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Bacolod Youth Leader Makes Mark As ‘Global Changemaker’

A youth leader in this city pursues his advocacy on the role of children in designing climate change policies as the Philippines’ only representative to the recently-held 2019 Global Youth Summit (GYS) in Zurich, Switzerland.

Elmeer Meeynard Calimpos, 21, is the founder of the Bacolod CORE: Children Optimization for the Revitalization of Environment, described as a youth-led organization with a heart for building a community of environmentally-conscious children for the children to their children, the nation, and to God.

Last month, he was one of the 60 young people chosen by international organization Global Changemakers to attend the summit from July 13 to 19 for the “solution” he initiated to address climate change and plastic pollution.

He is now part of the network of “global changemakers” comprised of at least 1,000 young leaders from across the world.

Several days after he returned to the country and to his home city, Calimpos told the Philippine News Agency he has learned how to live his dreams for his own community.

“I’ve realized that it’s not about the high points or low points of our undertakings, but it is about the incremental gains and the simple stories that happen each day,” he said.

Calimpos said the GYS2019, themed “Solutions for change”, gave him the opportunity to discover the systems of other countries and how they worked to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, which are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

“We were taught how to think deeper for our projects through design thinking method and we had the chance to balance each factor to come up with a powerful campaign material,” the youth leader said.

His organization, Bacolod CORE, formed in February 2018, advocates a multi-step learning process for children in their formative stage, particularly 9 to 12 years old.

This is done by inculcating the values of environmental stewardship through education, experiential learning, and exposure for a sustainable and balanced ecology.

Right now, volunteers of Bacolod CORE conduct weekly activities that capacitate children towards environmental awareness and action, and economic empowerment opportunity. The initial participants are some 30 children in Barangay Tangub.

One of the project highlights is the CORE Bamboo Coin Bank. Through this, the group teaches children to save for themselves and their community instead of buying candies and junk food.

Calimpos said that with his learnings from the GYS2019, he is more inspired to work with his fellow youth in Bacolod on how to attain sustainable development.

“I’m really grateful that I could share these knowledge and skills with my fellow youth and we can craft more sustainable and participatory-based interventions for vulnerable communities,” he added.

(Nanette Guadalquiver and Erwin Nicavera PNA via NDB)

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