After Its 3rd Year, the Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network Transforms into Kabataan Alliance
Three years ago, the Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) or Youth Link Arms Network was formed. 24 Filipino youth and student organizations across the country came together on January 8, 2014 to establish a youth and student relief network in response to Typhoon Haiyan. The newly established alliance resolved to raise funds and work directly with grassroots organizations in the Philippines, to organize relief and rebuilding mission trips and further, to advocate for long term solutions.
For the past 3 years, KBKN has also raised our collective voices in support of temporary protected status for the Philippines (TPS) and against the cases of corruption of relief goods and donations in the Philippines. KBKN also has successfully raised funds for and led relief and rehabilitation trips to the Philippines to support those most affected by calamities, both natural and man made. Through these mission trips, members of KBKN learned about the issues of everyday Filipinos and the problems that lay beyond natural disasters. These devastating natural disasters are by large a part of the ongoing crisis of poverty, landlessness, militarism and how human rights are directly linked to the environment. We have brought back with us a deeper understanding of the struggles of the people in the Philippines and have drawn connections to why our own families migrated out of our homeland.
In the course of 6 months, KBKN member organizations conducted extensive discussions and consultations within the network and with other Filipino youth in the US. These consultations have shown a shared concern in the rise of xenophobia, racism, sexism, police brutality and attacks on education all of which disproportionately affect working class brown and black people.
In light of this political situation, KBKN also recognizes that as Filipino youth and students here in the United States, we have a role to actively participate in addressing these issues and creating social change. As a result, we, from KBKN have decided to transform our organization to Kabataan Alliance (Youth Alliance). This will be a national alliance of Filipino youth and students that will educate, unite and act for the rights and welfare of our people here in the United States as well as back home in the Philippines. We believe that this transformation will allow us to better respond to the needs of our communities and take up issues that affect Filipino youth and families in the U.S. and abroad.
KBKN, along with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), Anakbayan-USA, and the Northern California Pilipinx American Student Alliance (NCPASA), will be formally launching Kabataan Alliance at Kabataan Magkaisa 2: Kumilos na! History is in Our Hands in San Francisco, CA September 30-Oct 1st.
KBKN is excited to invite Filipino youth grassroots organizations, programs, institutions, and individuals who advocate and fight for the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the US and around the world to join this national youth alliance! If your organization is interested in joining the alliance, please contact us at email@example.com so we can schedule an orientation and share the draft 3 Year Plan and Constitution for review. On September 20th we will hold a call to discuss the 3 Year Plan and Constitution for input and suggestions. Please visit our website at kabataanalliance.org to register for Kabataan Magkaisa 2 and be part of this monumental launch. Let’s come together to educate, unite, and act! See ya’ll in San Francisco!
-Kenneth Crebillio, National Coordinator, Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network