By Jason B. Neola
NAGA CITY --- More than 1,000 pupils and students in public elementary and secondary schools here and in neighboring municipality of Milaor have been benefitting from the programs being pursued by the Young Men’s Christian Association of Nueva Caceres Camarines Sur (YMCA of CamSur), the local chapter of YMCA Philippines which is a member of the World Alliance of YMCA based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The association is a dynamic Christ-centered movement committed to the maximum development of the spiritual, mental, and physical well-being of young men and women.
Included in the mandate of developing the talents and skills of the youth in sports are the community volunteerism works that enable young individuals to show their care and concern for the environment.
Atty. Eduardo Pilapil, CamSur YMCA president, said that with the strong participation of the schools and colleges in YMCA’s campaign on massive tree planting activities they can be assured of significant results as the activity aims to contribute to the worldwide campaign against climate change that causes weather disturbances due to the warming of the atmosphere.
The association’s massive tree planting activities in Barangay Cararayan here and some parts of the city’s upland barangays is anchored on a standing agreement with the city government of Naga. Pilapil said they’re planning to coordinate with barangay councils to participate in the activity to ensure that the plants are taken care of in their respective areas until they are matured.
“Aside from our strong commitment in the drive against climate change, CamSur YMCA, like other YMCAs in more than 125 countries around the world, is also pushing for the implementation of natural farming which patronizes organic fertilizers. The practice reduces the accumulation of methane gas in the atmosphere that comes from the dung of large cattle and other animals. We process the waste to produce organic fertilizers,” Pilapil said.
Pilapil, however, said that over and above these activities that aim to keep the physical well-being of the young ones healthy and their love for the mother earth is a series of activities that empower young people with Christian values “for them to become good leaders of their community in the future.”
CamSur YMCA was formally recognized as regular member of YMCA Philippines on July 23, 2016 upon the endorsement of South Luzon Regional Committee thru Resolution No. 21-2016. YMCA Philippines is an integral part of the world YMCA Movement and is always connected with the global YMCA family.
In 2011, in his message during the celebration of 100 years of YMCA Philippines, Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, secretary general of World Alliance of YMCAs based in Switzerland, said that YMCA Philippines has contributed great visionary leaders to the Regional and World YMCA Movement and played commendable role in the areas of movement strengthening and youth leadership development and also plays an active role in the “New Way” strategy of the World Alliance of YMCAs.
Only more than 2 years in operation, YMCA CamSur has been given the opportunity to send one of its youth leaders in the person of Kevin Monserate as the Philippines’ lone representative to the YMCA International Youth Peace Congress currently being conducted in Vancouver, Canada. The 3-month congress began last June 2017.