed to strengthen their youth organizations through the implementation of their action plan on disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation, through the help and support of their barangay local government units. They will also schedule meetings for organizational development like the formulation of their Constitution and By-laws and the setting-up of different committees.

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