Mindanao Youth DevelopmentMindanao Youth Development (MYDev) is a USAID program in the Philippines that addresses barriers to stability in areas of Mindanao. The program created Out-of-School Youth Development Alliances. These groups help youth find jobs by becoming allies with local employers and authorities.

The program is four years old. It addresses the displacement of residents, essential services and high rates of poverty and youth unemployment. Overall, Mindanao Youth Development aims for out-of-school youth to contribute to community development and the workforce.

Mindanao Youth Development works to implement livelihood skills, support access to education curricula to think critically and creatively, and provide the capacity to build development alliances. They seek to engage at least 19,000 youth in the workforce or community development activities.

Aizel Quisano, a young lady who was out of school and unemployed in Mindanao along with thousands of other young people, took part in the program. Her participation in USAID’s Mindanao Youth Development program has drastically improved her circumstances.

Quisano learned about effective communication and financial literacy, which allowed her to begin building her career. As a result, the program taught her new life skills and gave her a new job at an organic farm.

“My parents are happy because, aside from being able to earn income, I am also helping my community,” says Quisano. Since 2013, MYDev has helped over 13,000 individuals in Mindanao.

Mindanao Youth Development has organized summits to allow the youth to demonstrate their skills and present themselves professionally to employers. Consequently, this provides the youth open links to jobs and opportunities.

Like Quisano, many young people are finding more opportunities in their communities that benefit everyone. With the program’s providing curriculum for work readiness and civic engagement, there is hope for the youth to advance the community into a developing society.

Brandi Gomez

Photo: Flickr