Every year, young leaders from Asia Pacific gather in a three-day momentous event which we all know as the “Emerging Leaders Conference.” Tackling themes which are different per year, the conference aims to inspire and encourage young people from various backgrounds to be aware of the most pressing issues our society faces, and to be active in responding to these challenges.
Being one of the point persons for delegate management for the 5th WYAAP ELC, I was greatly moved and humbled to meet and converse with people who are so passionate about the work that they do in their own respective schools and communities. People as young as 15 are so driven by their intuitive minds and compassionate hearts that seeing them participate and take part in the conference filled me with so much hope for the future. In fact, there was even a point when I thought we were already being too idealistic and that we may potentially frustrate ourselves in the future.
But I also realized that as one among the many youthful spirits striving each day to defend the dignity of the human person, isn’t it just right to be irrefutably positive and optimistic about what lies ahead of us? I once again saw and woke up to the different faces of the future: aspiring engineers and computer analysts, a veterinarian, a bunch of active and dynamic high school students, future catalysts for change who value and give importance to the worth of the human person.
I became more motivated and encouraged to continue the things that I do. I can say that being a core volunteer for the ELC gave me a deeper purpose to constantly strive in promoting human dignity. Understanding that the conference is one of the best ways that WYA does to reach out and educate the youth, I became more empowered and inspired to contact students and young professionals, follow them up, and respond to their seemingly unending queries. It is a livening experience when you meet people who have the same wavelength as you, whose passions lie in waking up each day to the hope of celebrating a more inclusive, peaceful, and just future. In times when I think that what I’ve been currently doing may just disappoint me in the future, thinking that not everyone would value a person’s worth or that the world we live in is just getting more and more cruel and unfair, considering that I’ve been pouring out so much energy since the first time I set foot in WYA, I would always think twice and just simply go back to the thought of why I joined WYA in the first place. It’s never too late to teach minds, touch hearts, and transform lives.
Preparing for ELC and having participated in it paved an avenue for me to realize that there’s no point in getting disheartened because in a project such as the conference, I get more driven and motivated to continue educating others. As human beings, we have intrinsic and inviolable dignity, with the conference being one among the many opportunities for us to maximize and upgrade our potentials and capabilities. Furthermore, being surrounded with people who have the same passion as you makes the journey more exciting and promising. Knowing that you’re not the only one who is into striving in making the world a better place one step at a time gives me so much strength and joy in doing the things that must be done.
Written by Kleine Abrugena, current intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office. WYAAP is now accepting applications for its 2017 internship program. Check our webpage for more information.