Youth Empowerment – The Small Step To Greatness

By Jorge Jacob Yulo (Gr11G, Delegate, Global Issues Network Manila Conference 2015)

The experience of the Global Issues Network Manila 2015 was an experience of great value. The two days brought together knowledge, expression and action. We were put in an environment that would suit a specific purpose; and that purpose was to jumpstart youth initiative in the smallest ways possible for the betterment of society — ‘bayanihan’.

During group meetings, development of action plans and presenting our ideas, we learned the vital processes that are essential in leading to action. When facing certain issues, we cannot just make a snap decision. We learned that there are stages, limits and concepts we need to consider when planning. Understanding concepts such as co-dependency in systems, causality loops within factors, and knowing what we can and cannot do within our spheres of influence was eye opening. An understanding of the decision-making process will be useful in any field we choose to specialize in later on.

To start off the second day, we embarked on service trips to different institutions around the metro, we were able to grasp feelings that no words could convey.  Sure, we’ve heard of what these places are like, but seeing the problems we discuss in the flesh was indescribable. We can never truly fathom what it’s like to fully live a life such as theirs, but the immersion enabled us to open up to them, to see what they see, feel what they feel. As adolescents, it was a fruitful opportunity to get a taste of empathy.

We can only do so much as to hope that the action plans that the student-delegates themselves planned may one day come in full circle and be executed effectively. I believe that the GIN community can do more good to our society for the sake of mankind and its future; and we, the youth, are the means necessary for this goal to be met.

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