| Izah Azahari |
TEN Bruneians were chosen for the regional capacity building and orientation workshop of the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
The 10 youth representing Brunei are Nurul Rina Haryantie binti Abdullah, Muhammad Azizan bin Haji Abdul Razak, Abdul Hadi bin Haji Abdullah, Afiq bin Mohammed, Syuria binti Hashim, Nur Diyana Nasriah binti Suhaili, Wardah binti Haji Tuah, Syukri bin Jamil, Farhan bin Jafar Ali, and Wynona Eurj Mendoza Curaming.
The 100 young change makers from the region were selected following a rigourous shortlisting process.
The regional workshop launched by the Maybank Foundation and ASEAN Foundation recently, was opened with Executive Director of ASEAN Studies Centre of Chulalongkorn University Professor Suthiphand Chirathivat and Director of Community Affairs of the ASEAN Secretariat Lee Yoong Yoong delivering their remarks.
This was followed by a keynote speech by the Advisor to the Foreign Minister of Thailand Vijavatlsarabhakdi.
The Maybank’s Group Chief Human Capital Officer Nora Abdul Manaf in her welcome remarks, emphasised the importance of the programme.
“We believe that the youth of today are the future of tomorrow. Hence, our focus is on sustainable programmes that provide long-term community and economic benefits which will contribute to the progress of community where we operate, especially ASEAN. It is indeed challenging – however our intention is to provide everyone with a fair chance to thrive in their respective fields in hopes of them giving back to society,” Nora said.
The regional workshop serves as an important milestone for the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN due to its role in equipping all participants with the skills and knowledge to successfully implement their projects in selected community areas in Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia for two weeks.
In the course of the five-day workshop, the participants, divided into 10 groups according to country placement and selection of themes, will be trained to develop project plans covering a range of developmental issues that will help them to implement their community projects.
Representatives of 10 civil society organisations (CSOs) from Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia will work closely with the participants throughout the two-week project implementation.
The role of the CSOs will be crucial not only in providing insights on social, economic and political situations in project areas to the participants but also in ensuring that the work of participants can be sustained by handing over the management of the projects to the CSOs.
During the session on introduction to the ASEAN Foundation, the Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation Elaine Tain emphasised how the workshop is very much aligned with the spirit of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019, saying that this regional workshop serves as a strategic platform to welcome Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019.
“The way this workshop embraces many ASEAN stakeholders, such as the ASEAN Secretariat, young changemakers, CSOs and government representatives to ensure continuous impact is in perfect harmony with the tagline of Thailand’s Chairmanship, which is ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability,” said Elaine.
The eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN is a partnership programme between Maybank Foundation and ASEAN Foundation that consist of mentoring, regional leadership training, and overseas local community projects.
The community projects will be incubated to be scaled up in the coming years as social enterprises across the region to become the foremost initiative in Southeast Asia for catalysing youth participation and impact on their communities. The programme is initiated with the realisation that the future of ASEAN is in the hands of youths, and their energy and creativity can be channelled into challenging and meaningful activities to strengthen community bonds, encourage volunteerism and philanthropy and generate innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges.
This programme is a continuation from the Singapore-led pilot programme of Maybank Foundation and Maybank Singapore in 2016, which involved over 200 students from top universities in Singapore.
The programme has now been scaled up to the regional level to reach out to more youth in the ASEAN region to make a bigger impact on its communities. Among others, this initiative will play a significant role in helping to achieve the objectives as laid out in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.