Voices – tiny, unheard, or maybe it ceases to be heard, but after all, it goes back to their values, to their principles, to what they fight for. And that’s what it’s all about.
Negrosanon Young Leaders Summit for years of crafting leaders towards wakening the call of servant leadership within them has come to its third year – and so, it means that leaders still thrive and is thriving to wherever they are now. It has always been to eradicate apathy to these leaders, to expose their eyes to the not so harsh but cruel society we live in, and to teach them to pursue their advocacies through their passion projects that would create even the littlest yet meaningful change in the society.
FIRE ON FIRE. Servant Leadership has always been a focus in the summit – the purpose is to rekindle the fire of nationalism and social democracy through the delegates’ heart, and so, it means that they will get to realize their roles to the society – and that they will be able to take action to the urgent problems and issues because if not them, who will?
This year’s summit honed 26 young leaders from all over the province, with 16 passion projects pitched to the experts and is to be implemented, sooner this year. For five days, they experienced grace under pressure over the course of camaraderie. Indoor activities have equipped them with what they need to assess towards their advocacies and projects, and so as the outdoor activities unveiled their self, their character, and on how well they work with one another.
Their journey, like all other delegates before, was so blurry as it may seem – they may have thought that this summit will just be talking about leadership, but then, they themselves realized that it is all about making your voice be truly heard and so by that, you are to take an action. With the hopes of coloring this grey and dull society, they have weaved their pastels of hope into something that they knew could help – into something they believe that is best for the society.
And of course, their story is also meant to be told.
There was once a leadership journey of a young leader, wherein the leader just sketched a stalk of “palay” and associated it with what she has gone through. On how she was both watered by both the negativities and the inspiration that come in her life – even the chances that have been offered to her to lead and be of change to the society. She even stated that her roots are anchored to her faith – and that s what made her who she is right now. But one thing she did share is her as a palay – when a palay ripens and grows mature, it bows down and so, she bows down, as a symbol of a humbled heart which is a necessity for all leaders to realize in this generation – and yes, it made sense, a very perfect sense. Humility in leadership despite the crowns of recognition we may have for volunteering and helping.
Capacitating these leaders towards upward mobility means to tell them their chance to change the world today. When they were asked in an outdoor activity – “Your goal is to collect all that you can” , they first tried to clamour over some pieces of cloth without realizing that all they have to do was to join all their pieces as one – and so, it means that they are just willing to fight over their fellow leader to attain their goal, and not realizing that they can just altogether do it. But then, they are leaders. They have indeed realized that they do not live for themselves alone but for others. They have realized for a fact that altogether they can achieve more goals, and altogether they can change the world and they will change the world.
Every day was a test of faith for these leaders. Having some revisions over and over again has made them feel burdened yet happy for their projects. The speakers from Day 1 to Day 3 has made them fully realize their potentials and so as what the present day suggests, their actions to the most pressing issues experienced in their locality. We heard what they have been crying, what are the roots of their project, and what they have been fighting for, and helped them to face it and make a solution for it.
Every project has a story to tell – may it be the creeks that have gone dirty or the children who have not granted their right to be educated; even the laws that are not practiced and even the language that ceases and thrives to exist; may it be the concern for health, or even trying to surpass and break the stereotypes in this society. Each and every story anchors itself to the purpose and to the voices of those who are unheard and who have not given the chance to be heard.
And this is what it is all about – what NYLS really is all about.
NYLS trains leader so that they would be of great help to the society – that they will lend a hand to these voices so that these voices will be heard and given importance. They are meant to be the bringers of hope to the oppressed and by little changes, we could create a better world for each and every one. Silver linings may connote romanticizing but we have no choice but to adhere to the positivity so that, we, in the end, have something to look forward – something to eye as a goal, as a reason why we are still trying and trying over and over again.
The challenge lasts a lifetime of commitment, and these new batch of delegates will be able to be a part of a summit that could change their “panan-awon” – to breed Negrosanon Young Leaders who are not apathetic but empathetic, proactive but not reactive, and of course genuine but not mediocre. The odds may still remain odd and so hard to vanquish but altogether, Negros will be sustainable again – it will illuminate the hope to the citizens that once, we unified our goal – and so, what’s impossible will become possible. PANGINBULAHAN to the leaders who accepted and embraced the most real sense of leadership – because the real test of leadership is leading yourself first, so you can lead someone, and after which, you can lead a community – altogether for a non-futile future – just as what the palay suggests, let it be that we shall let our feet remain on the ground but let our mouths speak with the advocacy – even to infinity and beyond, to the stars and the zenith of realities and back to our earthly hearts!
A venture of service and love – is an everyday reality – with their eyes fixed on the life that lies ahead of tomorrow. And despite the foes, we will need to exist./ John Rey Vituro Reyes, Communications Associate