The Cordillera Youth Center aims to empower out-of-school youth and student in the Cordillera Region for them to be able to help in the development of their communities. It is a non-profit youth network, providing education and training for the indigenous and non-indigenous youth and serving as a campaign centre for the youth in the region.
The founders and leaders of the organisation are all indigenous youth who came from different indigenous communities in the Cordillera region that are suffering from the loss of their rich culture, natural resources, indigenous practices and territories due to destructive commercial projects. There are further aggravated by tribal wars and conflicts which have also affected young people. The communities staunchly defended their territories but they are met with violence from groups including the military. These challenges brought the founders of the organisation to establish a youth-led organisation to opportunities for young people to perform a role in advancing the rights of indigenous peoples and of their communities. In this way, their culture, land, natural resources and identity will be protected and help build peace.
The Cordillera Youth Center carries out activities in a wide variety of areas:
- Educational training in the provinces: includes strengthening skills in writing, public-speaking, management of campaigns and organisations.
- Cultural exchanges.
- Forums on topic relevant to youth and indigenous peoples such as tribal conflict.
- Youth-elders exchanges for culture as a means of peacebuilding.
- Campaigns: for example, the Youth Advovcacy for the defence of Environment and Culture 2011, and the Fight for Rights, Education, Environment, Employment and Demcoratic Rights (FREEDOM) January 2013.
The Center believes that educating and training the current generation will be helpful to them and their communities because the youth will be the next leaders and peace pact holders of their communities. With the knowledge they will be provided, they would be able to stand firm against tribal wars.