CTP Trainers Lead “Read the CTP” Pilot in WYA Africa (Part 1)

During the months of August and September, WYA Headquarters and WYA Africa will be hosting the pilot “Read the CTP with the WYA Trainers” in Africa. 

Led by the WYA Africa Regional Director, Cynthia Wangari, WYA hopes to introduce the core Certified Training Program (CTP) readings to WYA members and potential CTP trainees, educate members on WYA’s mission, and encourage them to enroll in the CTP. 

In order to accomplish these goals, WYA selected some of our best trainers worldwide, which will also provide an opportunity for WYA Africa members to meet international CTP trainers. Read the first of a two part feature on the trainers who will be participating in this special event: 

Joel Arzaga, J.D. (the Philippines)

“The world needs to learn the CTP because a deep understanding of the human person would resolve many of the issues and problems we have today.” 

Joel’s great insight into the importance of our Training Program represents part of WYA’s mission, and also what makes him such a great trainer. 

Joel Arzaga, a CTP trainer from the Philippines, met WYA through a partner foundation in the Philippines, Universitas, and after learning of WYA’s work that centered on the defense of Human Dignity and Human Rights, he decided to apply for an advocacy internship. Joel was convinced that joining WYA and doing his part for these advocacies close to his heart would be a good first step to begin his life as a lawyer.

After receiving the rigorous formation WYA offered through the CTP, Joel was left inspired and eager to share the same to all young people within his reach, and so he became a CTP trainer. Joel shares that if he was a CTP author, he would choose to be John Finnis. “To grasp and speak of natural law the way he does – that’s the dream!” shares Joel. 


Ermelinda Gjeci (Albania)

“Human dignity grants human rights’ is one of the fundamental lessons that will change the way you defend the principles of the dignity of the person within the public square.” This is why Ermelinda Gjeci, a CTP trainer from Albania, believes that the world needs to learn the CTP. 

Ermelinda met WYA back in 2018 when she joined the first CTP training in Albania and became active with the Albanian chapter. She continued being active with WYA, and in January 2020, Ermelinda was selected as an Advocacy Fellow in WYA Headquarters in New York. Here, she not only worked in the international arena promoting human person centered policies at the United Nations, but she also participated in different advocacy trainings and in the training of trainers. In addition, Ermelinda just finished her internship with WYA Europe, where she worked mainly on strengthening the Albanian chapter. 


Ermelinda notes the lessons she learned from reading Viktor Frankl’s “Experiences in Concentration Camps” text as her favorite take away from the CTP, and says that she would be Vaclav Havel if she was a CTP author, because “his essay ‘The Power of the Powerless’ is one of the texts that resonates [with her] ideas in the matter of living with the truth and not falling into false ideologies.” 


Wambui Njehu (Kenya) 

“The power of holding on to convictions and principles without compromise.” This powerful statement is Wambui Njehu’s favorite take away from the CTP, and it is one way of showing how much of an impact this training can have on young people around the world. 

Wambui is a CTP trainer from Kenya, and she first met WYA in 2017 when she attended a barbecue with the President at the WYA regional office in Africa. Wambui joined WYA because she “felt [WYA’s] values aligned with [hers].” WambuiI “loved the emphasis that WYA placed on the dignity of the human person.” 

On her inspiration to become a trainer, Wambui shares that she “loves being able to explore the philosophical basis of concepts such as dignity, solidarity and human rights,” and that she wanted to be able to share this experience with others and to guide young people across Africa in discussions on these topics of great importance.” 

Wambui believes that the world needs to learn the CTP because “it equips young people to engage in meaningful discussion on the topic of human dignity which is of universal importance.” 


Angel de la Flor (the Philippines)

“The CTP is a powerful form of education that has the ability to change our perspective towards ourselves, others, and the world. It equips you in discovering your purpose, embracing your gifts, and finding practical ways to bring one’s aspirations into effective actions and solutions,” shares Angel when asked why young people need to learn the CTP. 

Angel first became involved with WYA as an Asia Pacifc regional intern in 2013. Over the years, she participated in local and international conferences to represent WYA (like the  58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations and the WYA and CIAM Youth Synod Colloquium in Rome, Italy). Last year, she was awarded WYA’s Viktor Frankl Award for Asia Pacific. She continues to be active as a WYA trainer. 

Angel’s inspiration to become a trainer is how she had personally seen the CTP’s ability to enable young people “to be, to do, and to pursue things that truly matter for the world”. She adds, “I have seen the message and lessons of the CTP genuinely manifest in their lives. I believe that the whole process will only come to full circle when I am also able to share and pass on all the things I have learned to others.”

Are you the next Certified Training Program Trainer? Register for your region’s next CTP batch to find out.