Filipino youth have power to start an international movement of economic, social and religious transformation because of their innate values and geographical location.
This was the challenge made by Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, Chairman of the Global Peace Foundation during the recently concluded Global Youth Summit held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Moon said young people in the Philippines could use their deep love of family and religious fervor to start an international transformation that is rooted on the family and God.
“Our passion should be ‘One Family, One God’ and the Philippines is at the center of the most dynamic region and trade zone in the world. You have a culture that resonates with that vision. You are a nation that is deeply rooted in faith that understands the importance of family. Therefore you have the foundation that can make this your own,” Moon said.
He added, “(i)f you can build a national model of social, economic and political transformation, the impact the Philippines can make to the rest of Asia especially starting in Southeast Asia cannot be measured. It will have tremendous impact.”
In the same event, James Flynn, President of the Global Peace Foundation, also reminded the youth that success is nothing without character.
“The best way to equip and empower young people is through education but knowledge is not enough. You have to have character. You have to have a mindset, skills set and also build a character base that allows you to be yourself, to have confidence and live your life with integrity,” Flynn pointed out.
He said without character, conflict and corruption will always ruin any positive action that will be carried out. “That’s why in our education programs we constantly promote character and creativity. That they be educated in creative, innovative entrepreneurial skills that’s grounded on ethical base because otherwise conflict and corruption cons sap the positive development. It also mirrors what we think about leadership – moral and innovative,” he said.
Now on its fifth year, the Global Youth Summit is aimed at engaging and inspiring the world’s future leaders by using their unique talents, knowledge and networks to address the most urgent issues confronting the world today.
This year’s GYS, which was co-organized by SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls and supported by United Nations Development Programme, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and National Youth Commission, was attended by around 15,000 youth delegates from 35 countries and 185 universities all over the world.
As part of its theme which is “Achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through Youth Collaboration, Leadership, and Innovation,” the GYS launched the #GlobalYouth4SDGs which directly addresses the five issues most relevant to the youth of today namely, Quality Education (78%); No Poverty (54%); Decent Job and Economic Growth (51%); Climate Action (49%) and Zero Hunger (43%).
The #GlobalYouth4SDGs gave a P1 million seed grant to five youth groups that had presented innovative and sustainable programs that address the five issues. Out of the more than 1,000 entries from the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan, five were chosen to develop their programs through the seed money.
These were the 5EBig Project, a community program to increase employment and encourage out-of-school youth to enrol; the Poultry and Garden for a Healthy Future, which aims to eliminate malnutrition in Brgy. Rizal in Alicia, Isabela; SakunApp, a mobile application that is able to monitor the safety status of the members of a community; Taytayan, which aims to bridge gender disparity of primary grade pupils in Mabolo Elementary School in Cebu and Ropes for Hope, a social enterprise which employs mothers in producing rice straws that provide alternative income for them.
Also present during the GYS to talk about the issues important to the youth were broadcaster Karen Davila (social media); National Ambassador Against Hunger of the United Nations’ World Food Programme actress KC Concepcion (zero hunger); Climate Change Commission Vice Chairperson Vernice Victorio (Climate Action); NYC Chairman Aiza Seguerra (decent work and economic growth) and United Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Ambassador actress Anne Curtis Smith (education).
Royston Cabunag, SM Cares’ Project Director for Youth and Development said their organization has always been a believer of nurturing the youth to ensure a brighter future and that the same can only be carried out through partnerships with stakeholders.
“It is only through collaboration with partners that we shall be able to reach more and affect more. It’s really our partnership with the Global Peace Foundation that gave birth to the Global Youth Summit a venue to be inspired, to inspire. A platform where the youth can collaborate and find ways to address socially-relevant issues and we are proud to be part of this global youth event,” Cabunag said.