Young People Take Charge of the Future at Global Youth Summit 2019

Jamil Macapantao
More than 13,000 student leaders proved that young people can achieve great things during the Global Youth Summit 2019, the largest gathering for young Filipino leaders that aims to engage and inspire the world's future experts, held recently at the SM MOA Arena.

Hosted by SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings Inc., and Global Peace Foundation (GPF), Global Youth Summit (GYS) aims to engage and inspire young minds by providing a space where they can share their ideas and utilize their diverse skill-sets, knowledge, and networks to effectively address today’s persistent problems.

“If you do not make a move to change the world, who else will make the Philippines the best it can become? That is why we enjoin everyone to use this forum as a platform to build a very strong foundation and uplift the role of the youth in decision-making. Today, we work harder to create an impact and start positive change by being the example of change to a global community that truly cares,” said SM Cares Children and Youth program director Royston Cabunag.

David Caprara, vice president for strategic partnerships of Global Peace Foundation, also emphasized the important role that young people must undertake in achieving the global goals. He reminded thousands of attendees, “You [the youth] are today's pioneers in applying innovative technology and entrepreneurial spirit, inspired by universal values that underlie a vision for a more prosperous world. Your efforts and accomplishments are crucial small steps in ultimately accomplishing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”

Prior to the main summit, participating students had the opportunity to develop and present project ideas that can be implemented in communities to help advance this year’s topics for Global Youth Summit which are: (1) Inclusive education; (2) Youth-responsive health services; (3) Creating youth-enabling employment and self-employment; (4) Ecosystems in sustainable tourism; (5) Civic awareness and participation; and (6) Creating safe spaces and reducing all forms of violence against children.

The highlight was the awarding of five innovative youth ideas, namely BoluntirMISMO, an end-to-end youth caravan that aims to build nationwide awareness and appreciation of volunteerism and the role that it plays in nation building; ToReal Peace, a promotional and peace training program designed to enlighten youth with the real vision of TORIL, an Islamic Institution, toward REAL PEACE and development; Project 97, a project that will provide 475 internally displaced youth of Marawi City access to sustainable livelihood opportunities through tourism promotion and entrepreneurship development; Cafesidad: Good Food Crafted by Good Hearts, a project which aims to raise awareness, break barriers and highlight the abilities of exceptional learners to be equipped with the necessary skills for their future employment while building bridges towards a more inclusive society; and Mindify (Mental Intuitive Device for Filipino Youth), an application and device that will provide accessible and subjective mental health support, to improve the well-being of Filipino youth.

Dozens of entries were received from all over the country, and each of the winning concept were awarded P200,000.00. These targets are aligned with the priority areas of the UN Youth Strategy for Sustainable Development launched in September 2018.
Influencers, international and local speakers, gave inspiring talks about their advocacies and the role of youth in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Guest speakers included Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador Anne Curtis, United Nations Development Program Ambassador Antoinette Taus, G-Talks Host and Health-XPh co-Founder Dr. Gia Sison, Consuelo Foundation President and CEO Greg Auberry, and Asian Institute Management’s Executive Director, Prim Paypon.

“Every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and secure, have basic services and clean air and water, can play, learn and grow and where their
voices are heard and matter,” said UNICEF national goodwill ambassador Anne Curtis.

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peace building. GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private sector partners who develop community, national, and regional peace building models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies.

SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings. Its advocacies include Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Environment, Children and Youth, Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Senior Citizens, and Overseas Filipino Workers.

This year’s Global Youth Summit was organized by SM Cares and Global Peace Foundation and endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education. It is supported by Mall of Asia Arena, Cebu Pacific Air, Consuelo Foundation, CIE British School, Inner Wheel Club Central Ortigas, Rotary International District 3830, Lions Club District 301-A2, Lopez Group Foundation, Skin Rejuve, Unilever, SM Youth & Huawei.

A Cebu-leg of the Global Youth Summit is scheduled on August 24, 2019, at the Cebu Trade Hall, SM City Cebu. 09/04/2019 (The Lifestyle Portal)

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