Youth is the Future
by Armae Margarethe B. Panganiban
“Youth is the future . . .
the young make the world a better place to live in,
and they do this faster than anyone else.”
Like our national hero Jose Rizal, Hyoungmin Kim, the brain and inspiration behind the Asian Program for Youth Exchange finds his inspiration in the youth volunteers who work to make the world a better place. For APYE empowers students to catalyze change to fulfill the Social Development Goals (SDGs) in their respective communities.
Hyoungmin Kim is the Managing Director of the Urban Youth Academy and the inspiration behind the Youth Exchange. Thirteen Enderun students joined the 4th APYE in Manila at the Asian Development Bank last July 11-22, 2017. Fourteen were able to join the program in Incheon, Republic of Korea August 11-23, 2017.
In Leadership Development Training, students first learned the SDGs and were asked to understand their role in achieving them.
In the second part of APYE, Local Immersion, the participants first lived in Laguna or Quezon to discern problems in those areas and work to address them. The program continued in Incheon, Korea, where the students tackled SDGs with relation to Sustainable Tourism. Both countries offered very different experiences, but the end goal was the same: how to achieve Sustainability and how to achieve the SDGs.
In the third and final stage, each group presented the ideas gained from the two country experiences. In the Philippines, students presented the proposals to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and stakeholders. With the feedback gained, the students polish their proposals and presented once again during the Asia Pacific Youth Symposium before the other SDG Teams.
The highlight of the Symposium is the SDG Festival wherein all the SDG Groups showcase their proposals to fellow delegates to get feedback and potential sponsors.
During the Korea event, students celebrated International Youth Day with Breakout sessions and Panel discussions. It ended with a Youth Declaration.
Overall, participants agree that immersing with Enderun and Korean students was an experience full of emotions and hardships with people met for the first time, thus solidifying a bond even after just two weeks.
Throughout the many adventures, one learns and fully practices the basics of human relations: act with an open heart, open mind, and open will.