The Philippine economy has continued to grow within the past years, and is expected to maintain that growth with a new president at the helm. Yet despite seemingly positive numbers, poverty continues to plague our country.
Our population is hugely comprised of families that earn less than or equal to the minimum wage per day. I see many children on the streets begging for spare change. I hear about government officials misusing public funds for their personal benefit. It seems the struggle of the Filipinos for a better life continues to be hindered by a barrage of problems. There are differences in opinions, and the need for survival takes over the need for solidarity.
But the general picture is not necessarily a gloomy one, and I believe that a move towards giving more importance to education will present a ray of light in our situation. I do not only mean a formal education – a K-12 system or a university degree, but rather, a general education, where we learn new knowledge or improve our skills.
We all have the intrinsic capabilities to help create significant change for our society. Although, it is evident that many of us are pre-occupied with self-improvement, thinking that we can do things on our own. Yes, developing our own skills and traits are important but to create a bigger impact to result in the change we want to witness and feel, we have to realize that everyone has value, that everyone has something they can offer. We should unify as a community to achieve this goal within our lifetime, and for future generations.
And this is what I love about World Youth Alliance (WYA). This organization helps people achieve their potential and reach their peak capabilities by providing opportunities and avenues where they can utilize their skills towards a better tomorrow. WYA Asia Pacific, for example, organizes workshops that tackle different aspects of human interests and address the different issues that the region is facing right now. As a WYAAP intern, I have experienced working with different types of people from different walks of life. It gave me an opportunity to see how other people work and how we can all work together towards a common goal, which is ultimately for the improvement of the current situation of our society.
For me, that’s how we can create a huge impact in our society. First, become aware of what is happening and what we are capable of doing. And second, recognize that this capability is present in others as well and that they too have the same goal and are willing to cooperate to achieve this.
Written by John Maverick Espinola, current intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office.