THE YP PROGRAM
The Young Professionals Program primarily targets young technical professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, and planning and provides them with venues for action and social responsiveness in issues of human settlements and security of tenure in the marginalized sectors. Shelter security and access to decent and affordable housing, especially for the poor, continue to be formidable challenges that Philippine society face. The poor have been traditionally underserved by architects, engineers and planners, and improving the country’s housing situation calls for these technical professionals to be committed and socially-responsive to the needs of poor communities.
Young Professionals are seen as catalysts for change towards more just societies so they need to have a clear grasp of housing issues that affect poor communities. In TAO’s experiences in community development work, two realizations have been very apparent. The first basic lesson is that poor communities, more often than not, know very little of the services architects, engineers and planners provide. Second is that technical professionals need to get involved more with communities for whom they design to be able to come up with solutions that truly reflect community aspirations. Integrating participatory approaches in housing design processes will enable the poor as end-users, to take an active part in making decisions that shape their lives and the places they live in.
The YP program also intends to promote more inclusive and collaborative practices for professionals in human settlements development. Mainstream education of engineers, architects and planners remain largely exclusive to those who could well afford their services, allowing the marginalization of communities unable to reap the benefits of technical professional services and young professionals ill-equipped to address the shelter needs of poor communities. More opportunities for direct community-professional interaction are needed to facilitate broader understanding of housing processes by the professional and better appreciation of the professional’s social responsibility by the community.
By providing community-based venues for hands-on learning, YPs shall be able to focus to their talents and energy on serving the informal and marginalized sectors of society.
More of the YP program activities at the TAO-Pilipinas Website