Thursday, July 2, 2015

Moving On: No Longer 'Out of School'

In May and June this year, Plan International's Community Development Facilitators conducted one-on-one consultations and Life Skills Training to Out-of-School-Youth (OSY) beneficiaries under the ADB JFPR Grant 9175 Sub-component A2. They were given orientation of the different courses available—skills and values they will learn and possible employments after the training. Also, through life skills training, their hearts and minds were set to have the right disposition as they embark on this new chapter in their lives. Back then, the reality of finally starting their technical/vocational training seemed like a distant dream. But this dream is finally becoming a reality for 17, out of almost 200 OSY—the first batch of beneficiaries under the grant.

On that fateful rainy Monday morning of June 29, 2015, 2 OSYs from Burauen, 3 from Dulag, 2 from Kananga, 1 from Balangiga, 2 from mainland Guiuan and 7 from the islands of Suluan and Homonhon were enrolled at Kananga EDC Insitute for Technology (KeiTech) in Barangays Rizal and Hiluctugan, Kananga, Leyte. KeiTech, does not only provide skills training but also values and discipline formation through rigid military-style training.

Arriving in two batches, one from Leyte and the other from Eastern Samar, they were accompanied by Plan International's Community Development Facilitators assigned in their barangays. The Leyte team arrived at 11 o’clock and were surprised to see that the induction for the training had already started. But still, the OSY and Plan Staff were welcomed warmly by the KeiTech staff and administration. Eagerly they listened to the orientation and promised to do well in the training.

It was a different story for the Eastern Samar team. 7 OSY had to travel from the islands of Suluan and Guiuan a day prior because they had to leave Eastern Samar at 6:00 o'clock in the morning. While on their long travel to Kananga, Leyte, there were a few mishaps. Maybe it was the excitement of finally starting the training or maybe it was the long travel, but the van had to stop a few times because some of the OSY were not feeling well. Instead of arriving at the venue by noon, they arrived in the afternoon. Still, despite the long and arduous travel, their excitement did not falter. No amount of rain nor long travel can stop them from fulfilling their desire to start their skills training and to settle to a more stable employment.

As they enter KeiTech with excitement and eagerness, many more are excited for them -- their families, fellow community members, Plan International staff, ADB consultants and other partners. On this fateful day of June 29, 2015, they are no longer Out of School Youth. And in the coming months, equipped with skills, values and discipline, they shall embark on an even more exciting chapter in their lives - employment.

Karen Joy C. Alcober
Plan International Communications Officer- ADB/JFPR Project



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