US Embassy and Mindanao Legal Aid Network Launch Internship Program for Gender Advocacy

The United States Embassy kicked off a month-long summer legal internship program to equip law students with the knowledge and tools to become advocates for gender issues.

April 10, 2015, Davao—The United States Embassy in Manila in partnership with local NGO, University of Mindanao Legal Aid Network, kicked off a summer internship program for seven law students and seven undergraduate students from across Mindanao and Palawan.  The goal of the month-long internship program is to educate participants on gender issues by placing them with grass roots organizations that promote human rights, access to justice, gender equality, and community empowerment.

During the internship period, participants will design legal aid projects that address gender issues that will be implemented following their internships.

The law students are all members of the Legal Aid Program for Mindanao (LEAP-Mindanao), which started as collaboration between the United States Embassy in Manila, several civil society organizations and Mindanao based law schools.  From early 2012 through the middle of 2013, the program assisted ten law schools in Mindanao to establish legal aid clinics.  Students at these schools volunteer their time and provide free legal counsel and assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford a lawyer.  By focusing on their local communities, students embrace social justice and contribute to supporting good governance and the rule of law in Philippine society. For more information:

Davao del Norte Teachers Undergo Online Professional Development Course in English

The U.S. Embassy Manila’s Regional English Language Office is supporting the professional development of Davao del Norte teachers through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).  With the help of U.S Government Alumna and DepED Education Program Supervisor, Rebecca Sagot, over 140  educators from the Division of Davao del Norte Region 11  have enrolled in the Shaping the Way We Teach English: Pathways to Success in English Language Teaching course offered by the University of Oregon.  It is a professional development course aimed at English teachers who would like to revise and refresh their methods and approaches.

The MOOC participants meet on Saturdays to discuss their progress, share ideas, and talk with guest speakers on the course topics.

Upon completion of the MOOC in April, participants will come together for a “Celebration of Learning” to receive certificates.

U.S. Embassy Supports Young Southeast Asian Leaders in Jolo

U.S. government alumni read stories to elementary    students in Jolo and encourage them to stay in school.

U.S. government alumni read stories to elementary students in Jolo and encourage them to stay in school.

U.S. Embassy, International Exchange Alumni, and YSEALI members donate books to Riverside Elementary School in Jolo.

U.S. Embassy, International Exchange Alumni, and YSEALI members donate books to Riverside Elementary School in Jolo.

Manila, February 24, 2015 — Officers from U.S. Embassy Manila met with student leaders from Notre Dame College in Jolo to promote the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and discuss other youth programs offered by the Embassy.  Launched in 2013, YSEALI is U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Programs and engagements include U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, project-funding, competitions, networking, and international and regional activities that revolve around the themes on the environment, education, civic engagement, and economic development. More info and free registration can be found on the website

Following the event, U.S. Embassy, U.S. International Exchange alumni, and YSEALI members donated books to students at the Riverside Elementary School in Jolo. The donated books included English dictionaries, short novels, and books on U.S. culture. The U.S. government alumni read stories to the students and encouraged them to stay in school.

U.S. Embassy Conducts American Citizen Services Outreach and Meets AmCham in Davao city


U.S. Embassy conducted an American Citizen Services Outreach in Davao city on January 30 and provided Consular and Veteran services. U.S. Embassy Consul General Donna Blair also spoke at the Davao American Chamber of Commerce. 

The Commercial Officer met with Davao City business leaders, including the AmCham Davao and Davao Chamber of Commerce, to discuss increased US-Davao business and trade interaction.

U.S. Embassy Engages Youth in Street Law Program in Rizal Province


U.S. Embassy Manila Public Affairs Officer Bettina Malone engaged with youth during the three-day “Street Law and Social Enterprise Workshop” in San Mateo, Rizal from 31 January to 01 February 2015.

The project brought together 50 young leaders, aged 17-21, from Muslim-dominated communities in Quezon City to engage in activities which included discussions of common challenges faced by youth today and how they can work together to improve their communities.  The workshop introduced the participants to their basic rights and duties under Philippine law.  Sessions also covered innovative approaches to generating income including: building self-confidence; generating business ideas; developing business strategies; and identifying markets.

To emphasize the value of community service, participants joined local high school students for a community clean-up and tree planting.  At the conclusion of workshops, participants designed their own community projects. The top five proposals received mini-grants as seed money to start or enhance a social enterprise. The project will be implemented in partnership with Al-Salam Active Women Association, Inc. and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.