Claretian Youth Leadership Camp Fosters Cultural Unity and Leadership Development

May 2, 2024 | Youth & Vocations Ministry, Fr. Rhoel Gallardo

Zamboanga City, Philippines. The Claret Youth Ministry of the Claretian Missionaries of Fr. Rhoel Gallardo Province recently concluded a three-day leadership camp aimed at empowering indigenous youth from diverse backgrounds. Hosted at Claret School of Zamboanga City, the “Claretian Indigenous Peoples Youth Discerning Leadership Camp” brought together students and young leaders from various Claretian institutions and mission areas across the nation.

The camp, held from April 26 to 28, 2024, provided a platform for indigenous youth to enhance their leadership skills while celebrating the rich diversity of their cultures. Participants hailed from Muslim tribes such as the Tausug, Yakan, and Samal, as well as Christian tribes including Subanen, Bla’an, and TagaKaulo.

The camp commenced with an engaging “Getting to Know You” session, fostering camaraderie among participants through interactive games. Throughout the program, attendees took part in sessions focused on self-awareness, leadership tools, and communication skills, led by esteemed facilitators including Bro. Joseph Roy Villarin, CMF, Fr. Elias Ayuban, Jr., CMF, and Fr. Amador Tumbaga, CMF.

In addition to leadership training, the camp featured cultural performances showcasing the vibrant traditions of each indigenous tribe. Participants took pride in presenting the beauty and elegance of their respective cultures through music, dance, and theater.

The final day of the camp included visits to iconic landmarks in Zamboanga City, including Paseo del Mar, Fort Pilar Shrine, and the Yakan Weaving Village. The day concluded with a communal lunch at Climaco Freedom Park, fostering a sense of communal bonding and shared experiences among the participants.

As the camp drew to a close, participants reflected on the profound impact of the experience, which contributed to their personal growth, strengthened their leadership abilities, and forged lasting friendships across cultural boundaries. The event exemplified the Claretian mission of empowering youth to become agents of positive change in their communities.

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