Time flies so fast and the milestones that we have achieved can sometimes be taken for granted because of how busy we are. The Juniors were gathered around recently for a meeting, usually talking about their future endeavors when they find themselves realizing that it’s been 2 years since HAPI Junior was established.
They looked back on how a simple invitation from HAPI Bacolod encouraged them to give it a try. They didn’t know that their early morning travel on that day will get them to where they are now, looking forward to future plans. They were welcomed warmly and educated about HAPI’s rich history and achievements. They also got to ask questions to quench their curiosity and socialize with other people at the event. You can say that the potential was seen in the group of students, thus HAPI Junior was created. Their projects started with an HIV Awareness Talk in their own school, “One Baybay At A Time”, a coastal cleanup with an educational talk from prestige speakers. Through their first events, their skills and leadership were honed. There were some problems and minor stumbles when the youngsters were starting but with baby steps and the guidance combined with patience from other HAPI people, who are nothing but encouraging and supportive to the Juniors, many of their envisioned projects and events were pushed through and deemed successful and for that, they are truly grateful.
Seeing the Juniors hard work with my own eyes because they are my friends and I am with them with this journey through and through made me realize how much we have grown through this organization. How we feel empowered and recognition was never in our minds. It’s also evident how the youth can impact the people around them if they are given a chance. HAPI gave this to the Juniors and now they are two years on the road with noble causes under their belt. The Juniors will never forget, when they are in their Handong, how their little students would cheer with excitement when they would arrive in their community and how the student’s parents would thank them every day in what they do and for giving their children something fruitful to do.
There is no denying how hard it is for the Juniors now to continue their desired events because of busy schedules and school works. Added to this is that they are not in the same school anymore and they are graduating which makes it harder than it is before. Despite this, the Juniors are still on set for their vision on empowering and educating those that they can reach. They value the opinions of their fellow Juniors and the advice of other HAPI people that ensure everything they do is aligned to the HAPI principles.
Eldemar Sabete, current HAPI Junior Head, has to say this about the organization’s growth and their future plans, “The growth of an organization physically is only the surface of its success. Juniors growing as an individual because of HAPI is a big thing and something we all appreciate. I hope HAPI Junior will successfully be passed down to the next generation of young leaders. I’m always grateful for HAPI for giving us a platform and making our voice be heard.”
As mentioned, time flies swiftly and the Juniors are getting older, the next thing we know they are not juniors anymore. That is why one of their goals in the next year is to give the same chance and platform that HAPI gave to them. They want another batch of youngsters to experience the exhilarating feeling of helping and also to keep the fire of HAPI Junior burning.