4th ASEAN Youth Fellowship 2022

Singapore, 7 November 2022 – Forty-five youth leaders from ASEAN gathered in Singapore for the fourth edition of the ASEAN Youth Fellowship (AYF) programme co-organised by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and National Youth Council (NYC) Singapore.

The programme – held from 29 October to 4 November – comprised a second leg in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia from 2 to 4 November to boost exchanges and opportunities for cross-border collaboration.

AYF 2022, inspired by the theme of Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship, “ASEAN ACT – Addressing Challenges Together”, focused on joint ASEAN action to overcome regional problems and uncertainties.

The Fellows participated in a series of seminars, dialogues, and fireside chats that explored trends and innovations in the areas of social resilience, technology for good, mental health and wellbeing, and the role ASEAN youths can play in addressing challenges together to bring positive, long-term impact to their collective future.

The Fellows had the opportunity to interact with prominent thought leaders from diverse sectors, including senior public office holders namely Singapore Minister for Health Mr Ong Ye Kung and Indonesia Minister for Education, Culture, Research, And Technology Mr Nadiem Anwar Makarim.

At the Ministerial Dialogue, Mr Nadiem underscored the importance of leadership development among the youth so that they will be future-ready.

He said: “One challenge youth leaders will face in the future is how they can bring different sectors to work together. Now is the time for the public, private, and people sectors to collaborate to achieve sustainable community development. Youth need to take the lead for these joint projects to happen and create positive social impact.”

In both countries, the Fellows gained first-hand experience from learning journeys, designed to empower them with insights into social innovation, food security and food crisis management, and environmental sustainability.

In Singapore, Fellows visited the Enabling Village, an integrated community space to support persons with disabilities; the Geylang neighbourhood, led by Citizen Adventures, a social enterprise that seeks to re-examine and introduce neighbourhoods as interconnected social ecosystems; and Innovate 360, Singapore’s first food accelerator that supports more than 80 food start-ups to grow and expand into Asia.

In Greater Jakarta from 2 to 4 November, Fellows visited a recycling facility and a landfill, managed by Waste4Change, an Indonesian service provider that provides responsible waste management solutions. They also visited the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta and met its Political and Security Director, Dr Tang Siew-Mun at a panel session. Discussions included pressing issues ASEAN faces and how youths can work together to improve regional cooperation.

Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, said: “AYF 2022 seeks to initiate conversations and explore solutions around some pressing issues we face today, from mental health and social resilience to food security, waste management, and diversity and inclusion. As outstanding leaders in their respective fields of work across the public, private, and people sectors, the Fellows are well-placed and resourced to investigate these challenges and work together to make a difference.”

She added: “The SIF, with its focus on international cooperation for development, stands ready to work with any AYF alumni to build a more sustainable ASEAN through community projects in education, healthcare, social entrepreneurship, and the arts.”

Mr David Chua, NYC Chief Executive Officer, said: “As the world continues to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, many challenges still lie ahead of us. It is thus more important than ever for ASEAN to stand in unity and care for our future, while no one gets left behind, and for youth to step forward and demonstrate that they are the next generation of leaders.” 

Source: SIF