ASOG partners with KAS for the Visayas Run of Youth IN
18 Jul 2022
Visayas Youth Leaders are IN!
Thirty (30) youth leaders from regions in Visayas were brought together in the training program, “Youth for INclusive Democracy: Igniting Participation and Engagement in the Filipino Youth Agenda,” held from 22 June 2022 to 8 July 2022. This was made possible by the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) through the Executive Education Program in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Philippines.
In this run of Youth IN, the participants’ roles in championing the youth agenda through socio-civic participation was highlighted against the backdrop of the recently concluded national elections and the prospect of the upcoming 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. The participating youth leaders learned from practitioners via Zoom and Canvas platforms throughout the three (3) asynchronous modules spread out within a two-week duration. For every module, they were tasked to submit individual and group outputs that allowed them to process, reflect on, and apply their learnings on youth development, youth leadership and governance, and youth empowerment. These outputs, grounded on their own experiences, provided them with an avenue to engage with and learn from fellow youth leaders.
The participants were inspired by Hon. Jom Bagulaya, City Council Member of Tacloban City, during Module 1 entitled, Locating Youth Leadership: The Political is Personal. She shared her personal leadership journey, guiding the youth leaders in locating themselves in the issues found in their communities. She encouraged them to “look ahead, look back, and look beyond” as they reflect on how they may be able to navigate their own stories in the context of youth participation and public service.
For the second Module, Design Thinking Youth Agenda as Governance & Political Tool was discussed by Mr. Karl Vendell Satinitigan, Managing Director for Program Strategy of WeSolve Foundation, Inc. This process, driven by empathy, feedback, and continuous learning, was introduced to the youth leaders. Mr. Satinitigan highlighted its importance in leadership, as “the problems that we face today are much larger and will require us to interact with different systems”. A deeper understanding of how systems operate is a big step that we are called to do.
Finally, Module 3, Responding to the Call to Become Transformational Leaders, was covered by Atty. Ernesto Neri, Executive Director of Xavier University Center for Legal Assistance (XUCLA). In this module, participants were reminded of their role in inclusive democracy. As he said, “Democracy requires constant engagements, collective action. It requires us to insist and demand better governance. It is a daily work that starts with you. It is a journey about who you are and what you value.”
To reinforce their learning experience, an interactive session with the three (3) asynchronous resource persons last 6 July 2022 was held. This served as an opportunity for the cohort to ask questions and to have their outputs, local youth development agenda, critiqued by the resource persons.
A culmination activity was held on 8 July 2022 to conclude the whole training program. During this session, different practitioners in the field of coalition-building, activism, and governance were invited. Ms. Patricia Nicole Lucena, Executive Director of Yabong Philippines, talked about the valuable role of social media in maximizing its potential for participatory governance, emphasizing that “the main point of why we build networks is for us to mold leaders who will create more leaders”. Participatory governance is crucial in the exercise of democracy. “Politics is real, democracy is real, and your role is real”, according to Mr. Arjan P. Aguirre, Faculty and Researcher at the Department of Political Science of the Ateneo de Manila University, who discussed the role of the youth in Philippine democracy. These insights on democracy were further contextualized as the youth leaders listened to Mr. Randy Cirio, 1st Nominee of Pamilyang Magsasaka Partylist. He shared the experience of their NGO’s paradigm shift and aspiration to Party-List representation. He urged the participants to truly understand the political landscape, especially the plight of the marginalized sectors. “Kung may pagkakataon na makalahok ang kabataan sa politika, mababago natin ang pagpapatakbo [ng gobyerno]”. (‘If there are opportunities for the youth to participate in politics, political reforms may be realized.’).
To finally cap off the training, Atty. Marco Antonio Luisito V. Sardillo, III, the Training Director of Youth IN Visayas Run, provided a synthesis of the training where he reiterated the learning journey of the youth leaders for three weeks and gave emphasis on the knowledge (karunungan) the youth leaders gained, the importance of listening when all senses fail (katanungan), and the value of collaboration and networking with their cohort and the people they have met (kasama).
In her closing message, Ms. Tonette de Jesus of KAS Philippines warmly congratulated the young leaders from Visayas on the completion of their training journey. Ms. Ivyrose Baysic of ASoG also affirmed that the participants have shown the capabilities of youth in this training. Through deeper understanding of their crucial role in inclusive democracy, they are truly on their way to becoming the transformational leaders that this society hopes for.
May we be able to serve not just for ourselves, but also for others. We should do more. May we be able to step up. - Francis Corpuz, Youth IN Participant
25 Sep 2022