Youth for Responsible Gold

The planetGOLD Philippines' Embarks on Educational Roadshow on Responsible Mining


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Youth for Responsible Gold Poster
Official Poster of Youth for Responsible Gold Educational Roadshow

In a strategic move to champion a safer, cleaner, and more equitable artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector, the planetGOLD Philippines project launched an educational roadshow titled "Youth for Responsible Gold: Fostering Communities towards a Safer, Cleaner, and More Equitable Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining Sector." This initiative targets elementary and high school students, encouraging them to become advocates for responsible mining within their communities. The events aim to shed light on the socio-economic and cultural contributions of the ASGM sector, promote responsible mining practices, and instill a sense of responsibility among the youth.

The series focuses on providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of the planetGOLD Philippines Project, emphasizing its pivotal role in reducing mercury use in ASGM. This foundational knowledge serves as a stepping stone for informed discussions and actions surrounding responsible mining practices.

Approximately 400 students and 40 faculty members will benefit from this series of 2-day events at the two project sites of planetGOLD Philippines. In Sagada, Mountain Province, the project partners with Fidelisan Elementary School and Bangaan National High School. Meanwhile, in Paracale, Camarines Norte, the project aims to partner with Alfonso Dasco Elementary School and Paracale National High School.

Solidifying Partnerships in Sagada Schools

MOU Schools Sagada 1B
Ceremonial MOU Signing with (left) Bangaan National High School; (right) Fidelisan Elementary School.

To strengthen partnerships with the selected schools in Sagada, Mountain Province, and effectively communicate the benefits and challenges of the ASGM sector, ceremonial signing activities for Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) took place. On October 23, 2023, an MOU was signed between the Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) Philippines and Bangaan National High School. Another signing event occurred with Fidelisan Elementary School in Brgy. Fidelisan on the same day. These partnerships signify a joint effort in the development and implementation of the event, recognizing the essential role of schools in communicating ASGM and educating small-scale mining communities for catalyzing positive change in the sector.

Educational Roadshow Kick-off at Fidelisan Elementary School

Faculty and students from Fidelisan Elementary Schools pose for a photo after the opening program of the Educational Roadshow in Sagada, Mt. Province.

The educational roadshow commenced at Fidelisan Elementary School on November 28-29, 2023, coinciding with the anniversary of the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The opening program on the first day, led by School Head Isidro Ganaden and Artisanal Gold Council National Project Manager Abigail Ocate, set the tone for the event.

(Left-Right) During the commencement of the opening program, Fidelisan Elementary School Head Isidro Ganaden and Artisanal Gold Council National Project Manager Abigail Ocate give messages to the students.

Teacher Marjorie Martinez from the Bgy. Fidelisan Day Care Center engaged students with inspiring storytelling using planetGOLD Philippines' storybooks, "Mina Minera" and "Miko, Maya, and the Golden Valley." Following the stories, children participated in drawing and coloring sessions, adding their creative touch to the two storybooks.

Teacher Marjorie from Fidelisan Day Center skillfully leads an engaging storytelling session, capturing the attention and imagination of young minds during the educational roadshow.
(Clockwise) AGC National Communications Officer Dawn Po Quimque gives an introduction to the project's documentary film showing. Student artists pose for a photo with their mural painting. Student holds an advocacy placard, joining the campaigning for responsible mining. Students explores the project's photo booth exhibit

The day included a screening of planetGOLD Philippines' documentary series, "Power of Gold: Stories from the Ground," covering topics like women in mining, dangers of using mercury, and ASGM history in Sagada. Simultaneously, 10 student artists collaborated on a vibrant mural, symbolizing the community's dedication to a responsible ASGM sector. Alongside, a photo exhibit titled 'Behind the Gold Rush' was presented, aiming to educate students about the Project and ASGM sector, providing opportunities to win prizes, which extended until the next day.

The second day highlighted the culmination of the Poster Making and Slogan Making contests, where 28 students showcase their skills and perspectives on ASGM. Judges, including Abigail Ocate, Mathew Malicdan (President of Northern Sagada Barangay Small-Scale Mining, Inc.), and Romulo Dawilan, Jr. (Municipality of Sagada), evaluated the submissions.


