Honing Leadership Qualities Trough Volunteerism and Community Engagement

By Murniati Abu Karim
Photo Izwan Azman

BANGI, August 30, 2021 – Despite the global community continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program (AYVP) 2021, which brought together 300 ASEAN youth, took place in a full virtual mode.

The AYVP Secretariat of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia collaborated with the University of the Philippines (UP) to serve as this year’s host countries.

AYVP is a dedicated youth volunteerism platform that aims to create opportunities for knowledge-driven volunteerism, support the exchange of learning experiences, improve cross-cultural understanding, and forge a sense of regional identity while making a sustainable difference in ASEAN communities.

This year marks the 9th edition of AYVP and the second time e-AYVP is held online. Themed “Strengthening ASEAN Education Delivery Systems in Challenging Times”, the programme ran virtually from 30 August 2021 to 17 September 2021. It was previously held in Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The programme seeks to develop ASEAN Young Education Leaders who are equipped with skills and competencies in youth leadership and education, through the spirit of volunteerism and community engagement.

The participants embarked on a three-week knowledge-driven volunteerism journey to develop the leadership qualities of youth in the ASEAN Region, with a focus on the multifaceted challenges confronting the education sector, particularly because of the pandemic.

Present at the opening ceremony were UKM Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan Hj. Toriman and UP President Prof. Danilo Lardizabal Concepción who delivered their welcoming speech.

Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan said: “AYVP is a manifestation of UKM’s commitment to promoting the ASEAN integration agenda through a regional youth platform that reaches out to young leaders.

“Hopefully, this programme will help future ASEAN leaders sharpen their skills and use volunteerism as a vehicle for youth to effectively apply what they’ve learned in their own communities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prof. Danilo Lardizabal Concepción, meanwhile, expressed his enthusiasm to hear from the speakers and participants as they share their experiences and success stories.

“The discussions promise to be motivational and interesting, empowering and unifying, and even life-changing for our young people. It is a pleasure even for us, the young-at-heart members of the academia, to immerse ourselves in opportunities for lifelong learning such as this,” he remarked.