Palaweño lawyer Joel Arzaga. (Screenshot from virtual 2022 Viktor Frankl Award)

Palaweño lawyer Joel Arzaga, son of former board member Winston Arzaga, is among the recipients of the World Youth Alliance’s (WYA) 2022 Viktor Frankl Award, which honors individuals who have contributed to the alliance’s growth and promotion of human dignity.

WYA recognized Atty. Joel for his continuing work in advancing the alliance’s aims through policy and legislative work in the Philippines as an advocacy fellow alumni of its New York headquarters and a Certified Training Program (CTP) trainer for Asia Pacific members.

In a congratulatory post Sunday, his father said Atty. Joel is the only Filipino awardee. The other recipients are from Ethiopia, Austria, Peru, Tunisia, and the United States.

“Congratulations to my son, Atty. Joel Arzaga, for receiving the Viktor Frankl Award from the World Youth Alliance-an international organization based in New York, USA, accredited by the United Nations that promotes human dignity and human rights. This is in recognition of his contributions to the formation of young people from the Asia Pacific region and of his public advocacy for the right to life and for the sanctity of marriage and the family,” his father said.

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Atty. Joel was officially recognized as a recipient of the Viktor Frankl Award for WYA Asia Pacific on March 25 via an internet broadcast, according to WYA in a post.

The other honorees are Africa-Tamrat Belachew, Ethiopia; Europe-Elisabeth Gudenus, Austria; Latin America and the Caribbean-Lorena Puicon, Peru; the Middle East and North Africa-Moutiaa Gouaida, Tunisia, and North America-Thomas Sarrouf, USA.

In his virtual message, Atty. Joel said he is humbled and honored to be this year’s recipient of the award for the Asia Pacific.

He said WYA has also given him invaluable direction in his pursuit of personal meaning, professional excellence, and fulfillment.

“WYA has opened doors of opportunities for me and has helped me advance the cause of human dignity, human rights, and the sanctity of marriage and the family in my public advocacy work as a lawyer and as an educator,” he said.

“I hope to continue working with the inspiring and gifted young people in the World Youth Alliance, and to fight alongside with them… in the battle for human dignity,” he added. He dedicated the award to God, his family, and his fellow Filipinos.

WYA met Atty. Joel through Universitas, which provided him with the prospect of applying for an advocacy internship. He thought that joining the alliance would be a great way to begin his career in law.

He graduated from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and a Juris Doctorate in Law. He passed the Philippine Bar Examinations in 2018. He also participated in the Witherspoon Institute’s Moral Foundations of Law Program at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA, in 2019.

Atty. Joel also writes a column for Palawan News.

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