Agents of change
Young people from around South-east asia congregate in the Philippines to bring changes to the region.
THEY are all leaders with a cause and alumni of several US international exchange programmes, but more importantly, the young people who congegrated at the recent 2013 LEAD Asean Youth Summit in Manila, Philippines are all ready to make a difference in the world.
LEAD – which stands for link, engage, activate and develop – is an annual summit which hopes to forge a strong youth network across the region.
Hosted by the Ayala Foundation, in partnership with the Manila US Embassy, the three-day summit gathered 150 of the brightest young people aged 18-24 from across South-East Asia.
The youth summit featured interactive panel discussions, excursions, cultural exchange activities and workshops to empower the young leaders with adequate knowledge to craft their own programmes to benefit their communities back home.
Ten delegates from each Asean country and 60 from the Philippines were chosen by the Ayala Foundation and the US Embassies across South-East Asia, and they were either from US Embassy Youth Programmes or Ayala Young Leaders Congress alumni.
The international summit focused on various subjects, such as economic development, environment, education and awareness, and human development.
The participants were invited to attend think labs facilitated by successful organisations, such as Teach for the Philippines, where they had the opportunity to discuss pressing social issues as well as go on excursions to witness how successful local enterprises are run.
Gawad Kalinga founder Tony meloto said young people in the region need to remove the mindset that Western products are better than those in asia.
agriculture social entrepreneur cherrie atilano (left), 27, at the Gawad Kalinga enchanted farm. She spoke about the challenges in helping former convicts who were illiterate to earn a decent
living through farming.