US Peace Corps and DSWD train young leaders to bring out-of-school comrades back to school

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Young participants in Nueva Ecija prepare to involve their out-of-school peers. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

At least 60 young leaders and beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4P) program have completed training provided by the United States Peace Corps (United States) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

According to the Information Office-Public Affairs Section (IO-PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, regional Youth Development Training of Trainers (RYDTT) sessions have been held over the past three years. weeks and ended on December 3.

IO-PAS said the training taught participants how to encourage their out-of-school peers to return to school through life skills and leadership sessions.

He said that this model of peer training, which will ultimately benefit over 1,000 young people in Nueva Ecija province, included sessions that are an integral part of the 4P conditional cash transfer program and are typically conducted by DSWD staff.

The US Peace Corps and DSWD are piloting the new peer-to-peer approach to more effectively reach out-of-school youth and get them back to school.

DSWD Field Office 3 Director Marites Maristela said that young leaders who are also 4Ps beneficiaries have first-hand experience in overcoming their fears and boosting their self-esteem, which makes them well placed to help their families. classmates to go back to school.

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

The Embassy’s IO-PAS said the RYDTT is a pilot initiative by the US Peace Corps and DSWD Field Office 3 to complement existing 4P support for out-of-school youth.

Funded jointly with the United States Agency for International Development, the training was limited to certain young leaders and 4P beneficiaries due to pandemic precautions, according to the embassy.

The embassy said this was the first in-person training the partners have undertaken to reach out of school youth since the start of the pandemic.

Providing support to Filipino students since 1961, the US Peace Corps is the leading voluntary organization of the US government with more than 9,300 US volunteers who have served as youth development facilitators or fulfilled other roles requested by communities of welcome across the Philippines.

Due to the pandemic resulting from the lack of volunteers, the U.S. Embassy said the Peace Corps was devoting all other available resources to helping the DSWD and other partners respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

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