Making a difference – I CAN PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:11

Congratulations to the Zamboanga’s youth NGO (non-government organization), I CAN Make A Difference, for being nominated as a national finalists for the 10th TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organization) Award.

They are part of the 20 finalists selected by the TAYO Awards Foundation recently to compete in the National Finals in Manila on November 12 to 16. They will compete for the P50,000 project grant and have the honor to be hailed as  one of the country’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations for 2012.

Since it started in 2002, the TAYO Awards Foundation, Inc. has successfully established itself as the country’s only award giving body that recognizes and supports the outstanding contributions of youth organizations to the country. To date more than a thousand youth organizations have joined the search and are now part of the growing youth network of the foundation. TAYO exceptional youth organizations have contributed to the development of their local communities, schools and work place, through their innovative and valuable projects.

I CAN is a group of social-change makers who bring simple, cost efficient, environment-friendly, and synergistic solutions to health and other health-related problems within communities thru inter-sectoral participation and inter-community development. It is composed of passionate and hardworking volunteers from the fields of Health Care, Medicine, Political Science, Social Development, and Social Media and Advertising from this city.

The group aims to raise awareness of the problematic situations involving children, women, indigenous people and other marginalized members of a community, especially problems concerning health, education, and the environment; and address these problems through the mobilization of people, social institutions, and social entities of the community.

The first group’s project was the effective I CAN Solar Water Disinfection. Using tin cans and pet bottles, they were able to teach the people of Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur how to sterilize their water using the ray power of the sun.  Second, I CAN built the Halfway House, a lying-in center made out of PET bottles at the same beneficiary place, Lakewood. This has serve as a health center too for this impoverished community. Funds were raised thru a charity fun run, BottleRUN, and donations from concern people and other organizations .

In partnership with Philippines Funds for Little Kids and as chief implementor of the Zamsur Funds for Little Kids, I CAN built 44 bankas (small boats) for the children to go across the Lakewood Lake just to go to school. Thru the same partnership, the team have built the Floating Ambulance, a pumpboat to bring patients across the lake where the Rural Health Unit (RHU) is located.

Now, I CAN is involved in developing the Passion Wearthy Project which involves working on a new technology of reusing non recyclable plastic bags and converting them into a durable material that can be converted into school bags. They have tapped a group of physically challenged workers to form the production arm, providing them with a source of livelihood. The bags will be sold as twins whereas when one buys a bag, another bag will be given to a child who doesn’t have one in the underserved areas, incentivising education. This project injects the right ideas of environmental protection, social welfare and financial security of the physically challenged, and promotion by incentivizing education as a right of every child.

I CAN in cooperation with By GEMS Party Kingdom also supports pediatric patients of Zamboanga Medical Center with their noble LIFT UP project.

Learn more about I CAN and support the noble endeavors of the group. Visit their facebook

By Dante Corteza