[WATCH] #BayaniNow: Stories of youth volunteerism

[WATCH] #BayaniNow: Stories of youth volunteerism
Amid government inaction, the youth steps up to help fellow Filipinos in need

Taal volcano eruption, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unexpected floods brought about by typhoons – these are the disasters that ravaged the country in 2020. Lives and livelihood were lost.

In March 2020, when the lockdown was implemented in response to the spread of COVID-19, school and work were suspended. Jobs were shifted to a work-from-home setup.

But not all work had this option, nor did everyone have the privilege and equipment. Locked in their homes, many poor families were out of job and income.

On top of it all, government aid took months to be rolled out. (READ: What went wrong in 2020 COVID-19 ‘ayuda,’ lessons learned for 2021)

Many saw this growing problem of hunger for food and government aid. Numerous nongovernmental youth organizations stepped up to call and collect donations to be distributed to affected families.

Twenty-two-year-old Chesca Persia is one of the youth who were frustrated. “Nagalit ako (I got mad) when I was reading the news, when I was browsing through social media, because the [the lockdown] would entail work suspension,” she said. Fueled by this anger, Chesca founded Zero Hunger PH, which aimed to feed 10,000 families all over Luzon – a goal it achieved and even surpassed.

More than a year later, it is not surprising that many Filipinos are heeding the call to ease the effects of the pandemic.

This video features stories of young volunteers and their organizations who have proven that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, anyone can become a hero and make a difference. – Rappler.com

This video is co-produced by Rappler interns Maurice Arcilla, Mary Joyce Custodio, Jemina Garcia, Guia Marie Gutierrez, and Dennie Leo Logan.

Special thanks to Zero Hunger PH, Tulong Kabataan, Youth for Mental Health Coalition, and The Taft Initiative.