S!NERGY INTERNATIONAL 2022
Youth and students are at the forefront of creating a better and brighter future amidst ongoing problems that the world is confronting in today’s age. In light of this, IAYSP held S!NERGY International 2022 to support youth and students in voicing and sharing their solutions to contemporary issues in various aspects of society and focused on the theme, “Youth Action for Peace and Sustainable Development.” S!NERGY International 2022 was held on November 27, 2022 in the Hyojeong Cultural Center, South Korea with 600 participants.
The event commenced with an opening performance from team “Cheondorak,” with a traditional Korean folk music recital.
Following this performance, Yu Jeong Lee, from Korea, and Juan Jean Michel Futila, from DR Congo, delivered an opening address and were the master of ceremonies.
A greeting message was given by YSP Korea President, Dong Youn Kim, where he introduced the five speakers that would be presenting their projects during the program. He also drew inspiration from key figures in society and highlighted that their drive and passion began in their youth. President Kim affirmed that, “Great changes do not occur overnight, and they all start during our youth.”
Words of encouragement were conveyed by FFWPU IHQ Director General, Dr. Young Ho Yoon. Dr. Yoon discussed the challenges of and need for youth and student education – specifically character education. He remarked that, “In a society where a culture of self-centredness is prominent, young people who love Heaven, love people, and love their country are needed in Korea and the world today, and the dreams and passion of young people are necessary to realize a sustainable world of peace.” He further noted, referencing Samuel Ullman’s poem “Youth”, that youth is not restricted to young people, and that anyone regardless of age, can live young as youth based on our attitude and passion for fulfilling our dreams.
A welcoming speech was presented by IAYSP President, Koji Matsuda. Joining through online from Japan, President Matsuda briefly talked about IAYSP and S!NERGY as a whole. He pointed out three points – advocated by UN official Mr. Kitanaka – involving: passion, mission, and compassion; which are essential to the success of a project. President Matsuda affirmed that, “The dreams, passion, and actions of youth can eliminate barriers between nations, ethnic groups and races, and promote activities that contribute to alleviating social issues, and advocating for sustainable development and peace.” He encouraged youth to receive inspiration from the presenters, take action in creating their own project, and participate in the next S!NERGY.
Proceedings then came to inviting the speakers to present their projects. First to present was Mr. Kengo Kawa from U.S.A, a CARP volunteer member in Los Angels, who introduced his project, “Global Peace Park.” He gave a detailed historical account on the divided Koreas, talked about the urgency of building a peace park, and the establishment of the fifth United Nations office at the DMZ that divides the Korean peninsula. Mr. Kawa advocated that these initiatives will strongly lead toward the unification of the Korean peninsula as one nation and effectively end the Korean War.
Secondly, Mr. Octave Mbila from DR Congo spoke, through a video message, on a Football Open Challenge project that aims to utilize soccer to address social problems of young people that are prominent in his country. The Football Open Challenge is a training and coaching program for young people who find themselves scattered in the streets to develop their social integration, highlight their talents, and sharing their life stories with the goal of transforming these youth, with minimal hope for the future, into young people who actively contribute to the development of their country.
The next presentation was given by Ms. Andrea Marisol Llenque from Peru. Ms. Llenque, through her project Biciteca, is working to achieve a standardization of educational backgrounds through reading. She proposed the idea of an itinerant library in order to remove the assumption that libraries are more than mere storages of knowledge or books. Rather, Ms. Llenque passionately affirms that libraries should be promoters of culture, unity and trust in our communities. She inspired the audience by demonstrating that a large number of young people were already benefitting from this project.
As a short intermission, team “Cheonbuboeungo” from Sun Moon University gave a celebratory performance – delivering a message of peace through dance.
After the spectacular performance from team “Cheonbuboeungo,” the representative from Samoa, Ms. Vaitoeifaga Apelu, presented her project, “Poutu Malosi.” Her project addresses the social issue of negative venting in which youth and adults harm themselves or others when expressing their daily stress. She accentuated strong and defined pillars that can equip youth in healthy venting. Along with her passionate gestures and through the story of her personal experience, she drew in the audience to her objectives.
Afterwards, representing Korea, Ms. Bo Young Park introduced her project, “A Study Room Project.” These days Korean society is transforming into a multicultural society. At the same time, educational inequality is emerging among young people from multicultural families due to economic difficulties and a lack of educational information. Her “Study Room Without Borders” creates a culture in which multicultural college students study and grow with other teenagers from multicultural families, in order to overcome this social problem.
A final presentation was delivered by, special guest, CEO of Sustainable Coffee Lab, Hee Sung Hwang. His talk, “Fair Trade Coffee Creating a Sustainable Society,” focused on addressing issues of fair trade and climate change. Targeted for the coffee industry, Hee Sung developed carbon neutral coffee that prevents any increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere resulting from coffee production, processing and sales. As a result, producers’ cultivation technology and market competitiveness is increased, and higher income and opportunities for producers and workers.
Subsequently, a brief judging and evaluation of the presentations from each representative country was carried out. On this occasion the evaluation was adjudicated by five judges, three of them being online. Following this, the awards ceremony took place. There were two runner-up awards granted to the representatives from Korea and U.S.A. First prize was awarded to the representative from Samoa.
The whole event was culminated with a breathtaking “Let’s Go” performance prepared by HJ Angels, from Sun Moon UPA.
IAYSP hopes that through engaging with these innovative solutions to issues apparent in today’s society, young people around the world can be inspired with a clear determination, and take the initiative in finding and acting upon resolutions for the issues in which they are passionate.