The past two years may have been difficult for Filipinos, but 10 youth organizations have inspired their compatriots to find hope and rise above adversity. Through their advocacy, the winners of the 19th Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards are helping to create a better future for many Filipinos.
Co-presented by the TAYO Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines and San Miguel Corporation, the 19th TAYO Awards recognized youth organizations that positively impact communities through culture, arts and heritage; education and technology; environment, disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change; Health, well-being and human development; and Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship. This year’s TAYO Awards received a record number of entries at 933, with 67 Validation Interview Qualifiers, 40 Semi-Finalists and 20 National Finalists.
“We are always inspired by your stories. TAYO began in 2002 as an awards body and funder of projects that empower communities. Each year, we award seed grants to youth organizations to help them start or continue programs that have proven successful in the communities where they are based. For us at The Coca-Cola Foundation, being part of the TAYO Awards for the past 15 years has been rewarding. The challenges faced by the winners in 2012 are radically different from the challenges of 2021 – what remains the same is the courage, the passion to be guardians of the nation and the environment,” said Cecile Alcantara, President of the Coca-Cola Philippines Foundation. during the virtual awards ceremony.
The Coke Barkada Prize was also awarded to a TAYO 19 finalist, who will receive a P30,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to advance its sustainability programs, to improve the well-being of communities by implementing projects aligned with The Coca-Cola. Corporate sustainability priorities.
Kabasalan National High School YES-O (Youth for Environment in Schools Organization) won this special award for providing clean water to remote communities in Zamboanga, where families have struggled for decades to access clean water. Under Franco Apoyon’s leadership, Kabasalan NHS YES-O braved rugged terrain to reach and educate households about the importance of preserving the environment, conserving water and restoring watersheds. After eight years of communicating their youth-led advocacy, Kabasalan NHS YES-O has also been declared one of the TAYO 19 winners.
The TAYO 19 winners stuck to this year’s theme, “Aahon Tayo!” it is by inspiring hope in Filipinos and encouraging them to come together for a better future even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
FHMom, a Taguig City-based organization that empowers women, especially mothers, through free webinars and online courses on entrepreneurship, parenting, and personal growth, was among the first TAYO award winners. Following their triumph, Kristiano-Islam Peace Library, a non-profit organization that has built libraries and provided educational support to Filipino children stricken by conflict and poverty.
Supporting Cagayan de Oro City’s “magpapadyak” through income-generating programs resulted in a TAYO award for Tabang Sikad, a volunteer-based organization that provides livelihoods for pedicab drivers and to their wives. FarmBox, winner of TAYO 19, has improved the lives of at least 225 local farmers in Calaca, Batangas province, through boxes that have helped them access quality essential agricultural products, agricultural solutions, digital tools and manuals.
Education, legal and financial aid for underserved communities, students
Student-gamers in Iloilo City have seen renewed hope thanks to scholarships from San Agustin Golden Eagle Esports, which has supported their passions and provided financial assistance for their education. Beating the stigma surrounding the esports community, the organization was recognized as a TAYO 19 winner.
Sulong! The Philippines, another well-deserved winner, helps survivors of sexual harassment and violence seek justice and healing by providing free legal and psychosocial support. Similarly, Project Smile and Therawee have been providing children with disabilities and their families access to therapy remotely since September 2020.
Recognizing “vaccination hesitancy” among Filipinos at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alliance of Public Health Advocates won the TAYO 19 award for launching a regional vaccine education campaign in Calabarzon .
And as Mindanao’s LGBTQIA+ community continues to face discrimination to this day, Mindanao Pride has stood up to lead social media campaigns by sharing stories of love, compassion and acceptance in a conflict-ridden region.
Among the finalists were an organization in the city of Mandaluyong that launched education campaigns on tuberculosis; health and safety advocates for women and children in the city of Cagayan de Oro; young leaders promoting an environmentally friendly society in the province of Agusan del Sur; a group of education advocates in Marinduque that brought classrooms closer to learners; an Aklan-based project that provided inclusive, relevant and quality education to learners with special educational needs; a group of young leaders who donated books to public schools in the province of Negros Occidental; a grassroots movement in Mandaue City, Cebu Province, improving the lives of underserved communities through the use of renewable energy; a non-profit organization that offered agricultural scholarships to children in Pangasinan; a university student council that has launched educational campaigns that preserve the rich Ata culture in Negros Occidental; and a volunteer group in Cagayan province that provided school supplies to hard-to-reach communities.
“TAYO has grown from being more than just an awards show; it has also become a bridge for organizations like yours to collaborate and work together for the country. We hope this will continue even beyond the rewards. I hope you will use this TAYO experience to do more good for your members, your communities and for your beloved country,” Alcantara told the winners.
Since 2006, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc. has partnered with the TAYO Foundation to recognize the initiatives of self-sustaining youth organizations that strive to create a better and more sustainable future for Filipinos. The award is a testament to Coca-Cola’s support of the country’s young changemakers and its commitment to empowering future generations.
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