|Photo: Ten Accomplished Youth Organization (TAYO) Foundation|
By Rency Raquid (Riboswitch)
MANILA – The UPLB Genetics Society landed on the Top 20 of this year’s Search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) of the Philippines courtesy of its project, K4Health: Kabataan for Health – Kabataang Kabalikat ng Komunidad Para Sa Kalusugan.
The prestigious search, dubbed as the “FAMAS Awards” of youth organizations, was organized by TAYO Awards Foundation Inc., National Youth Commission, Offices of the Senator Bam Aquino and Senator Francis Pangilinan and has been running for fourteen (14) years already. The K4Health Project of the organization was among the 443 entries from different organizations across the archipelago which undergone the rigorous process of field validation and panel deliberations before clinching a spot in the National Finals.
The TAYO Week, which was held last February 12-16, 2017 at the Diamond Hotel, Manila, was attended by GeneSoc President, Merc Emil Matienzo (Batch Riboswitch). The National Judging and Mentoring held at the Senate of the Philippines were among the highlights of the week-long activities. GeneSoc also had the chance to share the hopeful visions of the K4Health project in promoting maternal and infant health in a morning radio program, Rated PG. Matienzo emphasized in aninterview at DZRH AM 666 that “These are the health issues which are underrated and only few people know about. So, we thought that the youth can be an instrument in providing solutions in their own community through advocating for birth defects prevention and maternal care.”
The TAYO Week was also co-presented by Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc., and in partnership with Jollibee Foods Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Lenovo, Smart Communications, and De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.
“The experience was really overwhelming. I feel so grateful and very privileged to have represented GeneSoc since this is also the first time we participated in such endeavor,” said Matienzo on his takeaways from the recently held TAYO Week. “Also, the recognition by the eminent leaders of the country and executives of huge companies on the noble change that we want to pursue is really an honor,” he added.
“About the future plans… of course, after TAYO Awards we’ll still push the replication of the project to other underserved communities like Nampicuan . We are actually receiving text messages and Facebook queries from some Municipal Councilors and Municipal Health Officers on how we can bring the project in their area. We have laid out plans to implement the project in San Luis, Aurora and then hopefully in Mindoro also,” Matienzo closed.#
Read more about the K4Health Project
The K4Health-Nampicuan Project was organized in collaboration with Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health-Philippines and the Municipality of Nampicuan - Nueva Ecija. The project was supported by the Department of Health Central Luzon Regional Office (DOH Region III), Newborn Screening Center-Central Luzon (NSC-CL), and Institute of Human Genetics-National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila.