Promoting interests of rural youth

Implementation of strategies to serve the needs of rural youth viewed of the context of their roles: (a) as youth; (b) as needed members of their families and communities; and (c) as promising agents for broader sectoral and national development.
Poverty remains a stark reality of rural life in much of the world. It pushes rural youth to assume responsibilities at an earlier age, thus fostering early maturity. Rural youth thus experience a smoother transition from adolescence to adulthood, facilitated by their earlier exposure to the main concerns of life, basically that of having a means of livelihood to support themselves and provide additional income for their families. However, rural youth suffer from the consequences of underdevelopment in their socio-cultural, political and economic environment. Young people tend to be regarded as extra farm hands and apprentices to rural development work. Farming as an occupation is not the preferred choice among rural youth, partly because of the hard physical work and risks of crop failure, but also because it means a low family income. College education is the dream of most rural youth and their parents; although rarely achieved, it stimulates discontent with rural life. As rural poverty worsens, fewer and fewer youth want to become farm workers and manual labourers. They look to the city since to the unpaid family worker, the lure of having one's own cash earnings, even though meagre, is an attractive prospect. Internally, tensions between tradition and youth ideas lead to generation gaps. The lack of education and employment opportunities are likewise leading to youth apathy and anti-social behaviour against perceived social injustices and inequities within society as a whole.
The following guidelines are taken from the ANGOC Special Report on Rural Youth in the Philippines: 1. The difficulties and needs of rural youth must be taken into a wider context by relating them to the existing cultural norms and concrete social realities. They should not be isolated from the larger context in terms of their respective roles in the family and the community. The basic concerns and aspirations of the rural youth revolve around those of their elders. Thus, programmes and activities for the rural youth must be linked with broader family and community development programmes.

2. Social activities are valued by youth since they provide a venue for entertainment, a healthy outlet after a hard day's work and a forum for interaction with people of their own age group.

3. Programmes for rural youth are feasible areas for investment by the government and the private sector. The phenomena of unemployment, underemployment and migration tend to recur over time. Thus programmes for rural youth should be outlined and adopted as a strategy for the development of the human capital in the agricultural sector. In most cases, rural youth a re provided with skills training applicable only in urban situations. A change is needed in making skills acquired in the urban areas applicable to rural conditions.

4. Small-scale rural enterprises must be actively pursued if the mass exodus to the cities is to be curtailed. The youth in the rural areas should be trained in skills that complement rural development work in farming, forestry and fishing. Alternative rural settlement projects, practical skills training and innovative projects which are needed in the rural areas would check rural-urban migration and encourage the youth to stay close to their traditions, families and roots.

5. Increased emphasis should be given to providing rural youth with civic and social tools to organize themselves to work productively in the farm, home and society. Cultural outreach programmes, informal pre-school education, values development and literacy classes for children, agri-business and environmental protection activities are some areas of possible involvement.

Future Farmers of the Philippines (FFP) is a national organization of boys enrolled in agricultural schools and colleges and other post-secondary students taking related agricultural courses. The FFP aims towards the development of leadership in agriculture, moral character, cooperation, community service, industry and austerity, sportsmanship, civic conscience and awareness of youth to the social environment.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies