Sixty young leaders from Nueva Ecija were trained on how to encourage their out-of-school peers to return to school.
The three-week training initiated by the United States Peace Corps and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ended on December 3, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines announced on Thursday, December 9.
“The training taught 60 young leaders and beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) program to encourage their out-of-school peers, through life skills and leadership sessions, to return to school,” the embassy said in a statement.
The sessions 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, with the goal of reaching out-of-school youth more effectively and getting them back to school.
The peer training model is expected to benefit over 1,000 young people in Nueva Ecija.
“Young leaders who are also beneficiaries of 4P have first-hand experience overcoming their fears and boosting their self-esteem, which makes them well placed to help their young peers return to school,” said Marites Maristela, principal. from DSWD Field Office 3.
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 Regional Training of Trainers for Youth Development is a pilot initiative of the US Peace Corps and DSWD Field Office 3 to complement existing 4P support for out-of-school youth, and is jointly funded with the United States Development Agency international.
While limited to certain young leaders and 4P beneficiaries due to pandemic precautions, this is the first in-person training partners have undertaken to reach out of school youth since the start of the pandemic.
The US Peace Corps is the principal voluntary organization of the US government and has supported Filipino students since 1961. More than 9,300 US volunteers have served as youth development facilitators or fulfilled other roles requested by host communities in across the Philippines.
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