The youth and social media will play a crucial role in the implementation of the iMove against Injustice, Inequality and Insecurity campaign, a drive that seeks to address three vital issues that contribute to poverty in Asian countries.
Beckie Malay, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)-Philippines representative, said Asian leaders saw the potential of the youth to contribute to the Post 2015 Development Agenda, and want to enlist their support for the endeavor.
Malay, who is also the lead convenor of Aksyon/2015, said that when representatives from 31 civil society organizations from 13 countries met to finalize the strategies for the iMove campaign, they cited the role of the youth in various actions and activities for their “ endless well of energy and creativity.”
Aksyon/2015 is the Philippine counterpart to a global campaigning platform pushing for a more radical, transformative agenda for sustainable development, leading up to the crafting of the Sustainable Development Goals in September, this year.
The iMove campaign will tap the youth in various sporting events like cycling, football and cricket matches or activities involving dancing and concerts and music festivals.
Malay said that the Asian leaders noted the power of social media and online campaigns in mobilizing the public into action.
The Philippines, in particular, has emerged as one of top countries in the world in terms of social media activity.
Based on data released by WeAreSocial.sg in February, 44 percent of the country’s total population has social media accounts. The study also cited that Filipinos spend an average of up to hours a day on social media through personal computers or mobile connections. This, despite having one of the slowest Internet connections in the world.
But a testament to the impact of social media to mobilization was the ability of Filipino social media users to use the medium as a venue to communicate, network and coordinate disaster response and relief efforts at the height of Ondoy, Yolanda and other calamities. The bayanihan spirit online effectively channeled government efforts to people who were in need of rescue and assistance, and informed the public where and how to help affected areas to organize the flow of volunteers and goods at the most crucial time. Social media was also the venue used to organize the One Million March against corruption to demand justice for the taxpayers whose taxes were misappropriated for bogus NGOs and projects.
“Our country of 100 million people has 25% classified as poor, with about 8% living on 53 pesos per day, or the equivalent of 1.25USD. We all know that this measure is simply absurd, no one can survive in that level to feed, clothe and shelter him/herself ,” Malay said. “This is why we want to tap the enthusiasm and idealism of the youth in effecting change in the world and harness the power of social media in our endeavor to bring development to those who need it.”