Asia 21 Young Leader Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV was officially proclaimed a member of the Philippine Senate on Friday, May 17, after winning over 14 million votes in the Philippine mid-term elections last week. With this victory, Bam follows in the steps of his uncle–former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino II, his aunt who is former Philippine President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, as well as his cousin Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the current President of the Philippines.
Asia 21 Fellow Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country’s first leadership institute, received the 2013 Rising Star Award from Harvard Kennedy School, at a ceremony held at the John F. Kennedy Forum of the University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Saturday, May 11. The prestigious Rising Star Award recognizes an alumna or alumnus who, ‘within six years of beginning his or her career, has stood out as a leader, a catalyst for change, or a person making a meaningful difference to individuals, organizations, or governments.’ Ejaj had received a Master in Public Policy from Harvard in 2008.
‘Your (Ejaj) work to mobilize the youth of Bangladesh by founding Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) is more than inspiring—it also speaks to the power that leadership training can have to unite and affect a generation of people,’ said Marty Linsky, a faculty of the School, before handing over the award to Ejaj.
‘BYLC’s work with young people from all three educational systems (English, Bengali and Madrassa), its focus on home-grown leaders, and its service to more than 500 Bangladeshi youth speak volumes of your ability to catalyze change in individuals and organizations’ he added.
After examining materials from alumnus of the Kennedy School over the last six years, Harvard decided Ejaj’s work was especially deserving of recognition.
‘We want to acknowledge what you’ve already accomplished in nurturing the seeds for a better Bangladesh, acting as a role model for all students and alums, and demonstrating that even individuals can create and move institutions that change the world,’ Harvard further paid tribute to Ejaj.
The award was decided by the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Board and the Office of Alumni Relations.
During his acceptance speech, Ejaj dedicated the award to the youth of Bangladesh ‘whose idealism and commitment to a prosperous Bangladesh give inspiration for the work that BYLC does.’
In his speech Ejaj further addressed the recent Savar tragedy in Bangladesh.
‘If only we could find a balance between our ambition and aspiration, if only we had a little less greed, and a little more compassion, a thousand lives would have been alive today,’ he said. ‘And this is what we teach at BYLC – so that young people can do well for themselves but also do well for others. To not just look up, but also to look down,’ he added.
His remarks were greeted with a standing ovation.
Omaid Sharifi is our Asia 21 Young Leader of the week! A human rights activist, Omaid who is the Co-Founder of Sela Foundation—an organization that works in improving the lives of the most vulnerable people of Afghanistan. He is also the Country Representative of the Hungary-based International Centre for Democratic Transition. He is also directly involved with Afghanistan’s civil society with his work as the Regional Manager of Tawanmandi—a civil society strengthening project. Omaid has worked with several national and international organizations such as USAID, the World Bank, British Council, and the Afghan government in different managerial and decision-making positions. He has also been working voluntarily for the rights of women, children, and youth in Afghanistan since 2004. He has been involved in establishing youth and social networks and organized workshops, seminars, conferences, radio broadcasts and TV shows around the country to enhance awareness about his advocacies. Omaid’s work to tackle corruption has been recognized by both Afghan civil society and the international community.
Omaid also holds memberships in several key organizations, including the Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network, Clinton Global Initiative University, South Asian Good News Channel, South Asian Youth Conference and he is a Board Member of the Paywand Afghanan Association.
On his being a part of the Asia 21 community, he says “Asia Society’s Asia 21—Afghanistan Young Leaders Initiative has been a diverse platform of key leaders from media, civil society, government and private sector. It is an effective network that can have a lot of influence in shaping policies. It has been a real learning experience in the last 2 years. This opportunity provided me with the chance to practice leadership and meet key leaders within government and international community. Membership in this program is vital in many ways; one of which is that I can raise my voice and concerns and provide solutions to the gigantic challenges that lies ahead of my country. As a part of our commitment to this program, we conducted town hall meetings and presented position papers on important conferences. I have been actively involved in both activities. We received a lot of recognition for the work that we are doing. It is a place where we can learn from each other and will continue to grow strong as a group.”
This week’s honor goes to AUDRY LI, who was recently recognized as the #1 lawyer of the Top 15 Women Lawyers in China for 2012 by Asia Legal Business. Asia Legal Business is a world-leading provider of legal news and information regarding China, North and South East Asia, Japan, Australia and the Middle East. Audry was also previously selected by the Shanghai Bar Association as the Top Woman Lawyer of Shanghai in 2011.
