U.S. Peace Corps and DSWD Train Young Leaders to Bring Out-of-School Peers Back to School

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Youth participants from Nueva Ecija prepare to engage their out-of-school peers.

Youth participants from Nueva Ecija prepare to engage their out-of-school peers.

Manila, December 8, 2021—On December 3, the United States Peace Corps and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) marked the conclusion of the training of trainers for regional youth development sessions held during the three last weeks.

The training taught 60 young leaders and beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4P) program how to encourage their out-of-school peers, through life skills and leadership sessions, to return to school. This peer training model will ultimately benefit more than 1,000 young people in Nueva Ecija.

These sessions are an integral part of the 4P conditional cash transfer program and are usually conducted by DSWD staff. The United States Peace Corps and DSWD are piloting the new peer-to-peer approach, with the goal of more effectively reaching out-of-school youth and getting them back into school.

“Young leaders who are also beneficiaries of the 4Ps have direct experience in overcoming their fears and building their self-esteem, which positions them well to help their fellow youth return to school,” said the director of the DSWD Field Office 3, Marites Maristela, at closing. ceremony.

Peace Corps Philippines Country Director Jenner Edelman praised the young leaders for “playing a crucial role in the development [their] communities and inspiring out-of-school youth to believe in themselves and see education as a key pathway to achieving their dreams.

The Regional Training of Trainers for Youth Development is a pilot initiative of the U.S. Peace Corps and DSWD Field Office 3 to complement existing 4Ps support to out-of-school youth, and is jointly funded with the United Nations United States for International Development.

Although limited to select young leaders and beneficiaries of the 4Ps due to pandemic precautions, this is the first in-person training the partners have undertaken to reach out-of-school youth since the pandemic began.

The U.S. Peace Corps is the U.S. government’s premier volunteer organization and has supported Filipino students since 1961. More than 9,300 U.S. volunteers have served as youth development facilitators or fulfilled other roles requested by communities hospitality across the Philippines.

In the absence of volunteers due to the pandemic, Peace Corps is dedicating all other available resources to assist DSWD and other partners in responding to and recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

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