28 May 2024

The International Day of Children and Young People creates a space that serves as a platform for children and young people to participate in every aspect of the Salvation Army’s mission

The Salvation Army celebrated the International Day of Children and Young People (IDCY) in the Philippines on Sunday 28 April 2024.

Captains Marc and Mariska Potters, Youth and Children’s Officers at The Salvation Army International Headquarters (IHQ), were warmly welcomed by Major Miraflor Vicente, Territorial Youth and Children’s Secretary, and Major Gerardo Vicente, Corps Programme Secretary. 

Temperatures were scorching due to the El Niño phenomenon and surpassed only by the warmth and friendliness of the people gathered together in celebration. This highlighted the impact of genuine connection and engagement shared by young people and the rest of The Salvation Army in the Philippines.

Growing in the neighbourhood

The international Youth and Children’s Officers visited the Educational Services Incorporated (ESI) Caloocan branch in Manila, where around 40 children between three and six years old attended with their parents and carers. During the service, the children and their families celebrated the day with joyful dances and songs guided by Marjorie D. Cordoba, who has dedicated the last 30 years to working for The Salvation Army as a teacher in the Caloocan Corps. Even after hours, she is passionate about building the community and nurturing her neighbours.

Major Rudy Mindal, administrator at the ESI Caloocan Branch School, and Major Elvira Mindal, corps officer, expressed their hopes, saying, ‘We pray that this school will last for generations to come, building a ministry for the community, especially for children and families.’

Marjorie D. Cordoba
Marjorie D. Cordoba

IDCY Celebration Meeting at Manila Central Corps 

On 27 April 2024, Salvationists from the Central Philippines Division (CPD) gathered in Manila to joyously embrace and commemorate the IDCY 2024, which shined a spotlight on the vibrant cultural tapestry that has long defined the Salvation Army community in the country.

Captains Marc and Mariska Potters, who have been deeply involved in the Salvation Army community, shared their heartfelt sentiments: ‘Meeting and celebrating with people is the most rewarding part of our role. It’s all about people – everything is about people – so being able to travel and celebrate with you all is truly a blessing.’

International Day of Children and Young People Live at the Philippines Territorial Headquarters (THQ)

The Youth and Children’s section at IHQ prepared some livestreaming to celebrate the IDCY across different countries. This year, the THQ in the Philippines opened its space to build a studio for the occasion.

Throughout the event, youth members engaged in dialogue with Salvationists from different countries, delving into the composition of the song ‘Grow’ by the Korean Territory and showcasing the active participation of youth within The Salvation Army. The sentiments expressed by the youth were varied and profound, nonetheless representing the fiery passion and drive of young people to help forward God’s Kingdom. Soldier Angelica Sulit led an engaging interview, inviting attendees to share their perspectives.

Commissioner Edward Hill, the IHQ Chief of the Staff, delivered a moving message, likening spiritual growth to a tree and stressing the importance of spiritual disciplines such as prayer, service and worship.

Divisional Youth Celebration at CB Mall

Despite the incredible heat and humidity, the celebration of the IDCY 2024 still went on at CB Mall in Urdaneta, Pangasinan.

Around 300 children and youth of the Northern Luzon Division displayed their incredible talent by showcasing various performances. This included dance praise, youth brass band, timbrel displays and cultural dances.

A member of the youth brass band plays at CB Mall
Playing the drums at CB Mall

Captain Marc Potters shared an inspirational life testimony, whilst Captain Mariska Potters delivered an inspiring message to the young people gathered together. She said, ‘God believes in people who do not believe in themselves. You have strength, and God is at work in you. You can lead and make a difference.’

Colonel Elsa Oalang, Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, also offered a prayer of dedication for the youth – for them to dedicate their lives to Christ, grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord and make a positive impact in their respective corps. A prayer of commitment for the teachers, praise and worship leaders, band members and other roles in the corps was also said to rededicate these young people’s service to Christ.

May the youth continuously be reminded and inspired by the message of Captain Marc Potters: ‘You are never too small or too young to make an impact, so if you think you’re insignificant, you’ve got it wrong. You are important.’

Young Soldiers of Manila Central Corps, The Philippines Territory

  • Children and young people still have a few days to enter the IDCY filmmaking competition. Entries close at 23:59 UTC+1 on 31 May 2024
Tags: South Pacific and East Asia, Events, News