MANILA, 12 December 2021- The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (PMD) successfully conducted the 2nd Virtual Youth Leaders in the Diaspora (YouLeaD) – Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO) on 4, 10 and 11 December 2021.
55 junior and senior high school students from 23 Philippine Schools Overseas in Europe and the Middle East joined the 3-day online program spearheaded by the Commission’s Project Management Division (PMD).
Alumni from previous YouLeaD also took part as facilitators, aiding the rookies in their group activities and presentations about the most pressing issues of the time.
The program commenced with a pre-event gathering aimed at introducing participants to each other, and acquainting them with their fellow PSO students as they bond and build networks in preparation for the main event.
Keeping the Filipino Identity Alive
CFO Secretary and Chairperson Francisco P. Acosta officially welcomed the participants and guests by expressing his gratitude and appreciation to the participants for finding the interest and time to discover their identities and rich culture, and keeping it alive despite the distance.
First day discussions were led by Teacher Melchor “Chock” Encabo of PAREF Southridge School, who talked about passion and perseverance among youth, and Mr. Mark Jacinto of Online SDG Youth Action Forum, who introduced the participants to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They stressed the importance of engaging in social development programs to the personal progress, empowerment, and ability of the youth, as they connect and collaborate with one another towards attaining the SDGs.
Centered on youth’s role in nation building, Day 2 began with an inspirational message from Rep. Sarah Jane I. Elago of the Kabataan Partylist. It was followed by the presentations on social entrepreneurship and responsible voting by LimitlessLab’s Ms. Mary Joie Cruz and VotePinas’ Ms. Celeste “Ces” Rondario, who recognized the youth’s ability to create a positive impact in society through their own creative ways.
Participants were assigned to breakout rooms during the ‘Online Tambayan Session’ to intimately discuss their views, learnings and takeaways on issues tackled after every lecture. They were then given time to showcase and present their outputs, which highlighted the youth’s awareness of social issues, and their plans of action in the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Days 1 and 2 sessions ended with an inspirational message from YouLeaD alumni Johanna Ramos and Zuhaida Ampuan, who both respectively recalled their experiences as former participants of the program.
Philippine Schools Overseas (PSOs) are duly-registered educational institutions operating outside the Philippines and implementing the basic education curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd). They are established to address the educational needs of children of Filipinos overseas, and eventually facilitate their reintegration into the Philippine educational system. The schools also provide a venue for the teaching and propagation of the Filipino culture and heritage among Filipino youth overseas, and serve as a locus for Filipino community activity.