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ASEAN Foundation, Maybank Foundation join forces to empower Youth in the region

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In line with the celebratory spirit surrounding ASEAN Day on August 8, 2023, ASEAN Foundation and Maybank Foundation welcomed 120 youth volunteers and ten representatives from the selected civil society organizations (CSOs) and social enterprises (SEs) from across the region to the opening ceremony of the Regional Capacity Building Workshop of the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN (EYAA) program, Cohort 3 at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Before embarking on the community projects in the five ASEAN countries, namely Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, the youth volunteers will undergo a regional capacity-building workshop from July 24 to 27, 2023. This workshop will act as an avenue for youth volunteers and CSOs to receive extensive project management training and to finalize their project proposals.

The community projects implemented by both youth volunteers and CSOs will strive to tackle a range of issues around the topics of Arts and Culture, Community Empowerment, Education, and Environmental Diversity in the five countries. For instance, in the Philippines, initiatives include The Philippines’ Farmbassadors project, which empowers farmers, and Waves With WASHEd, which addresses water and sanitation issues.

Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, commented: “EYAA Cohort 3 Program is representing a continued collaborative endeavor between ASEAN Foundation and Maybank Foundation to unlock the boundless potential of ASEAN youth and communities. This program acts as a powerful catalyst for profound change, empowering young volunteers to embark on purposeful community projects that address the urgent challenges encountered by our people across the region.”

Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation

Aligned with Dr. Piti’s focus on empowering ASEAN youth and fostering positive transformation in the region, Mr. Shahril Azuar Jimin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Maybank Group said, “At Maybank we are dedicated to empowering the youths and fostering collaboration for positive change. Through our partnership with the ASEAN Foundation in this program, we aim to cultivate a platform where young changemakers can harness their potential and make a lasting impact in their communities. Together, we strive to shape a brighter future for ASEAN by nurturing the passion and innovation of our youth.”

Mr. Shahril Azuar Jimin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Maybank Group

The EYAA program is designed for youth between the ages of 19 to 35 years from the ten ASEAN Member States, offering them an immersive and educational learning platform through social volunteerism. In this program, a diverse group of young changemakers will have the unique opportunity to bring their ideas to life and embark on impactful projects across selected ASEAN countries.

In its third edition, the EYAA program offers a range of opportunities and benefits for participants. Each group of youth volunteers and CSOs within the program has the potential to receive a grant of up to USD27,000, which will be used to support the implementation of the community projects.

Furthermore, participants will also have the chance to build an extensive network at the regional level, connecting with individuals and organizations across Southeast Asia. This expanded network opens doors for collaborations and partnerships in the future. Additionally, the program facilitates exposure across ASEAN by involving various stakeholders from the region, allowing participants to gain visibility and recognition for their contributions.

The EYAA Achievements and Impact

Since its establishment in 2018, this program has successfully empowered 175 youth volunteers and fostered collaborations with 20 CSOs and social enterprises, resulting in a direct impact on 38,933 community members across ASEAN. Additionally, the program has reached an additional 851,910 individuals through a variety of online events.

The opening ceremony was marked by a gong ceremony that was attended by the key stakeholders of EYAA: Cohort 3, namely Associate Professor Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin, Ph.D., Dean of Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Amb. Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to ASEAN, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Zamzamzairani, Chairman of Maybank and Maybank Foundation, Dr. Areepong Bhoocha-Oom, Chairman of Maybank Securities Thailand, Mr. Shahril Azuar Jimin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Maybank, and Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation. Prior to the gong ceremony, a speech was delivered by H.E. Ekkaphab Phanthavong, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community through a message video.

The event was also attended by representatives from Permanent Missions to ASEAN, Assistant Professor Dr. Sineenat Sermcheep, Executive Director of ASEAN Studies Center, Professor Suthiphand Chirathiwat, Advisor of ASEAN Studies Center, Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, Executive Director of ASEAN University Network, and media.

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