Looking forward to new possibilities
From August 1st through the 7th, GPYC Korea’s Proactive Outreach Leadership (POL) team went to the Philippines to attend the 4th Leadership Symposium organized by Humanitarian Affairs from the United Kingdom.
Humanitarian Affairs emphasizes that “History is the most useful in terms of its contribution to our present ability to face the ever-increasing challenges of today.” The organization emphasizes that history should be used to look forward to hold back and consume us.
Acknowledging that “young people hold the key to the future” yet often are unaware that they can or how to make a difference, Humanitarian Affairs events focus on harnessing young potential.
The week-long event included lectures, group activities aimed at empowering college-age leaders. But their greatest focus lies in service and experiential learning.
Inspiration from fellow change makers
The feature speaker was 2011 CNN Hero of the Year recipient, Robin Lim. Speaker Pamela Wigglesworth, entrepreneur, turned corporate trainer encouraged participants to “start young and to follow [their] hearts.”
Each presenter: business managers, motivational speakers and entrepreneurs gave examples and illustration to help participants create a “road map” towards their futures. A GPYC Korea participant wrote that the speeches and presentations brought the conference theme to life: “Share the Moment! Share Life!”
Digging deep and getting dirty to build a foundation
A huge part of the symposium was the service project. Participants were split into two projects between Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children. GPYC Korea’s POL team was assigned Habitat for Humanity. They set the foundation for a large building project in Manila.
For many of the POL female team members, it was the first time in their lives that using a shovel, carrying bricks or spreading mortar. Although they just set the foundation, their willingness to dig deep and get dirty inspired many of the local volunteers. One participant said, “the work we did that day only accounted for 1% of the whole house-building job, but Filipinos were impressed to see college students from around the world come work together sweating and singing on a hot day.”
Completion with a new sense of determination
Seven days, packed with presenters, service projects. Priceless interactions and discussions on topics like “how to eradicate poverty” and “encouraging self-improvement” with participants from around the world. GPYC-Korea’s POL team gained personal and inspiring experiences with youth from 40 different countries who shared a passion for service and change.
The POL emerged with a new sense of determination for the second half of the year. “There is a lot more to come in the second half of the year including a KISSA athletic competition, open contests for elementary and secondary school students and college students, and the Day of Hangul project.”
Even with their busy lives and school schedules, the volunteers form GPYC Korea are ready to make every day count for something more than just themselves.