2010 Ninoy and Cory Aquino (NCA) Leadership Program PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:31

The Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation Youth Leadership Program called for application among youth leaders all over the country to actively take part in the national leadership journey.

The NCA Leadership Journey (Batch 1), the core youth formation program of the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation, is committed in forming the new batch of leaders of the country as inspired by the heroism of the late senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. and former President Corazon C. Aquino. Also, it is looking for the next set of youth leaders who are willing to live a life of mission and service for their community and country.

The Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) traces its roots to the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation (BSAF), established by the late senator’s widow in November 1983 to perpetuate his legacy. Its activities were limited during the tumultuous years following Ninoy Aquino’s assassination and after Mrs. Aquino ascended to the presidency in February 1986.

When President Cory’s term ended, BSAF became her primary vehicle for continuing to engage non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) that played a key role in empowering communities and reviving democratic institutions alongside her administration.

The Foundation also used part of its endowment fund to grant scholarships to poor but deserving students, to sponsor occasional symposia on democratic themes, and to give recognition to exemplary individuals and groups, which were dubbed as “People Power People”.

On August 21, 2008, BSAF launched the "iamninoy" campaign with the help of creative and merchandise partners to introduce Ninoy Aquino to new generations of Filipinos as a fitting commemoration of his 25th death anniversary. Using the senator’s iconic eyeglasses as its visual signature, the campaign invited young Filipinos to look at society “through Ninoy’s eyes” and to surface the selfless hero inside them. The youth embraced the campaign, helping various advocacies and beneficiaries by buying iamninoy merchandise, expressing their selflessness in myriad ways on- and off-line, and doing volunteer work.

A few months after President Cory passed away in August 2009, the Foundation came to be known as NCAF and the highly successful campaign was elevated into the iamninoy-iamcory Movement. As NCAF’s core youth mobilization and empowerment program, carried out in cooperation with various partners and networks, the movement envisions a more just, humane, equitable and sustainable society where the youth is empowered to play a central role in its realization.

Its mission is to surface a new generation of Filipinos who are willing to step up as selfless heroes in their own right. From their ranks will emerge youth leaders who can realize their full potential through a process of spiritual transformation in the mold of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

Today, NCAF seeks to build on the legacy of Ninoy and Cory by supporting activities that embody the spirit of People Power as a strong and positive force for social change in a robust democracy.

In the Philippines today, there is an underlying culture of patronage, corruption and deceit. This has resulted in broken institutions, poverty, mistrust of government among citizens, and abuse of the underprivileged. A vacuum of moral leadership in critical areas of national life is impeding the country’s progress.

The proposed program aims to build a new nucleus of leaders that are grounded on their spirituality who can eventually transform Philippine society. Using Ninoy and Cory Aquino as role models, the program seeks to reintroduce spirituality as a major foundation for Filipino leadership.

Harnessing their innate values systems, the participants take part in a process of self-reflection that will ultimately lead to self-transformation and self-commitment for others and country. As communities of leaders are formed, the socio-political culture will gradually shift from self-centeredness to the empowerment of people and the strengthening of democratic institutions along five avenues of change: governance, livelihood, education, environment and health. This culture-changing approach of moral and values formation will redefine the foundations of Philippine society and pave the way for more equitable, human development.

To breathe new life into spirituality in the face of the growing indifference to values and ethics, the program follows a template of experience, reflection, and action for the youth to fully understand leadership in that context. The program invites the youth to undergo a transformative experience and be living witnesses of leadership.

In that experience, it is the hope of the program that the young person is moved to commit to a life of service and mission through effective and impactful community work. It is designed to take place in an informal atmosphere; speakers from the different sectors of society who have journeyed with an experience of profound love of God as anchor are to be invited. The talks are in the form of testimony sharing and witnessing to provide the living examples to the participants. The journey then is experienced through joy, camaraderie, and the youth’s language of music, arts, and visual form.

The following were criteria for eligibility namely an applicant must be A Filipino Citizen Residing in the Philippines, 18 – 25 Years of Age by December 2010, at Least a College Sophomore (Or the Equivalent) at the Time of the Application Period, a Student/Youth Leader; Recognized Leader or Officer in Campus (Student-Government, Student Organizations, Student Publications, Co-Curricular, Extra-Curricular, Advocacy
Groups, etc.) or in the Community (SK, Parish Youth Groups, etc.), has a Passion for Excellence and Public Service, has a Grasp of Self’s Strengths and Weaknesses, has the Ability to Communicate Well, has 85% Academic Average Standing as of the Application Period, of Good Moral Character; Has Not been Subjected to any Major Disciplinary Case/Action in or outside the Campus, has Not been Charged and/or Convicted in a Civil or Criminal Case.

By Aldrin B. Abdurahim/Joshua Pierra