Youth Leaders in Climate Activism and Sustainability
The Philippines has the largest generation of young people in the country’s history with 3 20 million young people (ages 15-24). We account for 16.9 percent of the Philippine population (Orbeta et al., 2021).
It is no shock that so many are standing as leaders, in the midst of many crises and climates we face – from the country’s immense biodiversity loss, inequity, power struggles to climate cataclysms.
In the Enderun colleges community, many young people have been incorporating elements of sustainability and ethics into their craft.
One exuberant influencer we have on campus is Joshua Dautil – Enderun Student Ambassador, Marketing Manager of the Leadership Program, a Level 3 Member of Enderun Food and Wine Society, Writer for Enderun INK and the Co-founder of Enderun Spectrum.
Though an International Hospitality Management major, you will find him embracing his interests and skills in the world of fashion, lifestyle and digital creation. To him, sustainability is applicable in all, for all. To prioritize the planet’s wellbeing is a genuine pillar of our lifestyle and practices, and not just a tag or a brand.
An overwhelming part of many of our environmental journeys is the reconciliation of personal responsibility versus systemic blame. To Josh, he made the mistake of believing only major actions need to be taken because micro efforts are deemed to be useless. He now finds the balance between both. You will now find him standing responsible for what he can do within his read, while still calling out the big guys when they are to blame.
The non-negotiables for Josh when he is meticulously crafting his sustainability lifestyle, include accountability, honesty, and reassessment. With these three pillars, allowing him to remain grounded in all he does, enables him to lead with integrity as well as respect for all — the planet, the people, and oneself.
Our second personality, active in activism and repainting what it means to be a young participant is Gabriel David Delrosario-Sadicon – Taking BSBA double majors in Sustainability Management and Operations Management.
Outside of Enderun, he’s made a tribe in Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), an alliance of young Filipinos, organizations, student councils, and individuals fighting to combat climate change and push for climate justice via systemic change.
Being interested in agriculture has always been in the family. Gabriel often pushed back from being a part of the family business. After multiple different majors and differing fields, he found himself exceptionally passionate about the waste problem of the country. That is where it snowballed – from learning about plastic segregation to breaking down the immense dangers of greenwashing.
An Enderun class named “Sustainable Food Systems” was perhaps the final nudge he needed to find himself back to his family’s field. “Back to long-ago written destiny,” as Gabriel labels it. Sustainable Agriculture is not new; It was once about sustenance and community, rather than capitalization and power. Gabriel envisions a country where we can have farmers of autonomy, pride and ethics, once again.
Agriculture is a very overlooked area, which is unfortunate because it is a department in all our lives we cannot ignore. Despite panemics, systemic and personal shifts, we depend on food. We love food. We never run out of conversations about food. Our farmers and earth’s soil have endlessly blessed us, and Gabriel believes in the need for increased system change to protect our land and farmers. Only then, will true sustainability reside.
The non-negotiable for Gabriel is making sure corruption is not bred fostered. Although our reality enables cheating and selfishness, Gabriel reiterates that without honesty, stewardship and empathy, a sustainable planet is not achievable.
Feeling powerless and being afraid that we are not making enough impact is undoubtedly something that everyone in this community has gone through at least once. We often detach ourselves emotionally or even burn with fire until burn out. Perhaps it is about time we consider investing in self care and community care, as we all seem to be leading in our own ways, embracing our responsibility and immeasurable influence.
In this day and age, the community perseveres despite the fear and adversity ahead.
I hope you have as much help as I do. As a great demographic, we need to believe there is power in numbers. There is power in conversation. May we build one another as the leaders that we lack. May we all push one another to become the leaders we need.
For the people.
For the planet.
Orbeta, A., Corpus, J., & Araos, N. (2021, August). Who Are the Youth NEET in the Philippines Retrieved October 3, 2022, from https://pidswebs.pids.gov.ph/CDN/PUBLICATIONS/pidsdps2121.pdf