A Healthy Distraction: Maximizing the Spare Time of the Youth

This blog is a reflection on the recent World Youth Alliance Miriam College High School Chapter (WYA-MCHS) Webinar Series. The WYA-MCHS Chapter is located in the Philippines.

It was the start of a new school year. New teachers, new classmates, and evidently, a new set-up. Not being able to meet face to face halted a lot of potential projects we had lined up. We had to find a way to connect to the rest of our members and share WYA’s objective. Thankfully enough, after endless cups of coffee and late-night video calls, we, the logistics head and assistant head came up with our Webinar Series. The WYA-Miriam College High School Chapter Webinar Series is a Google Meet event held every month, each episode tackling a different topic, ranging from the experiences of past WYA MCHS members to talks from professionals on how to budget your money. Lasting for around an hour and a half, not only do great speakers share their wisdom, but various performances and icebreakers are prepared as well.

As we were preparing for the project’s debut last November 2020, we had to find a way to involve all members of the logistics committee. Each member was put into a group in charge of handling one episode of the series. The members had full creative freedom of the flow, speakers, performances, and even the tokens. We were simply there to supervise and give guidance whenever they needed it. To say that the Webinar Series is the logistics committee’s task for the year is an understatement—it was our baby.

In each episode, there are different objectives. For the first one, the episode aimed to inspire the members of the organization to find advocacies that would allow them to help those in need, and those who cannot defend themselves. It challenged the members to become a change this world needs, and to continue their journey in finding solutions to defend human dignity, it is also a call to join different organizations that would help them in their advocacy even after they leave WYA. The second episode aimed to let the members know that defending human dignity includes taking care of oneself, that it is okay to take a seat back and take a break from everything that is happening. If one is able to regain all the energy they lost after they took a break, they will come back stronger and will be able to help more people.

During the first episode of the webinar, we learned that all of us are given different opportunities to defend human dignity, may it be through finding our own advocacies, being educated about the certain scenarios when our dignity is violated, and trying to find solutions for them, lending a helping hand to those who are in need, or joining an organization, like the World Youth Alliance. The various speakers invited taught us one thing: that it is never too late or never too early to find your own purpose in life, and that there are different opportunities that will help us fulfill our purpose. We encounter tough times in our search for our purpose but that does not mean that we should give up. Having those tough times are normal, all of us go through those and they fuel us to become the better versions of ourselves every day. As members of the World Youth Alliance, we know we are called to be the voice of those who are voiceless, of those who cannot fight for their own rights. We are called to help those who are in need even in our own little way. Helping defend human dignity does not stop when one becomes a part of WYA, for becoming a member is the only start of one’s journey towards helping others. Whether one is a member of the organization or not, they are still called to have their own advocacy, but maybe, joining WYA is one step closer for them in finding that said purpose in life.

The second episode taught us something new. It reminded us that it is okay to take a break and to rest because that is what each one of us deserves. It seems distant when connected to the advocacy of WYA, but it is not far from what the organization aims for. Human Dignity entails that everyone deserves equal respect from conception to death, and that does not only call for respecting other people and treating them equally, but it also calls for respecting ourselves. One of the ways we can do to respect ourselves is to take care of our mental health and physical health. The different speakers invited gave different tips; they taught us that we can always take a break from the news when it overwhelms us, we can always find something new to do to be able to relax, and that we can connect the activities I do to our real purpose in life. Ascertain issues that violate human dignity continue to grow every single day, there are instances when we feel drained just by simply reading the news. During the times when we feel drained, there can only be one option: to rest. We all deserve a good rest at the end of the day, and we all deserve to take care of our own health, for when we do, we will be able to help more people. When we regain our energy, we can refocus ourselves on our true purpose in life, and we are able to continue doing our mission.

These learnings taught us that as WYA leaders, it is our job to be trailblazers and take initiative in formulating new ideas on how to defend human dignity. Moreover, even after we leave high school, our main duty as WYA-MCHS core members would never leave us. We still have the mission to spread WYA’s advocacy, no matter where we end up in the future. Whether it be to keep in touch with our chapter or to start our own, doing so would greatly be beneficial.

As the school year comes to an end, so does our webinar series. For months, we have poured out all our efforts and time for us to be able to produce webinars that will be beneficial not only to the WYA members but also to the non-WYA members as well. It would be an understatement if we would state that the webinars we held were successful, the both of us and the whole Logistics Committee can attest that it is more than that. The webinars were seen as the products of our sleepless nights, late-night video calls, and hours of staring at our screens, but through it all, we know we were able to make it worth sharing and worth memorable. The process of planning may have been a tough one, but it did something that none of us can ever hide, it brought us and our members closer to one another though we only see each other on screen, and though we are miles apart. It may be hard to say good-bye, but we know that this is only the start of more successful events that the Logistics Committee will head.

Published: March 19, 2021
Written by Erika Juliano, WYA-MCHS Logistics Head, and Sophia Arona, WYA-MCHS Logistics Assistant Head