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/

U.S. Embassy Manila Empowers Young Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship bootcamp participants, alumni of U.S. Government programs, and PNP officers release 500,000 Bangus fish stock in Sarangani Bay as part of an environmental community outreach activity

Cotabato, September 8, 2014 – U.S. Embassy Manila Empowers Young Entrepreneurs. September 5-7, in partnership with the United States Embassy in Manila, the Alcantara Foundation sponsored a series of camps in General Santos city to provide young leaders with entrepreneurship skills to start small businesses and improve their communities. Over sixty youth leaders from the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Cotabato participated.

  The young leaders presented community projects, stemming from a July 2014 Entrepreneur Bootcamp and joined sessions to strengthen their skills in leadership, networking, collaboration and community service.  On Saturday, September 6, the participants, along with alumni of U.S. Government programs, planted mangrove trees as a community outreach activity and released 500,000 Bangus to promote environmental conservation and protection.

  During the July camp in Cotabato, the youth participated in a series of workshops that encouraged innovation and creativity through business planning.  At the conclusion of the bootcamp, participants designed community outreach projects, which ranged from educating indigent children in North Cotabato on proper hygiene, to promoting environmental awareness to Alternative Learning System (ALS) students through a tree planting in Tacurong City, to teaching women and youth how to grow vegetable gardens in Maguindanao as a source of income.

EXTENDED! Application for K-L YES Program Cycle 2015-2016 (for interested applicants in Baguio, Palawan (Brooke’s Point) and Tawi-Tawi)

Calling all interested applicants from BAGUIO, PALAWAN (Brooke’s Point), and TAWI-TAWI, the deadline of submission has been extended until SEPTEMBER 22, 2014.

Recruitment is still ongoing (for Baguio, Palawan (Brooke’s Point), and Tawi-Tawi) for the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (K-L YES) Program. Thirty Filipino high school students will receive a full scholarship to spend one academic year in the United States of America!

For the full program mechanics on how to apply, visit http://manila.usembassy.gov/opportunities/study/klyes.html

YSEALI Generation Workshop in Singapore Application now OPEN

To all registered Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) members:

  There will be a three-day YSEALI Generation workshop in Singapore in November or December this year, and you are invited to apply to become a participant!  To become a YSEALI member, you can apply at: https://youngsoutheastasianleaders.state.gov/.

  The YSEALI Generation Workshop in Singapore will bring together 60 youth leaders from across ASEAN for an action-packed workshop.

  For more information, visit http://manila.usembassy.gov/opportunities/professional-development/yseali.html

Statement by President Obama on the Occasion of Eid al-Fitr

As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families.  This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate.  While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.  That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.

On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration.  Eid Mubarak.

(from Whitehouse.gov)