The boy who rides the carabao

Dear Kapatid,

Too much analysis will cause paralysis and eventually irreparable damage. This is one of the critical lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us in the Positive Youth Development Network. The current state of affairs of our country is seemingly causing the diffusion of views towards opposite poles, the division among us becomes counterproductive and unbecoming of a stronger nation. We sometimes wait too long to respond, focusing on minor technicalities that frustrate the very end goal of serving our communities, where the battle is real, rather than technical, and away from the comforts of our homes.

As the Executive Director of PYDN, I, too, feel frustrated. My sleep patterns are also disrupted, like you, I feel anxious and sometimes confused. I know and I acknowledge that these are normal bodily responses to change. However, during these challenging times, I learned the value of hope and kalma: hope that something better is coming, kalma because I have the best team.

Then, yesterday, I received a report that one of the 45 youth organizations we are supporting, Project Duag, was featured in a radio program in Capiz. The team was able to distribute offline resource materials to almost 180 children who have limited to no access to technology. The only comfort they have is the back of their carabaos, something that many of us refuse to consider for either fear or lack of the will to find a solution.

Then we realized, if we waited too long, we would have failed these children who are waiting for someone to provide assistance, so that like those in the metro, those who have more in life, they too will have a clear shot to ace a better future. We need to not only flatten the curve, but we have a moral obligation to even out the playing field.

Inspired by this story, we at PYDN will launch the YouthHour on August 12, 2020, in time for the celebration of the International Youth Day. The boy who rode the carabao inspired me to think big every day, to reach further into the unknown, and to gather more partners so that more young people will be given the chance to contribute to shaping the #betternormal for all.

In the meantime, we ask you to reserve August 12 on your calendars. We will be asking 60 minutes of your undivided time for the youth, for their future. Please help us share the word.

Thank you!

For the youth,

Alfred O. Dicto
Executive Director,
Positive Youth Development Network, Inc.

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