Youth Campaign for Voter Registration, Train Leaders amidst Pandemic
Through the pandemic, media and technology have become important allies for +iMPACT Leadership, a youth organization for movement-building, political action, and community transformation.
In 2020, +iMPACT campaigned for voter registration for the 2022 national elections and conducted its fellowship program—both online.
The youth group is active in three social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Last year, +iMPACT Facebook followers increased from about 20,000 to more than 56,000, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts reaching millions every month. Netizens posted selfies with their raised pinky fingers as a sign of their vow to exercise their right of suffrage in the 2022 elections. The “pinky swear” or “pinky promise” is a common gesture among children when making a promise.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation has been working with +iMPACT since 2019 on several innovative projects to engage the youth nationwide. “Our programs with +iMPACT Leadership have shown that there’s a lot of things that we need to work on and a lot of people to reach and engage, but if we work together, our aspirations for a freer and a more open society is possible,” said Wolfgang Heinze, FNF Philippines’ head of country.
As a democracy, voting is pivotal. In the Philippines, the youth, ages 18 to 30, compose 40 million of the 110-million population.
Thus, the voters’ registration and education campaign is one of the core advocacies of +iMPACT Leadership, to make the youth see the value of participating in the elections.
“We The Youth Vote,” an initiative launched last year with +iMPACT Leadership as one of its lead convenors, aims to engage the youth sector and encourage 40 million young people to register and exercise their right to vote through online events and infographics. They have been working with social media influencers, such as Macoy Dubs and Dora Dorado.
In a related effort, +iMPACT convened fellows for its leadership program that started last year to equip and inspire future leaders to be more involved in political action.
In partnership with the FNF Philippines, +iMPACT, for the first time, held a virtual fellowship.
More than 100 youth participants from different walks of life , hailing from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, joined the training on leadership, political participation and communication. The program ran from April to October 2020.
“My personal and professional leadership formation journey with +iMPACT made me realize that progress, sustainability, and freedom is in the DNA of every single individual. I found solace knowing that there is unity in diversity in this program,” said +iMPACT fellow, Niniay Mohamad, the only Meranaw in her batch.
With the Friedrich Naumann Foundation as partner, +iMPACT was able to reach numerous youth leaders and students, and inspire them to be catalysts of social change.