Thanks to Trublue for telling us about Jaylord Langbayan in his comment here. Jerome, an Igorot kid from Aurora is going to represent the Philippines in a special UN session for children. Here’s the report from Philippine Star (via ABS-CBN).
16-year-old Igorot student to represent RP in UN special session
By RAINIER ALLAN RONDA
The Philippine Star
A 16-year-old senior high school student at the Dipaculao National High School in Aurora province will be a delegate to the UNGASS+5, a commemorative event to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children and its “A World Fit for Children” document.
Jaylord Langbayan, an Igorot, is the delegate to the UNGASS+5 event to be held in New York City. He is being sent by the World Vision organization, being one of its sponsored children.
As representative, Langbayan will participate in official roundtables and have opportunities to do advocacy for children.
Langbayan, who dreams of becoming a writer and a social worker, is passionate about children empowerment, participation and equal representation.
“I want to help children find their voice for them to be heard,” he says.
Langbayan attributes his advocacy to his experiences as a young child belonging to an ethnic group in the highlands of Luzon.
“Before people from lowlands would treat us, Igorots, as if we were not humans. We were often laughed at and were said to have tails,” recalls Langbayan.
“But things are better now. I know my rights and I often speak about them in public,” he shares.
Langbayan currently chairs the Luzon Coalition of Children’s Association in the Philippines (LuCCAP).
He also represents the children’s association of Luzon during meetings and events of the National Coalition of Children’s Association in the Philippines (NaCCAP).
His role involves actively organizing children at the village and municipal levels.
Both the LuCCAP and NaCCAP have identified five priority issues affecting children that have to be addressed immediately. These include caring and protection of the environment, child protection, child participation, education and health.
“Members of the coalition are focusing on strengthening children’s participation to advocate for environmental protection, child protection and access to education,” Langbayan says.
“I feel that the child leaders should really be more aggressive in activating children’s organizations at the village level. We should also encourage equal participation and representation of children in the coalitions to bring out the genuine voices of children, especially those in the island-provinces, both on the issues affecting them and how they think these issues can be addressed,” he adds.
World Vision believes that children should know their rights because only then can they be able to participate in issues affecting them and break free from their vulnerabilities.
INFO SOURCE: Philippine Star/ABS-CBN.