Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)
Youth Innovators in the Philippines
Jane is a 22 year-old Youth Innovator in Plan International Australia’s Urban Nexus Manila project. The project is an urban disaster resilience initiative focused on strengthening the agency of young people, particularly women.
As a Youth Innovator, Jane has been equipped with knowledge in disaster risk reduction and management and has been orientated on protection issues, including online safety and her rights. Jane knows the importance of youth participation in developing government policies that affect her, so she is using her voice to advocate for an internet free from abuse, harassment, and bullying.
Jane has been a part of the online selling industry since 2016. She has learned to maximise the power of social media to help her father put food on their table and to buy medicine for her mother who has a hearing disability. The COVID-19 health crisis has left her as the sole income earner for her family when her father, a handyman, lost his job when Manila was placed under quarantine.
“Since the community quarantine, my father rarely gets clients for minor home repairs since people are also afraid to let non-family members inside their houses,” she says.
For Jane, a safe space online would be a great help for young women like her whose livelihood depends on being online. “I know there are instances of harassment and abuse in online platforms but I really need to be online since my business is the only thing that keeps my family afloat during these trying times,” she says.
With support through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), Urban Nexus strengthens the agency of young people to increase their resilience through leadership training and promoting resilient livelihood strategies to young entrepreneurs. Youth Innovators also participate in a four-month Design Sprint Approach, where they prototype their own ideas to solve urban resilience challenges in their communities.