Linte is an infamous Hiligaynon word that has been used across Panay as a swear word! This started long time ago when elders say “nalintian” whenever the lightning strikes a coconut tree. But for the young leaders of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, it is an opportunity to strike the lightning that will awaken the potential of emerging leaders in Panay and Guimaras Islands.
Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking among the youth in Southeast Asia. Today YSEALI Philippines is a community of 25,000 young people making a difference in their communities.
In partnership with Boracay Foundation Incorporated, about 50 young leaders around Panay gathered in Boracay Island to attend the launching of YSEALI Panay’s Lintianay Kwentuhan Series last April 11 at Seawind Resort Boracay. This first session focused on helping them make impactful youth-led projects in their communities and showcasing anti-plastic pollution projects.
The topics that were discussed by the speakers from the YSEALI community were: Common Mistakes in Community Projects by Shernan Gamol, Financing and Fundraising by Jarrah Brillantes, and Using Storytelling and Social Media by Angeli Monique Siladan. This was followed by a panel discussion which was actively participated by these youth leaders who were very enthusiastic to bring home the new knowledge to their communities.
Two projects were also featured: Anti-Plastic Program in Culasi, Antique and the Recycling Program of Balabag Elementary School in Boracay Island. The participants were awed with the partnerships and leadership exhibited to pursue the said projects.
The day ended with networking and establishing partnerships among the participants and the YSEALI programs alumni. The Lintianay sessions also aim to mentor and be an avenue for these young people to collaborate.
Among the 50 leaders, 20 stayed to participate at the YStart Focus Group Discussion on April 12 at Henann Regency Resort & Spa Boracay. YStart is a platform for YSEALI members to promote and crowdsource resources for their community projects.
Coordinator of the YSEALI Panay Hub, Angelica Belarmino, ends this two-day event with these words:
“I hope to invite other young leaders in Aklan especially Boracay Island to join us and continue the conversation beyond these events. We are excited to see the enthusiasm of the young people here to contribute in the betterment of their communities. Truly, we are never too young to lead!”
Sign up as a YSEALI member to access opportunities to participate in fellowships, seminars, and grants at www.yseali.state.gov