About SG

Sariling Gawa Youth Council

is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in Hawaii that fosters cultural awareness, nurtures ethnic pride, and empowers youth to develop leadership skills. Its major activity is an annual leadership conference which brings together high school delegates and youth leaders statewide. This conference is usually held at the YMCA Camp Harold Erdman in Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii.


Sariling Gawa started as a grassroots community effort in 1980, commemorating the 75th anniversary of Filipinos in Hawaii. The stimulus to create this project originated with Filipinos concerned with the overall well being of the Filipino community here in Hawaii. Social service, education, and public health professionals did not create the organization, rather it was a group of college students who reflected, analyzed, and acted on their experiences of being young, immigrant and local-born Filipinos in Hawaii. Sariling Gawa has developed activities involving organizing and implementation of an annual leadership conference as well as participating in community and cultural events. These core activities require that the volunteers continually recruit new leaders, network with Filipino youth and other community-based organizations throughout Hawaii, and participate in Filipino social and cultural events. Since 1980, thousands of young Filipinos and community members have experienced hands-on training and skills building, allowing young people to be empowered as leaders, mentors, organizers, administrators, and role models. Sariling Gawa’s strength lies within the passion of its members to perpetuate core values for the next generation and every single one thereafter.

Sariling Gawa’s Mission, Goal & Objectives

The mission of the Sariling Gawa Youth Council is to be at the forefront of fostering cultural awareness, nurturing ethnic pride, and empowering youth to develop leadership skills.

The organization’s goal is “Through community involvement and ongoing education, Sariling Gawa plans to increase the number of well-informed Filipino leaders as well as ordinary citizens who will contribute to the growth of the community.”

To achieve the goal and mission, the objectives are to:

  • to provide leadership training, educational and career training and development opportunities;
  • to provide a forum for youth and young adults to voice community concerns and problems, as well as formulate ideas for solutions to these issues;
  • to participate in community affairs;
  • to teach and share Filipino history and cultural heritage;
  • to instill ethnic pride and identity;
  • to instill positive self-concept and family-concept;
  • to increase awareness of laws and the process of government that affect youth and families;
  • to develop and maintain effective collaborations and social networks among youth, families, and communities in Hawaii.

An Inspirational Poem

Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have. 

But of the best leaders
When their task is accomplished
their work is done
the people all remark
‘We have done it ourselves’.

–Lao Tzu