By JG Soriano
Over the weekend, a leadership training for the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern-Youth (MACEC-Youth) was held in Gasan, Marinduque from October 23 to 25. The activity aimed to teach the youth about leadership, theatre, and social media to further MACEC’s campaign by instilling leadership values to the youth and honing their talents and skills in advocacy.
AFTER POTONG PICTURE-TAKING. The facilitators sitting in front wearing black shirts and red crowns with the MACEC-Youth
Five facilitators from children’s International Manila Alumni Association (CIMAA), an organization that promotes leadership and volunteerism, were invited to facilitate a leadership training program for the MACEC-Youth, joined by a staff from the Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI). The two-day program resembled an academy wherein the youth were the students and the facilitators were the teachers who will grade the kids according to their performance and participation.
Elizabeth Manggol, the executive director of MACEC told the youth on her closing remark “madami na kaming na-invest sa inyo, at nakikita na namin ang balik kita.” The investment that Mrs. Manggol was pertaining to was the trainings and other values-forming activities that they have prepared and made available for the youth of Marinduque. She shared that she was worried that the youth was not yet mature to represent themselves, more so, the environment. But she was relieved when she realized that the youth were actually learning from the trainings when she saw the outputs made by the children at the end of the program.
Investing in the Youth
Investment seems to be a very technical word used in business and finance. However, in the context of our day to day lives we do not realize that we are investing in one way or another. Investing can be applied to a lot of things other than making money. To invest means to spend money, time, or energy with the expectation and assumption of gaining more in the future. We invest in relationships by giving time to our peers and partners to make them feel loved. Moreover, we invest in ourselves by going to seminars and taking classes or beautifying ourselves to raise our own value and self-worth. However, one investment is often overlooked, our investment to the environment.
Our investment and non-investment to the environment will directly affect the future generations, especially the youth. This begs the question, are we investing in the youth? Are we making sure that the money, time, and energy that we are spending today would result to a green and sustainable life for the future generation? Or are we only investing to destructive products and extractive industries, which would ultimately deny the youth of their right to an ecologically balanced world.