Audry believes that “Women are proven to be as equally capable as men. Most people have recognized that,” (Ladies in Justice published by the China Business Law Journal – September 2012). Indeed, it has been the case for her in China, where she was also ranked as a leading Individual (Band-One) in the area of Corporate/M&A by Chambers & Partners’ new rankings that were just released at the end of February of this year. It has been the 6th year that she has been recognized as a band one lawyer in China in Corporate/M&A since Chambers first published its ranking on Chinese lawyers in 2008 in the Chamber Asia Guide.
EJAJ AHMAD, founder and president of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) is the Asia 21 Young Leader of the Week!
BYLC is Bangladesh’s first youth leadership institute which aims to foster a more tolerant, inclusive, and just society by training the next generation of leaders in Bangladesh. As president, Ejaj spearheads BYLC’s international award winning leadership program which unites youth from diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds, equips them with leadership skills, and engages them in service-oriented projects in local communities toaddress Bangladesh’s most urgent developmental needs.
While we are overjoyed to see the familiar names on the World Economic Forum’s recently announced list, it came as no surprise because we are already cognizant of their potential and commitment to value-based leadership. They have all been deeply involved with our Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative as we help build relationships, engage in transnational and interdisciplinary dialogue and cultural exchange, and develop cooperative responses for addressing shared challenges.
This week’s honor goes to PHLOEUN PRIM, Executive Director of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA). He currently serves as the CEO of the Season of Cambodia (SOC) initiative by spearheading the festival, which is an international platform designed for showcasing Cambodian arts, culture, and humanities to audiences in New York City and around the world. Asia Society is delighted to play its part by collaborating with Phloeun and hosting some of the events in our NY headquarters.
Regarding his involvement with Asia 21, Phloeun maintains, “The Asia 21 conference provides a great platform for networking, particularly among the leadership of Asia. I have attended other conferences where leaders from both the East and the West have had the chance to meet, but this time, all of the participants belong to the same continent and we share many common values and concerns. Continue reading
Asia 21 Young Leader Tudor Clee won the CREATE UNAOC 2012 Award for his efforts in developing Touchable Earth, a world-atlas app.
Tudor has traveled around the world to gather information from children while developing Touchable Earth, and disseminated the app in Google Nexus tablets to the schools in places he visited.
During the months of April and May, New York City will play host to 125 artists from Cambodia who will be performing in 30 major arts and educational institutions all over the city. The Seasons will feature music, dance, visual art, ritual, film, puppetry, and academic forums.
Asia 21 Fellow Nitin Das (Asia 21 Fellow, 2009) launched a new short film entitled, Learn to Fly.
This film has been shot in Harike Wetland, the largest wetland in Northern India. It serves as a winter home to many species of migratory birds, a few of which are globally endangered species. Because of it’s rich biodiversity, Harike is a designated Ramsar site. One of the rare locations on Earth that are recognized as nature’s treasures. Enchanted lands that need to be preserved and protected.
Watch the video, here.
Nitin Das runs an independent film production house that works with communities to train them in acting and makes short fiction films. He is an alumnus of one of India’s top B-schools, and his last assignment was with India’s larest news magazine as a Brand Manager. He has done a filmmaking course in New York and has an interesting repertoire of award winning films. He has also won a special award by the British Council for creative entrepreneurship in the social sector.
Please join us in congratulating Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, this week’s Asia 21 Young Leader!
Sharmeen is an Academy and Emmy Award winning documentary film-maker from Pakistan. She was recently appointed as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Goodwill Ambassador for HIV and AIDS for the year 2013 and 2014.
This week’s honor goes to Claire Chino, who has been appointed as the first female executive director on the board of a Japanese trading company. Claire was appointed Executive Officer and General Manager, Legal Division, of Itochu Corporation effective this April. She has the distinction of being the “youngest and the first female executive officer” of any major Japanese trading company. Claire views this not so much as her personal achievement but rather as a sign that global companies are, by necessity, placing more importance on diversity. She adds, “Japan unfortunately ranks very low in the gender parity area. In fact, according to the report compiled by the Asia Society (Rising to the Top? A Report on Women’s Leadership in Asia) on gender empowerment, as of 2011, Japan ranked 98th out of 135 countries, mostly driven by the fact that there are so few women in leadership positions within corporations. I would be more than happy if my appointment can bring hope for other working women in Japan.”
Asia 21 Young Leader Claire Chino was recently named to be a part of the board of directors of Itochu Corporation–and the first woman in Japan on board in major trading companies. Read the article here.
Asia 21 Young Leader Bhavani Fonseka on “The ‘Bleak’ State of Rule of Law in Sri Lanka” on the Asia Blog
Asia 21 Young Leader Bhavani Fonseka wrote an article, The ‘Bleak’ State of Rule of Law in Sri Lanka for the Asia Blog. Fonseka says that recent events, including the impeachment of the countries first female chief justice, could “have a chilling effect on hopes for a functioning democracy and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka.” Read the article here.
