Young Advocates of Peace and Development Network (YAPDN) works to intervene in disaster affected communities in Mindanao for sustainable development, which has suffered serious social, political, economic and ecological problems; economic marginalisation and poverty are prevalent in Mindanao.
YAPDN is a pool of young men and women from depressed communities in Mindanao. Equipped with leadership and technical competence, the group was established in 2011 to enhance the capacity and freedom of the people for sustainable development. It believes that youths have realised the need to take part in revitalising and perhaps put an end to the vicious cycles that affect their communities.
The majority of YAPDN's members are graduates of the Congressional Internship Program for Young Mindanao Leaders (CIPYML), which is an intensive training programme on public policy and advocacy development at the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance and immersion at the House of Representatives.
YAPDN has a vision of a peaceful and developed society through sustainable human development. It endeavours to be the premier network of young people working for sustainable peace and development.
- To explore innovative programmes, support structures and policies taking into consideration sustainability and a human rights-based approach for sustainable human development in Mindanao;
- To facilitate relief, rehabilitation, and development of the communities affected by natural and human-induced calamities in Mindanao;
- To support youth as an effective and efficient asset of the society;
- To promote awareness on environmental protection and sustainability;
- To promote human rights and accountable democracy; and
- To promote gender consciousness.
Building Community Resilience: there is a need to enhance communities’ resilience against all form of disasters. This means recognising the importance of addressing issues of sustainability, inclusion, social justice and equity as they strive to create solutions. YAPDN recognises the need to develop effective programmes, support structures and policies such as response mechanisms focused on the role of communities in building local and national resilience. The approach starts with ordinary citizens aiming to acknowledge their existing capacities and potential. Strengthening their ability to use these assets to address problems for themselves is a key within volatile environments.
Promoting Accountable Democracy: YAPDN promotes citizen-led transformation of the institutions, policies and processes that limit or block people’s participation in the social, economic and political decisions that affect their lives. An experienced staff team brings a broad range of education and capacity building skills in areas such as advocacy and citizen engagement, organisation building, and transformational leadership, among others. YAPDN works with other civil society organisations, particularly those involving women, youth and indigenous peoples, to strengthen their capacity to effectively raise their voices, and to hold duty-bearers to account.
Youth Leadership: recent events around the world demonstrate that young people are at the heart of social justice and social change. YAPDN recognises both the need for and the capacity of youth leaders to play a pivotal role in community change. It is dedicated to providing education to support the aspirations of youth leaders in Mindanao.
Previously, YAPDN has carried out programmes involving responding to women and children affected by armed conflict, psychosocial activities in emergencies, a community-based child protection network, relief operations and a transformative youth leadership programme. It is currently implementing a programme to stengthen child rights awareness in Mindanao. The project is expected to strengthen interventions in child protection in Central Mindanao, providing a deeper understanding of the programmes, policies and mechanisms relevant to child rights that will serve as a reference for further improving programmes appropriate to the local culture and belief.