In the closing program, a vibrant mural was unveiled, serving as a collective masterpiece where participants painted their hands, leaving a lasting imprint of creativity and unity. The mural visually embodied the shared commitment to fostering a responsible ASGM sector within the community.

Students, teachers, and guests leave their handprints on the mural as a sign of commitment.
Grade 6 Student Ezra Soliaban shows her slogan, which won 1st place.
I learned that chemicals like mercury should not be used in mining because its dangerous to our health and environment. During the roadshow, we watched, made slogans and posters, and I had fun. I got even happier because I won. In my slogan, I want to tell others and my classmates to be responsible in mining and with our waste. Since our place has mines, we should keep it beautiful and not ruin it.

It is also essential to understand responsible gold mining so that when it's our turn to do it, we know what to do. Ezra Soliaban, Grade 6 / Youth for Responsible Gold Champion
Grade 6 student Joseff Macalo shares an encouraging message with his fellow students.
I enjoyed the activities and I saw how important responsible mining is. I will lead my fellow students to join whenever there are activities like this so that we can better understand what responsible mining is really about. It is also important to understand responsible mining so that we don't do the wrong things when our time comes.

I am also thankful to planetGOLD for the ongoing roadshow because I honed my skills, and I learned many other things.
Joseff Macalo, Grade 6 / Youth for Responsible Gold Champion

Continuing the Reach to Bangaan National High School

Over 200 students and faculty of Bangaan National High School attended the opening program of the event.

In a continuous effort to raise awareness and involve the youth in campaign on responsible gold mining, the planetGOLD Philippines' Educational Roadshow, "Youth for Responsible Gold," made its way to Bangaan National High School on December 1-2. The opening program, presided over by Principal Steve Dacagan and Abigail Ocate, drew the participation of over 200 high school students.

(Left-Right) Bangaan National High School Principal Steve Dacagan and AGC Abigail Ocate give opening messages on the first day of the event.

Mirroring the successful approach in Fidelisan, the first day of the event at Bangaan National High School featured a film screening, an interactive and informative photo booth, and a dynamic mural painting led by six student artists from the school. The aim was to engage students in an insightful and participatory manner, fostering a deeper understanding of responsible gold mining practices.

The second day marked the conclusion of the Educational Roadshow in Sagada. The day featured various contests, including poster making, essay writing, spoken word poetry, and jingle making, showcasing the talents and perspectives of the youth. A symbolic 10-foot mural, reflecting creativity and unity, was unveiled, adorned with the handprints of students, guests, faculty members, and organizers.

The contests were evaluated by a panel of judges, including Abigail Ocate, Mathew Malicdan, and Regional Director Fay Apil of Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera Administrative Region.

BNHS Grade 10 student Aira Patong, selected as a Youth for Responsible Gold Champion, shares her thoughts about the event.
One of my takeaways from the education roadshow is the importance of advocating for responsible mining. Because we should not forget to take care of our environment so that it can still be beneficial for the next generation. Aira Patong, Grade 10 Student / Youth for Responsible Gold Champion
Grade 10 Student and Youth for Responsible Gold Champion Riener Ligayo encourages his fellow youth in joining the advocacy towards responsible mining in their communities.
After watching the films presented by planetGOLD Philippines, my awareness of the hazards associated with mercury use in mining has significantly increased. I sincerely hope that in Sagada, we refrain from utilizing mercury and steadfastly commit to preserving our environment.

As a Youth for Responsible Gold Champion, I implore my fellow youth to prioritize education. Let us refrain from engaging in any mining activities and concentrate on our studies. Riener Ligayo, Grade 10 / Youth for Responsible Gold Champion

Winners & Awardees: Recognition at Educational Roadshow Closing

In the closing program on the second day of each event in both schools, every student, faculty member, and guest received a Youth for Responsible Event Kit. The kit, comprising a bag, notebook, tumbler, ID lace, and T-shirt, showcased the unique logo design of the campaign series.

Additionally, all contest winners were honored with medals, a cash prize, and certificates as a token of appreciation for their exceptional achievements. Special awardees, beyond certificates, received exclusive project merchandise as recognition for their outstanding contributions to the success of the Educational Roadshow. This also included the selection of two exemplary students from each school, who were honored as Youth for Responsible Gold Champions.

The planetGOLD Philippines Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council.

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