A total of 15,000 student leaders proved that young people can achieve great things during the Global Youth Summit 2019, the largest gathering for young Filipino leaders that aims to engage and inspire the world’s future experts, held recently at the SM MOA Arena.
Hosted by SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings Inc., in partnership with the Global Peace Foundation, the Global Youth Summit aims to engage and inspire young minds by providing a space where they can share their ideas and utilize their diverse skill-sets, knowledge, and networks to effectively address today’s persistent problems.
“If you do not make a move to change the world, who else will make the Philippines the best it can become? That is why we enjoin everyone to use this forum as a platform to build a very strong foundation and uplift the role of the youth in decision-making. Today, we work harder to create an impact and start the positive change by being the example of a change to a global community that truly cares,” said SM Cares Children and Youth program director Royston Cabunag.
A highlight of the event was the awarding of five innovative youth ideas, namely BoluntirMISMO, ToReal Peace, Project 97, Cafesidad: Good Food Crafted by Good Hearts, and Mindify (Mental Intuitive Device for Filipino Youth). All these ideas can be implemented in Filipino communities to advance this year’s topics: inclusive education; youth-responsive health services; creating youth-enabling employment and self-employment; ecosystems in sustainable tourism; civic awareness and participation; and creating safe spaces and reducing all forms of violence against children. These targets are aligned with the priority areas of the UN Youth Strategy for Sustainable Development launched in September 2018.
International and local speakers, as well as influencers, also gave inspiring talks about their advocacies and the role of youth in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Guest speakers were Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, UNICEF National Goodwill ambassador Anne Curtis, United Nations development programme ambassador Antoinette Taus, G Talks Host, and HealthXPh co-founder Dr. Gia Sison, Education Assistant secretary G.H. Ambat, Consuelo Foundation president and CEO Greg Auberry, and Asian Institute Management’s Dado Banatao Incubator executive director Prim Paypon.
“Every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and secure, have basic services and clean air and water, can play, learn and grow and where they voice is heard and matters,” said UNICEF national goodwill ambassador Anne Curtis. SM Cares works with various organizations, corporations, shareholders, and people from the community in coming up with innovative solutions that pave the way to living more sustainable lives. Other advocacies include Environment Sustainability, Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Children and Youth, Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Senior Citizens, and Overseas Filipino Workers (SM Global Pinoy.)