A select group of young Cebuanos is in Europe from April 21 to May 13 as this year’s delegates to the 5th Young Minds on eXplore (YMX5) exchange program that aims to provide an avenue to better understand European culture and their own.
The nine teens are undergoing a three-week youth immersion in the Netherlands and in Belgium that also intends to promote knowledge sharing, cross-cultural understanding, people-to-people connection, and development service, and, likewise, to nurture a deeper sense of nationalism.
The participants are alumni of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) Young Minds Academy and members of Club Mega. They are Pamela Jude M. Gonzales, Lorraine Mitzi Ambrad, Michaela Jaycel L. Dolores, Lord Anjelo T. Guia, John Nicko Macapaz Coyoca, Glenna Lyrad Quilat, Carmel Amigable, Arianwen Rollan, and Adam Mahkail Dicdican. They are also accompanied by Central Visayas Network of NGOs’ (CENVISNET) Marlon Perilla and RAFI’s Jenny Lea Tan as adult leaders.
To prepare for their trip, the delegates underwent a series of team building and learning sessions on the Netherlands, Belgium, and Philippine governance; understanding European and Filipino cultures; basic facilitation skills; and project development.
They were also further exposed to local organizations, programs, and projects, which provided a deeper understanding of the local community situation, especially on issues and concerns as well as good to best practices.
To help raise additional funds for the trip, the delegates also initiated resource mobilization projects such as a garage sale at the St. Joseph Parish in Mabolo, Cebu City and sold merchandise online such as YMX5 journals, shirts, and other items.
YMX5 was launched in February 2017 by RAFI-Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center and CENVISNET, in cooperation with the Vriendschapsband Haarlemmermeer Cebu from the City of Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands; the City of Kortrijk, Belgium; and the City of Cebu, Philippines; and with the support from Union Bank of the Philippines.