Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, US-Asean TechCamp participants share experience

Tech September 11, 2017 09:00

By Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Participants of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative , Borneo Eco-Warriors and US-Asean TechCamp recently had a sharing session with members of the Brunei media.

The United States (US) Embassy in Brunei Darussalam hosted the event where its Public Affairs Officer Catherine Muller was present.

Representatives of the YSEALI programme were Siti Nadhirah binti Abdul Lamit, Faridah binti Haji Yahya, Siti Amanda binti Ahmad Sabri, Joremy anak Tony, Muhd Firdaus bin Haji Ismail and Hana Abadiah binti Haji Awang.

The YSEALI BEW took place on July 10-13, 2017 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and saw 30 youths between the ages of 18 and 25 from various backgrounds consisting eight delegates each from Brunei and Sarawak, and 14 from Sabah.

Brunei was represented by Muhd Firdaus as the Project Manager, while the rest were Siti Nadhirah, Faridah, Joremy, Hana Abadiah, Nur Saleha Sa’adatul Hani binti Haji Noor Hazman and Aminah Faizah binti Kaharuddin.

The YSEALI BEW aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues in the region. It also aspired to enhance individual skills such a leadership, project management, creative thinking and public speaking, and intended to expand network with youths throughout Borneo.

The workshop saw eight speakers sharing their thoughts on threats faced by the oceans and the initiatives taken to tackle those challenges, hoping that it would empower the youths to start ocean conservation in their region.

The highlights of the programme were fieldtrips to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (located off the city of Kota Kinabalu) and the Sabah Wetland Conservation Centre.

Participants were required to come up with follow-up projects, with an emphasis on conservation education to instil awareness amongst the younger generation.

While these follow-up projects will be supported by the BEW Team in terms of mentoring and funding, the workshop in Kota Kinabalu was funded by the US Mission to Asean through YSEALI Seeds for Future Grant and supported by the Cultural Vistas, Universiti Sabah Malaysia, Active Creation and the Scuba Junkie SEA.

Meanwhile, the US-Asean TechCamp was one of the many US initiatives in support of Asean and its 10 member states.

During the initiative, the United States partners with Asean to support economic integration, expand maritime cooperation, cultivate emerging leaders, promote opportunity for women and address transnational challenges.

Representing Brunei at the event were Siti Amanda from Youth Against Slavery Brunei (YAS), and Siti Nadhirah and Faridah both of the Brunei National History Centre (BruWILD).

Themed ‘A Generation of Advocates – Developing Issue-based Campaigns’, the tech camp saw 37 YSEALI members participating and focussed on eliminating human trafficking, wildlife trafficking, cybercrime and violent extremism in their communities and beyond.

During the event, participants actively engaged with trainers and subject-matter experts to enhance their digital literacy and communication skills.

Trainers, on the other hand, shared their expertise on subjects consisting of creating compelling contents for social media, data mining and visualisation, online advocacy campaigns, design thinking, digital storytelling, crowdfunding and digital security.

Like the YSEALI BEW, the event also required participants to implement follow-up projects and ideas in their communities using skills they just learned.