“The youth must develop a habit of making even small waves of positive change,” said Bing-bing Reyes, who was among more than 50 young leaders who participated in the recent Young Leaders Forum in the Philippines. Echoing the sentiment, another participant Mark Quezon urged: “Find an organization that suits your advocacy and volunteer. Be an instrument of change.”
Held on February 4 in Pasig City, Manila, the forum was the pilot initiative of the Habitat Young Leaders Build. It brought together experts and young leaders from ADB Youth for Asia, World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific, Habitat Philippines’ campus chapters, iVolunteer, Scouts as well as other organizations. They spoke widely on youth leaders’ role in raising awareness and funds, volunteering and advocacy including for adequate housing. The participants also pledged to encourage donations via their social networks, to volunteer with their family and friends on Habitat builds and to advocate for policy improvements, among others.
Architect Abigail Camille Manalo who represented the Asean Young Leaders’ Association at the forum, actively sought an invitation to event. She explained: “It is a challenge for me to encourage my colleagues in the design and build industry and the allied fields to contribute our expertise and enable people to improve their lives. Also, it is a personal challenge on how to contribute in producing applicable and acceptable housing policies for our people or even the Southeast Asian countries. The forum made me realize that I, as a young leader, should not be complacent. This type of advocacy needs technical skills and empathy to make it work.”
Habitat Young Leaders Build peaked on April 22 with various activities and events in 16 countries and a Special Administrative Region across Asia-Pacific. For updates on the campaign, follow twitter.com/HabitatYLB and join bit.ly/HabitatYLB.
A version of this story originally appeared on http://bit.ly/HYLB-WavesofChange.
Story contributed by