Reflections from the 2nd National Youth Leadership Summit

Rachelle Anne L. Miranda

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Reflections from the 2nd National Youth Leadership Summit
'Authentic peace is achieved when leaders have a sense of integrity, responsibility, and service for others'

Each move towards a goal in mind is like a bigger leap in reality. It’s like solving a jigsaw puzzle which requires a lot of perseverance, motivation, and actions. A piece matched to another piece is a new gained strength to find out the bigger picture.

The youth has that particular determination, motivation and necessary actions to build an essential picture of peace amidst diversity.

Coming from the different parts of the Philippines, a group of around 500 young people were gathered to attend the 2nd National Youth Leadership Summit last May 28-31, 2015 at the Tanay Adventure Camp in Tanay, Rizal. With the passion and the heart to become proactive youth leaders and genuine peace advocates, the participants have undergone skills and team development workshops, informative lectures, and values education.

Youth for genuine peace

YOUTHS FOR PEACE. The delegates of the 2nd National Youth Leadership Summit pose for a group photo. Photo by Rachelle Miranda

The 2nd NYLS was developed and organized by the Youth For Peace Advocacy Movement Inc, a coalition of various youth organizations that pursue genuine peace. YPAM has a high regard for young leaders – it believes that young leaders are the key element in creating and maintaining authentic peace. For YPAM, authentic peace is achieved when leaders have a sense of integrity, responsibility, and service for others.

So, what sets the 2nd National Youth Leadership Summit apart from the other youth summits?

In the 2nd NYLS, I was particularly inspired by Lord Pomperada, the Regional Director of World Youth Alliance – Asia Pacific and incoming President of World Youth Alliance, a global coalition of young people who believe in human dignity with a headquarters in New York City.

Through his talk, I learned that being young is not an obstacle in making a contribution to the world. I must aspire to INSPIRE others. I learned that to inspire my fellow Filipino youth, I must uphold LIFE: Leadership with Integrity, respect for Faith, and Excellence.

INSPIRED. The author with one of the speakers during the summit – World Youth Alliance's Lloyd Pomperada.

What now?   

The Youth Leadership Summit or YLS started in 2003 and already has an enormous number of YLS graduates. It is already being conducted in different municipalities, provinces, regions, and even barangays all over the country.

Regardless of the level, its objective of educating and empowering young people to be agents of peace remains the same. YLS partners with different stakeholders such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the local government units (LGUs) and civil society such as the YPAM in conducting summits and implementing its plan of actions.

The 2nd National Youth Leadership Summit aims to create synergy between all existing YLS efforts. As NYLS is a convergence of young people’s actions geared towards peace building, the formulation of 2NYLS program of action and peace agenda are among the highlights of the event.

Partnerships and networks had been established to strengthen peace and development efforts for the coordination and mobilization of YLS projects in their respective areas.

Furthermore, every YLS experience is a unique experience, but amongst its uniqueness is that young people converge with the idea of building peace.

The youth are pieces matched together in a puzzle; we all know what the bigger picture is. Now, putting the pieces together to achieve that goal in mind makes a difference. – 

Rachelle Miranda is currently the Public Information Officer at the Office of Civil Defense Region V. She graduated from the Regional YLS in 2012 and remains actively involved as an advocate for peace in the Bicol Region through the conduct of YLS and various related programs for youth empowerment and involvement. 

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