Sunday, July 01, 2012

Keynote Speech at AYNLA Abra Chapter's 1st Year Anniversary

1st AYNLA Abra Chapter’s Anniversary

Way back in 2009, I dreamt of this day to come – that empowered young professional nurses come together to help the nursing profession; that an active potent force be mobilized to help become a solution to the growing ills of the society; and to become the voice of caring peace in times of war – a war against diseases, inequities and social illness.

The rise of AYNLA International was not an easy one – in fact it was the hardest I have to hurdle in my entire life. It is the vision I have to fulfill and the calling I have to answer. From a small group of nine to the current network of 12,000, AYNLA indeed championed a lot of adversaries.

But what makes AYNLA special? How did we overturn our challenges into victories? What is our path to peace?

AYNLA is a not just an organization but it is a family – a super huge family of talented, innovative, pro-active, dynamic and enduring nurses I have ever known in the Philippines and now other nurses who are in other countries. It is an organization of equal opportunities and chances. In AYNLA, leadership is transforming lives and that every single nurse is given that equal chance to lead and transform lives of people and his or her colleagues.

We are also an organization of innovation and technology. In AYNLA we have harnessed the power of social media and made it to our advantage. We have earlier tested this in our initial victory during the Black-Out Campaign where an ordinary nurse, celebrities and personalities joined the cause to help end exploitation and abuse to our profession. Our operations work many wonders as more than 70% of it is based on online interactions, cyberspace meetings, use of social networks. Through this, AYNLA Abra as well as almost all other 35 chapters of the Alliance came into full being. And this, a social action after seeing and experiencing how we work and operate, is one of the things we always look forward to.

We have earned the trusts of our partners because we live to what our vision calls us to be. We have shown them that age is just a number and being young is an attitude. We have stood our grounds even when we were doubted, even when there were grave challenges and even when the times were rough. And by that we have endured and proven that time and again, we are indeed a formidable ally and a trusted partner.

Today, we earned our partners and continue to work with them in different issues. We started to work with the Department of Health as a member of the committee that will gather data for the guidelines to be done in terminating exploitative practices done to nurses in many institutions. And we are proud to say that we have greatly contributed to the creation of those DOH Orders stopping those exploitative programs. Today, we now partner with DOH for the enhancement of the health human workforce and the implementation of the Universal Health Care’s series of events. We have also been nominated to the National Health Human Resource Network – the largest multi-agency alliance working on the issues of health human workforce. And our nominator was no less than the DOH itself. We are also as proud to be the nursing organization partner of the Universal Health Care; being a member of the Universal Health Care Group – the organization of former DOH Secretaries & health leaders; and we are also glad that we will be bringing the UHC program here in Abra.

We are also being tapped as one of the professional organization partner and implementer of the Decent Work across Borders for health professionals by the International Labour Organization. In this initiative, ILO will be working with all accredited professional organization, including the Philippine Nurses Association. There are two nursing organizations invited however, and that is PNA and AYNLA. Together we will work to have nurses’ decent work in the Philippines and across borders.

Innovation is in the heart of AYNLA. It is in this organization we have learned to develop new skills, talents and abilities that we may use to hone our craft and practice. Our nurses do not settle for less and will find ways to generate new ideas to solve our current crisis. Being awarded as one of the 10 most innovative projects in the world by the International Council of Nurses and Sanofi International’s Care Challenge, solidifies and reaffirms that AYNLA is in the right track. Our Nars at Bayan nursing podcast recently championed against hundreds of entries from not less than 20 countries around the world. And with that we would like to thank our nurse anchors and volunteers.

We continue to be the voice of peace in the war against diseases, inequities and injustices. We are now in the process of developing and training nurses in the broadcast media & performing arts and creating opportunities for social enterprises in palliative care. We have partnered with Probe Media, the Ayala Access Health Foundation and the Asian Institute of Management to ensure these developments come to pass.

Our participation in the road to peace-building is very essential. As nurses, we have been called to serve and help end inequities in accessing affordable and quality health care by the people. Inequity and inequality result to war that results to further famine, disease and hunger.

Do not think that you are just one nurse trying to change the country. Remember you are one with the multitude of like-minded, innovative, dynamic, dedicated and enduring nurses this country shall ever know. We are the greatest generation of Filipino nurses. We must live up to it, take the challenge, work and strive to be better and keep our eyes on our goals – a healthier nation and an empowered nursing profession.

Maraming salamat po!

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