| About VYLH-Philippines
VYLH-Philippines is a network of pro-active, service oriented, empowering, and visionary leaders equipped with knowledge and skills in mobilizing the youth towards a healthy Philippines.
The Volunteers Youth Leaders for Health – Philippines (VYLH-Philippines) is a network of leaders from the different youth organizations based in universities and communities throughout the Philippines. This novel undertaking is part of an international effort to establish the Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health (GNMIH) participated by youth counterparts in China, Brazil and Lebanon linked by the common interest of volunteerism and public service, to improve birth outcomes worldwide through advocacy.
[Related Link: The UPLB Genetics Society Folic Acid Campaign Committee]
August - December 2008. GeneSoc together with technical partners from the Institute of Human Genetics, Ms. Jennifer Chiu and Ms. Aster Lyn Sur, RN, started to develop the program proposal and youth questionnaire. The group was under the supervision of then director of IHG-NIH, Dr. Carmencita Padilla, and Dr. Merlyn Mendioro, the senior adviser of The UPLB Genetics Society.
January 6, 2009. A meeting which formally introduced the project to the administration of UP Los Baños was held at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Instruction, Dr. Rita Laude. After the meeting, an endorsement by the Chancellor Dr. Luis Rey Velasco was processed. The endorsement signified the understanding and support of the UPLB administration to the campaign. It also allowed the conduct of advocacy campaign activities within the campus.
January 2009. The Folic Acid Campaign was formally launched as
an activity of The UPLB Genetics during the 4th offering of the annual
Genetics Camp, an event for High school students and faculty. The Camp
which for the first time covered a Luzon-wide attendance served as an
avenue for a special symposium on the importance of folic acid
supplementation on the prevention of birth defects. The lecture was
presented by Dr. Carmencita Padilla. Assessment of the participants
awareness about the topic was done through the questionnaire formulated
by the group. A free tablet of a multivitamin supplement with the
recommended folic acid content was also given to the participants in
order to gain the complete folic acid experience.
February 2009. The UPLB Genetics Society sent invitations to UPLB Student Organizations regarding an orientation-workshop in forming a network of youth leaders in UPLB. The organizations that responded positively became the CORE members of VYLH-UPLB, namely The UPLB Microbiological Society, UP Oikos and the UP Society of Human Settlements Planners (UP HSPSoc).
March 2009. Dr. Merlyn Mendioro, the senior adviser of the
UPLB Genetics Society and UPLB Faculty Adviser of the VYLH, gave a
lecture on folic acid and its importance in the prevenetion of birth
defects to the General Education (GE) class on nutrition (NASCI 6: Food,
Nutrition and a Health Life) through the help of Dr. Wilma Hurtada
(Professor, Institute of Human Nutition and Food of the College of Human
Ecology; NASCI 6 Coordinator). The lecture was given to three large
classes. Each large class is composed of at least 100 students. Lectures
were also given to BIO 30 (Genetics Course) and NASCI 4 (The Living
Planet) students. Both classes were duly handled by the UPLB Adviser,
July 17-19 2009. Members of the VYLH-Core group (VYLH-UP
Los Baños) became the pioneer facilitators of the Institution and
Planning Workshop of the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (First
National Youth Camp) at Dacha Hotel, Tagaytay City.
This two-night, three-day event was a partnership of UPLB student organizations, the Department of Health and the Institute of Human Genetics, NIH-UP Manila. The members of the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health – Los Baños and faculty members of the Institute of Biological Sciences, UPLB acted as participant-facilitators of the event. The event was attended by university- and community-based organizations invited by IHG-NIH. The objectives of the event were:
1. To create a
network of volunteer youth leaders and youth organizations in
universities and schools in major cities and communities; and
2. To promote awareness on the role of folic acid on the prevention of birth defects specifically neural tube defects among the volunteer youth leaders.
The National Youth Camp marked the launch of massive information drive in schools and communities represented by the attendees. The pioneer batch of leaders conducted a series of advocacy and promotional activities in their respective schools and communities. In some schools or universities, the network expanded in other organizations. Majority of community based youth organizations became partners of the rural and city health offices of their respective communities. They were also mobilized in the advocacy and promotional work of the health center.
Inspired by the result of the ground-breaking effort of the pioneering leaders, a series of Island-wide youth camps were conducted last July 2010. The island-wide youth camps aimed to orient a new set of leaders about the VYLH and its health advocacies in order to increase the membership of the VYLH network in other schools/universities and other communities from unrepresented areas from the pioneer group.
The theme for the recently concluded island-wide camps was “VYLH Philippines – K4: Kabataan Kabalikat ng Kalusugan para sa Kinabukasan”. The theme reiterated the unique role of VYLH as partners of the Department of Health and the Institutes of Human Genetics, NIH in pursuing activities towards the improving quality life of the public. The series of camps were conducted and facilitated primarily by the pioneering leaders of the first VYLH camp. The activity served as a venue wherein pioneering leaders were able to develop further their leadership and facilitating skills. The camps were conducted in collaboration and support of IHG-NIH, Newborn Screening Centers (Visayas and Mindanao), Center for Health Development - DOH Region 7, and National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDPC) – Child Health Division.
- The seeds (innermost portion) represent the role of the youth in health advocacy and promotion, and the significance of empowering the youth towards a healthy nation.
- The eight (8) individuals represent the four (4) clusters: NCR, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; and the four (4) pioneer collaborating institutions:
- Department of Health;
- Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health - UP Manila;
- Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC); and
- The UPLB Genetics Society, a student organization
- The act of holding each other signifies the collective and continuous effort of the network and its partners towards achieving the goals and objectives of the network.
- The bodies radiating from the center shows that the organization is rooted to its role to society and its principles.
- The four colors namely yellow, orange, yellow orange, and red orange represent the four principles embodying VYLH-Philippines namely leadership, commitment, advocacy and volunteerism.
- The choice of the said colors signify the burning spirit of volunteerism and the radiating energy of the youth.
The VYLH-Philippines emblem was designed by Mr. Zando Escultura.