40 Youth Leaders Complete Padayon Mindanao Program

USAID Senior Development Adviser Paul Mason led the awarding of certificates of completion to 40 Padayon Mindanao youth leaders in Cebu City. “For almost three years, Padayon has facilitated interaction of youth from conflict communities with fellow youth from other parts of the country through leadership camps. These camps have built friendships, learning opportunities and a network of future peace advocates and leaders,” Mason said.

Padayon Mindanao is a three-year partnership activity of USAID and U.S.Peace Corps - Philippines that supports peacebuilding in Mindanao. Padayon provides life skills training to youth, promotes community engagement and peace education, and increases capacity of teachers and youth leaders towards meeting the education needs of youth and vulnerable populations through alternative learning in areas affected by crisis and conflict. The U.S. Peace Corps implements Padayon Mindanao in coordination with the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

First posted on USAID Philippines’ Facebook page

How do American Muslims serve the community?

Repost from Share America:

What do members of the Islamic Center of Southern California in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles do on Saturdays?

They help the hungry.

“We serve around 300 to 350 families, and they depend on the food bank every week,” says food pantry organizer Idriss Fassassi.

“The people that come here are primarily Korean, Hispanic,” he says. “We have whites and blacks, but the majority of individuals are non-Muslim.”

The video “What do American Muslims do?” explores the many ways American Muslims like Fassassi engage and enrich their communities.

They include Nadeem Mazen, a city council member in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who describes the importance of community service.

“There is a certain amount of work that we must do as a neighborhood, as a Muslim community,” he says. “It is incumbent on each of us to get going serving others.”

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/k0GhAyY4eow


Image from AFS Philippines

To all Filipino youth, the application for the 2016-2017 batch of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study )YES) Program is now open!

The goals of the program are:

  • to promote a better understanding among youth from selected YES countries about American society, people, institutions, values, and culture;
  • foster lasting personal ties;
  • engage the exchange participants in activities that promote mutual understanding, respect for diversity, leadership skills, and an understanding of civil society during their exchange in the US;
  • enhance Americans’ understanding of foreign students’ countries and cultures;
  • increase the capacity of organizations in participating countries to engage youth in activities that enhance mutual understanding, respect for diversity, leadership skills, and an understanding of civil society through alumni activities.

1. Philippine citizen residing in the Philippines, at time of application, selection and preparation for travel; Birthdate must be between August 2, 1998 and August 1, 2001
2. Currently enrolled in a public/private high school and is among the top 25% of academic performance in grade level; graduating students are not eligible to apply
3. Demonstrated leadership potential in their schools and/or communities;
4. Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades;
5. Have not completed more than 11 years of primary education nor received a high school diploma by 
the start of the program;
6. Demonstrated sufficient English language ability to speak and study in English;
7. Students should be sufficiently healthy to participate;
8. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously studied in the US;
9. Commitment to cultural immersion in the US through a home-stay experience;
10. Ability to meet cross-cultural challenges with maturity, humor and open mind;
11. Plans for sharing their U.S. experience with their home and community upon return home
12. Persons With Disabilities (PWD) and Muslim students are highly encouraged to apply

1. Pre-Application Form (download below); filled-up and with passport-size ID photo;
2. Photocopy of most recent Form 137 or transcript of records from Philippine high school;
3. Photocopy of school ID; or valid government ID
4. Signed consent by either parent or legal guardian at the bottom of this form

All applications must be received by AFS PHI on or before August 20, 2015 (application deadline date- all documents must be in the AFS PHI office on or before the deadline) and must be sent to:

AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines
Unit 1607 16/F Antel Global Corporate Center
No. 3 Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center
1600 Pasig City, Metro Manila, PhilippinesTelefax: 02-5842002
Website: http://www.afs.ph
E-mail address: phi.sending@afs.org

DROP OFF POINTS: For those who need assistance in sending their application forms, AFS PHI and the U.S. Embassy-Manila have identified drop-off points near your areas and designate a contact person who will provide help and collect and send applications to AFS PHI. Deadline for submission of applications to drop off points is August 14, 2015.

Please drop your application to our drop off points or hand them to our local volunteers and alumni on or before August 14, 20151:00pm. Please feel free to contact them. Others can send in their application package directly to AFS Philippines.

1. All applications must be submitted to the AFS PHI office as printed copies; applications submitted online (via email) will not be honored.
2. Applicants must submit only photocopy of original documents, AFS IPP will not be responsible of sending back original copies
3. Applicants who have family members (father, mother, sister or brother) and cousins within the first degree who have participated in the previous ECA-DOS sponsored exchange programs are NOT qualified to participate in this program. This restriction applies as well to AFS IPP staff and board members up to the third degree.
4. AFS PHI will announce (and will notify) ONLY the semifinalists starting the middle of August. Only semifinalists are invited to the interviews during the months of August to October.

The recruitment sessions (details can be downloaded below) run a whole day from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM. Interested/ qualified (paper screening) applicants must dedicate the whole day for selection because several activities (orientations, panel interview, and group activities) will be covered at different times during the day. Lunch and snacks are not covered. Please bring your completed application form and documents listed above to one of the recruitment sessions listed below.

Interested applicants may email phi.sending@afs.org for more information and/or visit http://manila.usembassy.gov

Thank you very much and best wishes. We hope to receive your applicant’s pre-application form and see them in the selection camp after passing the paper screening. Pre-applications for the YES Program will be accepted starting June 15, until August 20, 2015.

Download Pre-Application form (PDF)
Download Pre-Application form (MS Word)

Selected Scholars UnderU.S. Ambassador Scholarship Program Named

Congratulations to the new scholars from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi under the U.S. Ambassador Scholarship Program!
The U.S. Ambassador Scholarship Program is funded by the U.S. Embassy in Manila and provides a full four-year scholarship to deserving high-school graduates from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi who demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to serving their communities.