Remarks by Lawrence Hardy II, Mission Director, Mindanao Youth for Development “2018 Youth Development Alliance Summit”

Thursday, June 21, 2018
Mindanao Youth for Development “2018 Youth Development Alliance Summit”

[As Prepared]

[Greetings]

Today is a celebration of five years of partnership, during which we have worked together to help uplift the lives of thousands of youth in Mindanao, particularly those affected by conflict.

Since USAID’s Mindanao Youth for Development project, more commonly known simply as MYDev, started in 2013, we have seen the commitment and dedication of everyone in this room to improve the future of at-risk, vulnerable, out-of-school youth in your communities.

We have seen our private sector partners – from big malls and sardine manufacturers, to small businesses, such as local restaurants and bakeries – opening their doors to our youth, giving them a first chance at a job.

We have seen our national government partner agencies expand opportunities for youth in education, entrepreneurship, employment and livelihood training. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Education, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Agriculture, the National Youth Commission, and others, have been very generous with their expertise, their time, and their resources to give the youth of Mindanao better prospects at improving their lives.

We have seen local chief executives and dynamic mayors leading and energizing the Youth Development Alliance as a means of collaborating to create opportunities for youth. Many of you are in the final stages of institutionalizing the alliances through local legislation, with some areas, such as Isabela City, passing their very own Youth Code and setting up their own Youth Development Office.

We have seen our barangay leaders take an instrumental role in identifying the youth with whom we have worked. These leaders also provided youth with opportunities to engage and be active in their communities, allowing youth to give back to their communities and become more active citizens.

And, we have seen that working together results in amazing achievements.

In the past five years, we have directly reached close to 20,000 youth. More than 11,500 of these youth have earned technical-vocational certifications; more than 3,000 have completed the Alternative Learning Systems, or ALS, program. All have gone through critical life skills training, and all have served their communities. Our impact studies show that close to a third of our youth have increased their income or found higher paying jobs, and more than 70 percent of our youth participants report that they view their communities, their government, and themselves positively.

Finally, you, the members of the Development Alliances, have collectively contributed more than 50 million pesos to support our activities for the out-of-school youth. I think this deserves a round of applause.

To all of you here present, without your support, these young people would not have had the opportunity to pursue education and training or build careers that will help them become more productive members of their communities.

USAID is honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to have worked with you all as together we provided a brighter and more productive future for Mindanao’s youth.

But our work is not yet done. And, in recognition of your commitment to the youth of Mindanao, I would like to formally announce USAID’s additional investment of more than 250 million pesos (4.9 million dollars) to extend the MYDev project an additional year.

This new investment is part of the U.S. government’s support to youth affected by the Marawi crisis. Our investment also provides resources for MyDev to expand and deepen its work in other areas of Mindanao.

By extending MyDev, we will reach more youth, strengthen youth resiliency amidst conflict and crisis, and expand our geographic reach. I would like to acknowledge the three newly-formed Youth Development Alliances of Saguiaran in Lanao del Sur, and Balo-i and Iligan City in Lanao del Norte. To our three new LGUs, thank you for joining, welcome to the program, and we look forward to working together

I would like to take a moment to recognize one of our existing Youth Development Alliances. To our partners here today from Marawi’s Youth Development Alliance, I’d like to thank you for showing us the indomitable spirit of Mindanawon.

Despite being caught in a conflict that shocked the country, you continued to provide needed support and services for Marawi youth. Indeed, your resilience in carrying out your vision for the youth of Marawi is truly inspiring.

I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the Education Development Center, led by Nancy Wallace, for the amazing work they do in implementing MYDev.

Together with civil society partners and service providers, EDC has done an excellent job implementing this complex program and ensuring that the activities we implement are relevant, necessary and effective. Nancy, thank you to you and your Team.

Finally, I would like to recognize the MYDev youth who are with us today. Your stories of resilience and triumph are uplifting.

You are living proof that with hard work and determination, you can change the course of your lives and choose paths that are beneficial to yourselves, your families, and your communities.

The U.S. government remains a committed partner in working to provide Mindanao youth with opportunities.

Thank you all for your work, for your commitment, and your partnership as together, we pursue a more stable and prosperous Philippines.

Once more, maayong buntag kaninyong tanan!

Issuing Country 

Last updated: July 11, 2018

Share This Page