YSEALI Caravan Travels Across the Philippines

Over a thousand students from universities in Ilocos Norte, Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro came together to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and to highlight the benefits of becoming a YSEALI member.

Embassy Officer Elizabeth Liu and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan President Fr. Robert Yap opens the YSEALI University Caravan in Mindanao.

Embassy Officer Elizabeth Liu and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan President Fr. Robert Yap opens the YSEALI University Caravan in Mindanao.

Representative from a youth NGO in Cagayan de Oro discusses the importance of civic engagement to YSEALI University Caravan participants in Xavier University- Cagayan de Oro.

Representative from a youth NGO in Cagayan de Oro discusses the importance of civic engagement to YSEALI University Caravan participants in Xavier University- Cagayan de Oro.

Embassy Officer Elizabeth Liu and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan President Fr. Robert Yap opens the YSEALI University Caravan in Mindanao.

Embassy Officer Elizabeth Liu and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan President Fr. Robert Yap opens the YSEALI University Caravan in Mindanao.

The caravans were held in Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte, University of St. La Salle in Bacolod and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro.  YSEALI members, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, led the one-day events to raise awareness among Filipino youth about YSEALI, the importance of community service and civic engagement, and explained how becoming a YSEALI member benefit and connect communities throughout ASEAN.   During the caravans, YSEALI members also highlighted the four pillars of YSEALI (economic development, education, civic engagement and environment) and led a discussion with students on how Filipino youth can help make ASEAN integration a success.

Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development. More info and free registration can be found on the website youngsoutheastasianleaders.state.gov.

“Agri-preneur” Junaflor Cerilles talks about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morroco

U.S. Embassy in Manila sent Ceriles as a youth delegate to the Fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Marrakech, Morocco from November 19-21, 2014. Ceriles, a member of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, runs a farm and a water business in Zamboanga Del Sur.

Read more: http://manila.usembassy.gov/pressandphotoreleases2014/us-embassy-sends-pinay-agripreneur-president-obama-global-entrepreneurship-summit.html

Junaflor Cerilles also talked to members of the media about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morroco that she participated in.

View more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.813845568679890.1073742297.204864762911310&type=1

 Photos courtesy of PIA Western Mindanao

Mindanaoan Youth Discuss Peace through Technology

undefinedZamboanga, November 24, 2014 —Mindanaoan Youth Discuss Peace through Technology.   The “Empowerment for Youth through Information and Communication (EPIC),” a joint program between the United States Embassy in Manila and Peacetech, Inc. started with community workshops to empower 100 out-of-school youth from Cotabato, Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.  Participants received training in project-management, social media, and peace building, and learned how to use information and communication technology to address local challenges.

  On November 14, over 2,500 Mindanaoan youth, including the 100 EPIC participants, from Cotabato province and ZAMBASULTA connected through a mass digital video conference for a dialogue on peace building, mutual understanding, and tolerance.  The U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip S. Goldberg, opened the event from Zamboanga City, commending the youth participants for “reaching out to each other in peace and connecting for a better future,” and took questions from participants in both cities.  Ambassador Goldberg also joined a “human chain” where participants from the two cities held hands digitally to show unity amidst distance. Guest speakers affected by the Mindanao conflict, including two kidnap victims, a former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) member, and a retired Philippine marine who lost his leg in a combat, shared their stories and encouraged the young people to work for peace and communicate with their peers to overcome ignorance and violence.  As Ambassador Goldberg said, “All of you, standing together, can make a difference.”

  At the end of the program, the 100 participants received grants to implement community projects on crime and drug prevention, solid waste management, livelihood training, and disaster management and preparedness.

undefined

US Embassy Empowers Madrasah Youth through English Language Learning

undefined

U.S. Department of State’s Macon Phillips interacts with MYPEACE students, teachers and local partners.

October 23, 2014, Zamboanga –On October 21, 2014, the U.S. Embassy Manila launched the Madrasah Youth Promoting English Advancement for Community Empowerment (MY PEACE) at the Sarang Bangun Learning Center in Zamboanga City.

  The MY PEACE program was launched by Macon Phillips, the U.S. Department of State Coordinator for the Bureau of International Information Programs, which provides and supports the places, content and infrastructure needed for sustained conversations with foreign audiences abroad.

undefined

The program aims to empower youth in Mindanao through English language training.

  The MY PEACE project aims to empower at-risk youth in Mindanao by providing English language and life-skills training. Local partner, Voice of Mindanao, provided English language training to Madrasah teachers who will provide evening and weekend classes to youth that have little or no exposure to English. The program establishes a center with internet connectivity, five computers and multimedia equipment. Over the course of 10 months, local partners Voice of Mindanao and Naawan HELPS Incorporated will implement the MY PEACE project in Marawi and Zamboanga. The language classes will also teach life skills such as entrepreneurship and civic engagement.

U.S. Embassy Hosts Legal Education Forum in Mindanao

A local NGO leader discusses the importance of clinical legal education in Mindanao.

Manila, September 29, 2014– As part of the U.S. Embassy Manila’s ongoing support to the Legal Aid Program in Mindanao (LEAP-Mindanao), forty participants from law schools, civil society organizations, and government agencies across Mindanao gathered in Opol, Misamis Oriental, to discuss clinical legal education. Participants drafted a series of policy recommendations for the government to consider.

  LEAP-Mindanao started in 2012 to help ten law schools in Mindanao, and one in Palawan, open legal aid clinics. Students at these clinics provide free legal counsel to people in need.  The clinics handle a diverse caseload, including issues of land ownership, gender rights and the environment.  These students promote rule of law and human rights in Mindanao and provide peaceful alternatives to extrajudicial violence and factionalism, which has burdened the area.

  For more information on LEAP-Mindanao, please visit:http://www.ajaphil.org/