Social Innovation Challenge 2023: Meet the Innovators!

Social Innovation Challenge 2023: Meet the Innovators!

Seven innovators from different parts of the Philippines have been chosen to participate in this year’s Social Innovation Challenge (SIC 2023) led by iVolunteer Philippines. For five weeks, these social innovators will undergo a series of online learning modules and workshops to refine their strategies in leading initiatives to address challenges in their communities. After completing the workshop series, they will undergo a three month incubation period as they implement their projects while receiving mentorship and networking support to help scale their impact and meet their goals.

In the meantime, we are proudly introducing the 7 innovators and their respective projects that will undergo rigorous transformation in the following weeks. Meet our innovators, and have a glimpse of who they are and what they are working on.

1. Addie Javier

Location: Iloilo

Who is Addie?


  • Addie is one of the Co-founders of MindShift Initiative, a project by the Youth Initiative Philippines, Inc. This organization focuses on promoting mental-wellness among the youth. Apart from this, he is also an active member of Team Dugong Bughaw, Inc.  

Motivation to Volunteer:

  • When Addie was a university student president, he received reports of suicide cases by fellow students, even those as young as fourteen years old. Later on, in a data-gathering study he conducted, he found out that 70% of students experience stress both in school and at home, but 80% have never undergone any mental health check-up. These led him to advocate for mental health, especially for the youth.   

What is his social innovation project?

Advocacy: Mental Health | Target: Iloilo

Addie’s project aims to increase youth participation in mental health check-ups, build alliances focused on mental wellness, and push for policy reforms. To achieve these goals, he plans on organizing campaigns in different schools and communities, on forming alliances of like-minded organizations and on conducting evidence-based research that can support policy recommendations.

2. Hilton Soberano

Location: Davao

Who is Hilton?


  • Hilton started volunteering in 2015 as a manager, coach and educator in the Davao Durians Rugby Football Club, a community club that uses sports to create a safe environment for children. After around 11 years in the corporate world, he’s now shifting his career to the development sector.

Motivation to Volunteer:

  • Hilton discovered the joy of coaching children and making a difference in their lives when he started volunteering in 2015. It was then that he started taking on more roles in his volunteer organization, in the hopes of expanding the impact that he makes.

What is his social innovation project?

Advocacy: Sports Development | Target: Davao

A 2015 study shows that around 80% of Filipino children have experienced some form of violence at home, in school, in their community and even online. Hilton intends to use sports as a platform for safeguarding children, and meet other development objectives such as violence prevention, gender equality, and social inclusion among others. Sports can be instrumental in building a cohesive community and a strong support system that can safeguard children from different forms of violence.

3. Jelaine Abante

Location: Camarines Norte

Who is Jelaine?


  • For the past 4 years, Jelaine has been a volunteer Life Coach for the Glorious Hope Recovery Program, a coaching program that assists individuals to better understand themselves and improve their life. Apart from this, she was also a youth leader and has joined several volunteer works in different communities.

Motivation to Volunteer:

  • Jelaine believes that serving others with pure intention is the most rewarding experience. For her, being a volunteer helps her live a life with purpose.

What is her social innovation project?

Advocacy: People Empowerment | Target: Camarines Norte

Jelaine wants to help build a more progressive and emotionally-resilient community by addressing the poor mindset that perpetuates corruption and many other societal issues. Rescue Kabataan Taskforce is an ongoing program that Jelaine hopes to further strengthen with more innovative projects that can encourage children (as young as 7 years old) to participate in community development activities such as mangrove planting, clean-up drives, value formation seminars, public speaking workshops, etc.

4. Jill Palarca

Location: Davao

Who is Jill?


  • Jill is the Co-founder and Chairperson of Media Educators of Mindanao, a nonprofit organization that aspires to transform Mindanao through media education. Prior to this, she also volunteered for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, primarily to write scripts.

Motivation to Volunteer:

  • As an experienced communication instructor and film-enthusiast, Jill knows that media is becoming an increasingly strong influence in shaping communities. Even so, the formal educational system has not incorporated film literacy in the curriculum, thereby allowing vulnerable sectors to be consistently victimized by propagandas. To address this gap, she volunteers her time and talent to push for media education, especially in Mindanao.    

What is her social innovation project?

Advocacy: Media Education | Target: Mindanao

Skwela Salida is a film literacy program designed for teachers, students, out-of-school-youth and indigent communities in Mindanao. It will utilize film as a tool for education, particularly to develop critical and creative thinking, to inspire more indie filmmakers to tell socially relevant stories, and to strengthen the Filipino identity and mindset.

5. John Remadavia

Location: Misamis Oriental



  • John is the Partnerships Officer of Kagay-Anon Youth Network Alliance, a youth network focused on youth empowerment, especially for the out-of-school youth. He’s also part of Youth Advocates and volunteers for Kids Who Farm.  

Motivation to Volunteer:

  • Volunteering for John has a transformative impact, shaping him to be a better person while contributing to the betterment of his community.


Advocacy: Food Security | Target: Cagayan de Oro City

To minimize food wastage, John’s project intends to use Black Soldier Flies (BSF) to decompose food wastes and create nutrient-rich soil without using harmful artificial fertilizers. He also aims to promote food security through hydroponics—a method that allows plants to grow on nutrient-enriched water instead of soil—to make planting more accessible to households, schools and other communities.

6. Randy Nobleza

Location: Marinduque

Who is Randy?


  • Randy is a university instructor who has been involved in several cultural works in Marinduque. Last year, he organized the Hibla Local Filipina Art Workshops in the Book Nook Marinduque Project, as the area coordinator. Earlier this year, he was selected as Marinduque’s Island Innovation Ambassador.

Motivation to Volunteer

  • Randy is propelled by his love for Marinduque, an island that some people associate with harmful mining. That being said, he wants to change this narrative and help his community find more sustainable livelihood alternatives. Randy believes that the art industry can be a viable alternative, and this is an advocacy that he is passionate about.

What is his social innovation project?

Advocacy: Arts-based Community Development | Target: Marinduque

Randy’s project aims to strengthen the creative industry in Marinduque with the ultimate goal of empowering their local community. They will be conducting various workshops on different forms of art (sculpture, painting, music, etc.) to showcase local talents. This will encourage more people to venture into arts while also giving local artists a platform to present their artistic talents.

7. Rupert Bontigao

Location: Metro Manila

Who is Rupert?


  • Rupert is currently the Head of Media and Marketing of Cats for Sorrento, a volunteer group that was established to address the growing issues of stray cats in their condo community.

Motivation to Volunteer:

  • Seeing the negative comments and complaints of vocal residents, he was initially hesitant to advocate for the stray cats in their community. He eventually decided to join when one resident started a petition to send those cats to a local pound.

What is his social innovation project?

Advocacy: Stray Cats Welfare | Target: Condo Community

The #SavingStrays campaign, launched by Rupert this year under the Cats of Sorrento group, intends to create a safe space for stray cats in their condo community.  The programs under this initiative include an awareness campaign and various sustainability projects such as fostering and adoption programs, fundraising drives through cat merchandise, food reselling, and network-building  and collaborations with animal welfare organizations, brands, and businesses that support and promote animal welfare.

These innovators come from different backgrounds, locations, and advocacies. But they were all united by their desire to help build their communities. More than just having creative ideas, they have the passion and the grit to invest time and effort into curating their programs.

Stay tuned for their stories of impact and transformation as they embark on this journey. The 2023 Social Innovation Challenge has begun, and we are excited to show you how far they can go with the right resources.

Written by: Lorraine Rañoa, iVolunteer Philippines

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