On March 16, 2019, LoveYourself welcomed 74 incoming volunteers in a batch orientation at the People’s Hall at SM Aura Premier at Taguig City. Named Kauna Kai, these dynamic individuals were oriented by fellow volunteers headed by Joy Daguiso, LoveYourself HIV counselor. The batch orientation, which was a whole-day event, served as Batch Kauna Kai’s stepping stone as they embark on the advocacy in raising awareness on HIV and AIDS, which continues to be a major global public health issue.

Behind the Name: Love as a Driving Force

Since 2011, LoveYourself has welcomed its volunteers in batches. These are identified with distinct terms that are relevant to the organization and its advocacy. It ranged from motivational words like Ascend, Ignite and, Vanguard to native terms like Magayon (beauty), Bigkis (bond) and Bahandi (treasure). For 2018, the batch names were picked from the theme “love across the globe”. It started with Atma Prema, which is the Sanskrit equivalent of unconditional self-love, followed by Upendo, the Swahili translation of love, and Meraki, a Greek principle of “doing something with soul, creativity, and love.”

Chris Lagman, LoveYourself, Inc. Senior Director, had an inspirational talk with Batch Kauna Kai volunteers during the whole day orientation at the People’s Hall at the SM Aura Premier

Sticking to the previous theme of “love across the globe”, a phrase from the Hausa language was chosen to brand the first batch for 2019. Hausa, a Chadic language from the Afro-Asiatic language family, is widely used as a word of trade in Western Africa. From its rich vocabulary are the words kauna and kai, which means love and self respectively. Together, these words form the phrase kauna kai, a direct translation of one of life’s major driving forces: self-love.

Believing that one is valuable and worthy is the main principle of self-love. When a person starts to perceive himself worthy to achieve happiness, and to be given respect and dignity, this becomes a very powerful premise on how one sees life. This powerful impetus will enable individuals with self-worth to reach out to others and form a community that is empowered and goal-driven. Bearing a name that equates to such a very compelling concept, Batch Kauna Kai volunteers will be taking on this important challenge of being stewards of self-love, and to be ripples of positive change in the community.

Smiles captured during a fun-filled and engaging session during the Batch Kauna Kai orientation

Behind the Batch Logo: A Burning, Undying Passion

With noteworthy batch names, the responsibility of creating a logo that will bear as much relevance as the batch name was tasked to Rick James “TJ” Monzon of LoveYourself Visual Communications. The logo was initially conceptualized to entrail a sun inside an equilateral triangle as the background, to symbolize warmth and fortitude. The color scheme used for the logo centered on the basic shades of red and orange to also exude the warmth of fire.

The Batch Kauna Kai logo created by TJ Monzon

Rising up from the center of the logo is a mythical creature that Batch Kauna Kai volunteers will imbibe as their spirit animal: the mighty Phoenix. A legendary bird that has long been associated with fire, strength, and rebirth, the phoenix represents the volunteers and the traits they possess. As a bird of fire, it embodies the responsibility of providing warmth and light to others. As a fowl of rebirth, the phoenix teaches us that amidst challenges that we may encounter in our fight against HIV, one must never let anyone or anything douse the flames of passion that we have for the advocacy. Hand in hand, the batch name and logo represent self-love and an undying passion.

“Defend”, one of the many words used in the Verb Wars, an ice breaker during the Batch Kauna Kai orientation

Alongside the growing numbers of HIV cases is the increasing numbers of hearts and minds who work together to address this pressing global concern. LoveYourself continues to strive to be a community of volunteers whose aim is to not just create ripples of positive change, but to be the waves that nurture the value of loving one’s self as a way to engage and empower the community.

Feeling inspired? Join us in the advocacy by clicking here.

Text by Mark Angello C. Ganon
Photos courtesy of the batch orientation committee