MANILA, Philippines - Unilab Ideas Positive, the only social marketing congress and competition for college students in the country today, is expanding this year from Metro Manila to the entire Philippines, covering North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The nationwide expansion is a result of the encouraging response from universities and college students to the program, which was first launched in 2010 to serve as venue for Filipino youth to improve the health and wellness of their communities with their social marketing ideas.
"The increasing number of positive ideas we receive every year and the passion the youth have shown in helping their communities have inspired us to open the venue to more youth in the Philippines," said Unilab Ideas Positive program lead Barry Barrientos. "By partnering with more youth on this cause, we believe that we'll also be able to help more communities become healthier and more productive."
Fifteen communities all over the country will benefit from this expansion through the social marketing programs by 15 youth teams that will all receive P100, 000 seed money for the implementation of their ideas. The groups will also be flown in to Manila, with free hotel accommodation, meals, and transportation, to attend a 3-day boot camp where they can learn social marketing approaches from a pool of experts through workshops and case studies.
Last year, the participants were trained by reputable leaders and experts which included social marketing guru Dr. Ned Roberto, CNN 2009 Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida, and RockEd Founder Gang Badoy, among others.
One of the participants to the boot camp, Jhanette Co of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, thanked the program for giving young people like her the opportunity to be heard and make a difference.
"Unilab Ideas Positive is a game changer by providing us with a venue to learn social marketing from experts, and more importantly, giving us the opportunity to make meaningful change in communities by bringing our ideas to life," she shared. "It's refreshing to see how a big company like Unilab demonstrates belief in the youth of today."
Co and four other friends from UP Diliman won the grand prize last year for their Tuberculosis (TB) detection and prevention program for a community in Quezon City. They are currently implementing their social marketing program using the seed money from Unilab.
"Jhanette's experience in teaming up with her friends for a good cause is, we believe, what makes Unilab Ideas Positive unique from all other student competitions in the country," said Barrientos. "We encourage and celebrate teamwork among the youth-Bayanihan spirit, as we call it in Unilab-and not just individual excellence. Best part is, it's teamwork for the benefit of others, for those who need it most."
"And this year, not only are we expanding the program to cover more regions, but we're also giving more focus on outcomes," he added. "We're rewarding the best teams only after they have demonstrated that their positive ideas have resulted in positive outcomes for the community."
Interested college students can join by teaming up and registering at www.unilabideaspositive.com. Deadline for submission of entries is on April 16.
For more information, log on to the website or join the Facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/Unilab.IdeasPositive.