Thursday, January 21, 2010

Join the Flash Mob for Universal Primary Education on Trinoma Activity Center on January 22

Aided by Web 2.0 tactics, silence and spectacle, Manila’s socially conscious youth will take part in a Flash Mob for the Future at the Trinoma Mall Activity Center on Friday (January 22) 6PM to highlight their disappointment with the slow progress in providing Universal Primary Education, which is part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), a set of goals committed to by world leaders in September 2000. With the motto, “Maki-alam, makialam!” the participants will be asking that more attention be given to achieving MDG 2.

Flash Mobs, performances meant as disruptions, came into being in New York in 2003. A product of new social formations brought about by Web 2.0, Flash Mobs have been used extensively in the West as symbols of nonconformity with societal norms. People meet and make plans over social media, such as Facebook, with stealth as one of the main pre-requisite actions. On January 22, participants from ten youth organizations, including the Far Eastern University of the Philippines’ Dance Company and Young Public Servants (YPS), who are part of the iMDG online community of MDG youth activitists, will come together in a show of unity. Other iMDG members will be organizing events and communicating with one another at

iMDG, a project of the UN Millennium Campaign, is undertaken in the Philippines by Youth Vote Philippines (YVote), a seven-year project comprising a 5-year monitoring and reporting on the candidates’ positions and actions on the MDGs . The Flash Mob for the Future will send the message that iMDG members are aware of the problem on Universal Primary Education and will be voting in May on the basis of the strength of candidates’ programs on the acceleration of the MDGs, particularly on Education.

With a such a high rate of literacy in the Philippines, standing at 93.9 percent (one of the highest in Southeast Asia), it is surprising that only just over 70 percent of those enrolled in grade 1 will reach grade 5. In the past 20 years there has been a 7 percent increase in Universal Primary Education (MDG 2), just under half the increase needed for the achievement of MDG 2 by 2015.

For Manila’s youth in Manila this situation is an indication that politicians are failing the next generation of Filipinos. Members of the iMDG community will continue to pressure politicians on this point in the months following the Flash Mob. A large multimedia mass will highlight the benefits of meeting MDG promises back in 2000. A multimedia petition will be handed to politicians in April of this year, which expects to elicit formal public statements on a Breakthrough Plan to accelerate MDG progress from 2010-2015.

Other events involving the media include Pictures for Politicians, a challenge for photographers to capture in an artistic manner the many reasons for reaching the MDGs. In the Artwork for MDGs young elementary school children and professionals will be given the freedom to choose the medium of their liking and display what they see as the benefit of achieving the MDGs. Lastly, a forthcoming Films for Change contest will ask budding videographers to produce a short video that will showcase the importance of achieving of MDG 2.

To find submission dates and event guidelines and obtain other information, youth are invited to join the iMDG community at where more information can be found
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