Alongside representation from each of the eight ASEAN countries, the youth engagement advocates had an opportunity to speak about the socio-political and economic challenges as well as inspiring youth initiatives .The virtual youth forum via google meet was entitle ASEAN PERSPECTIVES to which each country representative shared their own experiences with youth related social impact programs and leadership pursuits for social change. The speakers were from Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar. The main target audience was student leaders and teacher advisors from public and private Secondary schools in Schools Division Office of Kabankalan City. After all the presentations, there was a Q&A session.
Ms Anita Paul shared on her practical and personal experiences training volunteers, voiced out social concerns of the Malaysian youth and the various creative social impact projects supporting the sustainable development goals. Among the issues of youth concerns that was highlighted were graduate employability, climate change , diversity –related issues and the impact of Covid-19 on their future. She credited young college students who used their talents or skills to address these issues even during the pandemic. She mentioned a few notable student-led projects from Sunway College, involving Diploma and Victoria University students such as Statelessness Awareness campaign , the continuity of a Cyberbullying project and how creative IT projects are being conceptualized to tackle both social environmental concerns.
She spoke about the increase of youth leadership presence highlighting the many social enterprises and NGOs set up by passionate young Malaysians to serve the community indicating a generation that is becoming more socially conscious . This includes forming of the youth parliament and the white flag movement. She revealed some research findings on service-learning as a solution to the many global and local societal issues faced. It was indeed enlightening to gather from the interesting insights of effective youth engagement of our ASEAN neighbours and to share such valuable experiences