Ador Leanda Hurtado
What actions are you taking to promote and protect the health and rights of women and young people worldwide?
Working initially for an non-governmental organization such as FPOP and for our youth organization WARAYA, and now volunteering for the same, it has opened my views and perspective towards youth activism, making a stand towards youth issues, and acting towards a positive change.
With regards to my volunteer work, I am extending my services as a Youth Adviser to WARAYA or Waray-Waray Youth Advocates, a youth organization promoting Adolescent, Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Rights; the Council Treasurer of FPOP-Samar, an
NGO that champions sexual and reproductive health and rights through advocacy and provision of services, especially to the poor, underserved and marginalized people including young people; and an Alumni member of UNFPA Philippines Youth Advisory Panel, UNFPA Y-PEER Pilipinas, Samar Provincial AIDS Council (SPAC), Catbalogan City AIDS Council (CCAC) and other networks to ensure better consolidation of programs and initiatives that concerns youth and their rights.
I believe that my membership to various organizations and networks, as well as the work that we do from each, are positive actions towards promoting and protecting the health and righs of women and young people in our city, our communities, our country, and the entirety of the world.
What is your vision of lasting change for yourself and for the world's young people?
I imagine communities, nations, and a world that understands, respects, nurtures the rights of young people with respect to sexual and reproductive health, it being a basic human right. I imagine also where young people are given equal opportunities to education, employment, healthcare, capability enhancements, and many others.
I see children going to school and not worrying about the expenditures it curtains as well as young people being responsible and empowered; I see more women gaining grounds and respect in organizations, in governments, in communities and tribes, ensuring equality and equity; I imagine families are fed, clothed and are living in comfortable and secure homes; I see governments and NGOs in strong partnerships in restoring a perfect world; and I imagine churches and faith institutions continuously instilling good moral values to the community.
I see myself being at the forefront along with other fellow youth advocates and activists, ensuring that indeed young people are regarded as partners in nation-building wherein possibilities are endless in empowering them to be the best that they can be in their own respective fields of interests. In a world that is perfect; harmony, positivity and maximum potentials are achieved by each individuals, communities and nations.
I believe that for a lasting change to happen, that change must be imbued and embodied in each and every one of us. In believing in ourselves, in believing in others, in collectively taking actions towards a positive change, this change should transcend barriers of gender, culture and of age. This may remain forever a vision if we do not act on it now. Little steps now can get us to somewhere tomorrow. We must act on it now. If not us, who? If not now, when?
If you could tell world leaders one thing, what would it be?
If I could tell world leaders one thing about young people, it would be this, “The youth might be the problem, but they could also be the solution.”
In truly addressing the issues of young people, youth perspective should be ensured through active and actual youth participation and involvement. Work with us and not for us. Rather than standing or speaking for young people, we need to stand with young people speaking for themselves, for ourselves. We don’t need a political movement for young people, what we need is to build environments, concrete policies and opportunities wherein young people’s voices are heard and where rights are respected.