EMBRACING. Filipino youth organization ARMY Bayanihan launches the month-long initiative Jimin Loves You: A Birthday Project to support mental health and HIV/AIDS awareness and create a safe space for everyone. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARMY Bayanihan

Reader. Writer. Scholar.

By Amaranth Xena Soleil Saludar

Launched in April 2020, ARMY Bayanihan is a Filipino youth volunteer organization that “[mobilizes] teamwork towards social response” and aims to help marginalized communities. The organization practices Bayanihan through initiatives that “help build a better future for the current and future youth.”

Realizing this goal and celebrating BTS’s Jimin’s birthday, ARMY Bayanihan launched Jimin Loves You: A Birthday Project on October 1, 2021. They initiated the project to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS and mental health and fight the stigma surrounding these issues, partnering with Love Yourself, Inc and ARMY Sessions PH.

“[It] is mainly about giving voices to those who want to share their feelings and what they’ve been through… [Its] purpose is to educate and be a lending ear to those who need it,” said Chief Operations Officer Joey and Chief Strategic & Development Officer Adette.

The month-long initiative includes a fundraising event, awareness week, webinar, games, kumustahan sessions, and an online concert. Also, for the webinar, they will provide closed captions and have sign language interpreters present to ensure inclusivity and continue their #BreakingDownBarriers campaign.

ARMY Bayanihan COO Joey and CSDO Adette further explained the purpose of the activities.

“The goal of the webinar is to [educate] ARMYs on HIV/AIDS and mental health, while #SessiONs is about giving everyone a safe space to share their problems and what they are going through.”

Below is the complete schedule of activities.

Aside from this project, ARMY Bayanihan also started their emergency relief catering to the needs of those affected by natural disasters. They also plan to have a project in December to celebrate the birthdays of two BTS members, and a month after, they will continue their voting awareness campaign to encourage the youth to exercise their right to vote.

With all these ongoing and future initiatives, COO Joey and CSDO Adette briefly talked about the beginnings and realization of ARMY Bayanihan.

“[We] originally started with the plan of helping our local farmers by buying their crops and donating those crops to specific organizations for their feeding programs. [B]ut through time, the team realized that we could do more… not [just] band-aid solutions, but find the root of the problem and find out how we can help in the long [run].”

Finally, the two ARMY Bayanihan core officers shared words of inspiration to anyone who has a passion for helping and serving people.

“We [simply] want to remind [them] that they can [start doing it], no matter who they are, where they’re from, and how old they are. We all come from different backgrounds but what matters most is that we try to do something to achieve the change that we want to see in society. Change can come in small waves that can, later on, become big waves.”

ARMY Bayanihan currently looks for volunteers for their administrative and marketing teams and small shops as partners for future advocacies. To join them and support their efforts, anyone interested may reach the organization on Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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