AUGUST 16-20, 2019, Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan–World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific (WYAAP) Regional Director, Mary Imbong, addressed a global audience and shared the WYA Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC) at the 2019 Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) Asia Conferenceheld last August 16-20, 2019.
Mary formed part of a panel of speakers focused on the track, Social Policy and Justice: Mental Health in the Asia Pacific. In her speech, Mary highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to human development–physical, emotional, mental, spiritual growth of the person, as well as the value and effects of living one’s life with a strong sense of meaning and purpose–ideas in which the HDC were built on.
“Good health and education go hand-in-hand in achieving authentic development. Alongside these, research has shown that people with a strong sense of purpose tend to do better.” Mary shared. “In the HDC, we help students understand the self and others, develop healthy habits and good decision-making skills, and foster a strong sense of meaning and purpose.”
During the moderated Q&A panel, Mary also shared the importance of addressing global issues on the level of both culture and policy. She shared the need to have a proper understanding of the person as this lays the foundation for what policies and programs are to be implemented. She further expounded on how policy drives funding for programs that address issues that we care about and gave examples and case studies of successful collaborative efforts between civil society and government in the Philippines in the area of mental health.
To end, Mary highlighted the importance of investing in education, having a holistic approach toward health and development, and in maximizing the tools and technology surrounding our current generation in order to make an impact in our societies.
The HPAIR Asia Conference is an annual international summit for global leaders and attended by nearly 500 university students from around the world. The 2019 program was held in Nur-Sultan (formerly, Astana), Kazakhstan and covered topics under Art, Media & Culture; Energy & Environmental Sustainability; Global Markets & the Economy; Governance & Geopolitics; Science & Technology; and Social Policy & Justice.
The global conference was jointly-organized by HPAIR’s Organizing Committee at Harvard University and a counterpart organizing committee at Nazarbayev University in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.