The story of ten chairs

Dear Kapatid,

Happy Tuesday!

Like everyone else, I also have my frustrations in life.

Exactly seven years ago, I happen to have observed one of our barangay meetings in our municipality. The meeting was about creating a plan of action to address the rapid increase in cases of diarrhea. There were only ten chairs around the table. Noteworthy to say, there was no single chair reserved for young people. With my group, we brought our own chairs and sat near the barangay captain. Our idea helped in solving the problem.

Then a young SK official from Capiz asked me, “Hindi ka nagalit kuya?” I told him that prolonged anger is not a youthful promotion of one’s cause. To take up space, inspire, and compromise are more effective means.

Fast forward to today, this story became the very foundation of Positive Youth Development Network; this story flows within the veins of the Young House Heroes Initiative; this story inspires hundreds and thousands of our youth volunteers; and this story calls us to reach across divides, especially in this time of great uncertainty and shifting of spaces. One of our strategies is conducting weekly online post-dinner chitchats with the youth from all around the country. You may view the result of our latest focus group discussion here.

We dream to unite SK Federations in Visayas under one banner, we acknowledge that this aspiration is more theoretical than real if we will not acknowledge and address the divides at the earliest possible time. As a result, last week, we are happy receiving the support of the SK Federation of Siquijor, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Antique, and Aklan. We also admitted the second group of Young House Heroes to embark on their mission in promoting holistic health among young people in the region.

As we start the week, may we be inspired by the story of the “Ten chairs.” May we never be afraid to take up our own space in the world by first reaching across the divides.

For the youth,

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

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