“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren Bennis
Surrounded by lush forests, majestic mountains and clear ocean waters of San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines, representative young leaders from Southeast Asia got a rare chance to focus on a shared vision for their world during a three-day leadership and service camp from May 18-20, 2016. The Global Peace Volunteer camps, organized by Global Peace Youth and partners, are designed to provide valuable capacity building for young leaders and advance youth participation in volunteer activities.
Hon. Estela Antipolo, mayor of San Antonio, welcomed the inter-religious delegation from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Philippines, encouraging them to use their energy to become positive contributors to their countries and the world.
Over three-days, as participants engaged in heated discussions about challenges to peacebuilding that their countries face, they converged on certain shared values, such as the power of service, fundamental freedoms and human rights, and the importance of vision in leadership. Challenge courses and trust exercises also facilitated deeper teambuilding.
Participants also had opportunities to put their leadership skills into practice during service projects for the local community. The Emergency Response Association hosted a disaster response training, equipping the participants with basic skills like CPR and first aid administration. The participants later organized games and activities for the local children of Sitio Tubo-Tubo, Brgy. San Esteban after a presentation ceremony of 10 solar-powered street lamps, by GPF Philippines and National University.
“We may not do it all alone, but together as a team we can accomplish many things,” reflected Rattanak Hout from the Royal University of Phnom Pehn, Cambodia after this GPV experience. “Every young leader should value the importance of accepting one another as one family under God.”
Camp graduates represent a growing network of young leaders around the world who form a platform for joint action to address today’s challenges and open a way for lasting peace. The UN estimates that there are 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15-24. While this population represents incredible potential, it also faces challenges such as the appeal of extremism and violence, and unemployment. Global Peace Youth, the youth division of the Global Peace Foundation, and its partners are committed to providing support and opportunities for youth to grow into moral and innovative leaders who can tap into the potential of this rising generation.