International Youth Online Conference (Philippines)

“The Role of Youth: Moving Through and Beyond COVID-19 Crisis.” International Youth Online Conference was organized by IAYSP Philippines.

The world is in shock because of the unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Worldwide events were canceled due to social distancing and no-mass gathering policies to prevent the spreading of the virus. Initiatives are ensuring the safety and solidarity of humanity despite the diversities. Online platforms are taking into action by different organizations to continue their activities

Questions are emerging on what the youth can do on the effects caused by the COVID-19 virus. On May 22, 2020, the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace (IAYSP) – Pilipinas organized an International Youth Online Conference with a theme “The Role of Youth: Moving Through and Beyond COVID-19 Crisis.” An international event hosted by IAYSP-Pilipinas that is participated by 22 countries like; America, Czech Republic, Brazil, Congo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Pakistan, Ghana, Bolivia, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, and etc.

The event was participated by 313 participants who are eager to learn new ideas on how youth can overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic. The panelist coming from abroad and speakers of the host nation show exceptional insights. The moderator gave an energetic speech, Mr. Ronnie Sodusta, Director of HJ Youth Leadership Training – International. A warm welcome from Mr. Koji Matsuda, President of International Association of Youth and Students for Peace, “We have to empower the youth to become global leaders and we should not let the youth stop the service because of the pandemic”, he said as he explained about the four core values of IAYSP.

In addition, Ms. Lynrose Jane D. Genon, Member, Executive Committee of Young Women and Leadership Program – Philippines shared on what are the questions should youth ask in this time of crisis “What does our community needs, what do we have (resources), and who do we have.” Along with the panelist is Ms. Jhayee Ilao, Secretary-General of Millennial’s PH., and Community Development Student at University of the Philippines – Diliman.As a community development student, I am confident that each community has the capability to sustain and recover in this pandemic. They need to see their potentials”, she said. Ms. Ilao is an advocate of mental health. She advised that depression is normal. Youth must validate what you feel and normalize it.

On the other hand, Mr. Mirus Ponon, Founder and President of Youth Advocates for the Philippines, a 19 year-old advocate who puts his passion for empowering the young people towards sustainability. “No one is left behind” he said. Mr. Ponon shared his organization activities; webinar for mental health, online social hub, online fundraising, and community outreach activities.

Moreover, a panelist from Singapore, Mr. Lucas Nghi Luc Tran, a Tech and Lifestyle Vlogger, Marketing Specialist shared his personal experience on how to cope up with pandemic. “We need to use our time wisely”, he said. Mr. Lucas express his advice that the youth today must identify what makes them happy.

Participants asked questions to the panelist on what are the effective ideas or practices they can do during the pandemic. The panelist express their ideas such as social media: finding an online courses and support groups, and creating videos as expression of passion.

 The event was ended by a special message from International President of IAYSP, “We should develop our character by practicing the 4 core values of IAYSP: RISE which stands for RESPONSIBILITY, INTEGRITY, SERVICE, and EMPATHY as we seek true happiness and preparation in creating a good family. Youth and students must have a dream and vision in order for youth to succeed”.