WYA Asia Pacific Empowers Deaf Filipino Youth

With the theme “My Dignity, My Purpose,” WYA Asia Pacific partnered with the Benildean Deaf Association last September 12, 2014 at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde for the Sulong Workshop.

During the one-day workshop, Benildean Deaf Association officers and members were introduced to World Youth Alliance and its different projects and activities. The workshop included talks and activities where the participants learned more about their intrinsic and inviolable human dignity.

“I understood the importance of recognizing human dignity in our lives. Everyone deserves to be loved and respected because we all have human dignity regardless of our religion, race or color. We should never forget that we have human dignity and we should always respect other people,” a participant shares.

Solidarity activities were also conducted were the Deaf participants were divided into different groups and were paired with WYAAP interns and members. The activity provided an avenue for the Deaf students to introduce basic Filipino Sign Language to the WYA members. After the activity, WYA members were able to introduce themselves through basic Filipino Sign Language.

“The activity was very meaningful and inspiring for me because it was my first time to meet a Deaf person in my entire life. I learned a lot in the activity,” Takuma Masaume, Japanese WYAAP intern shared.

Other workshop components included activities where the participants learned on the different instances when their dignity is violated and the things that they can do to defend their dignity. They also shared about their dreams for the Filipino Deaf community. As a closing, the participants wrote their Dignity Commitments in colored papers, which they made into Japanese paper cranes to symbolize hope.

“Through the workshop, I learned deeper about human dignity and youth leadership. We can become Dignity Defenders in our daily lives by being a good example to other youth and to participate in meaningful activities that recognizes the dignity of the person,” participant Adrian Rongalerios shares.

Attended by almost 30 Deaf students and WYA members, the activity has inspired all attendees to bridge the communication gap between Deaf and hearing youth.

If you would like to invite WYA Asia Pacific to conduct a workshop in your school, organization or youth community, you may email us at asiapacific@wya.net.