Asia 21 Young Leader and Korean-American writer based in New York, E. Tammy King was recently featured on BBC World Have Your Say: Is it time to take North Korea more seriously? Watch the video here.
Asia 21 Young Leader STUTI JALAN is a young entrepreneur at 23, she founded Crosshairs Communication, a marketing and media company. Watch the video here.
Check out articles about the recent Asia 21 Summit in the dailies of Bangladesh!
Asia 21 Summit in Dhaka was covered by Bangladesh’s Daily Star and picked up by Asian-focused websites and news outlets.
Asia 21 Young Leader (Class of 2011), Pushpa Basnet from Nepal has been named as the CNN Hero of the Year.
MANILA, December 17, 2012 –- Thirteen of the Asia 21 Young Awardees from the Philippines gathered to talk about their upcoming activities and possible collaborations within the group.
Over 100 Young Leaders gathered for the Asia Society’s 7th Annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit at BRAC, Savar
This year’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit took place in BRAC-CDM, Dhaka, Bangladesh, over a three-day period, beginning, December 7th. The event gathered over 100 delegates, representing diverse backgrounds and from over 20 different countries.
Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, State Minister of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh formally opened the Summit with a keynote address on the 7th, which was followed by a cultural performance showcasing traditional Bangladesh dance and music, and cultural nightcap activities. Following a plenary discussion on leadership, Sir Fazle H. Abed, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, who is also Asia Society Global Council member, participated in a keynote conversation on December 8th. The Summit also featured a youth leadership dialogue where representatives of the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center and One Degree Initiative Foundation, joined the Asia 21 delegates for an interactive discussion on the most pressing challenges facing youth leaders in Bangladesh to offer innovative ways to address common challenges.
The theme for this year was Asia 21 in 2020: Catalyzing Change, Sustaining Impact, where participants explored their vision for Asia and Asia 21 in the year 2020 the discussions helped assess their roles as civic-minded leaders, and explore ways to enhance and sustain their collective capacities. The participants also visited four different BRAC projects in Savar to interact, learn more about the projects, and develop a plan of action to help each program going forward.
The Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit was supported by Founding International Sponsor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Other supporters include the Coca-Cola Company and local partners include the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center, the Daily Star, and special thanks go to Abdul Monem Ltd. and the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh.
EMBRACE named 2012 Asia Society-Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Asia 21 Young Leaders Public Service Award Winner
Dhaka – In recognition of their outstanding work in providing quality maternal and child health support in China, India, Zambia, Uganda, and Somalia—Embrace has been named winner of the 2012 Asia Society-Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia 21 Young Leaders Public Service Award (Asia 21 PSA). Rajan Patel, Area Manager of Embrace based in Gujarat, India, accepted the award during the ceremonies at the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Embrace advances maternal and child health by delivering innovative solutions to the world’s most vulnerable populations. They catalyze the creation of products with strong potential to improve the health outcomes in developing countries and work to get those products directly to the people who need them the most. Embrace has designed a low-cost infant warmer that addresses the challenge of caring for hypothermic infants by warming and regulating their body temperature, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional incubator. The Embrace infant warmer does not require constant electricity, is portable and lightweight, locally reparable, and allows mothers to breastfeed while providing maternal support.
The Asia 21 Public Service Award recognizes an organization that has made an outstanding contribution in reaching underprivileged social/economic groups by providing a meaningful service to a community and the public in the region. The selection is overseen by the incumbent Asia 21 Fellowship Class, a core group of young leaders from across the Asia-Pacific, based on project innovation and feasibility, quantifiable impact, sustainability and growth potential.
Aside from receiving $10,000, Embrace also gains access to the network of resources and expertise of the 2012 Asia 21 Fellowship Class. This may include interaction in such areas as Strategic Planning, Capacity Building and Training, Resource Mobilization, and Program Development and Management.
Asia 21 Fellow Bam Aquino featured on the Asian Journal in an article entitled “Community-Builder of Happy Pinoys”
Read an article about Asia 21 Fellow Bam Aquino on the Asian Journal here: http://www.asianjournal.com//galing-pinoy/59-galing-pinoy/18352-community-builder-of-happy-pinoys.html
We are now accepting applications for the 2013Bernard Schwartz Fellows Program. Please click here for more information: AsiaSociety.org/SchwartzFellows
Asia 21 Fellow, FAIYSAL ALI KHAN was interviewed by BBC World about the Taliban attack on Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai. Please click here to watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPwXDPZ567s&feature=youtu.be
Read Asia 21 India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative Fellow, Zafar Choudhary’s Op-Ed, “Disorder in the House”
Asia 21 India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative Fellow, Zafar Choudhary wrote “Disorder in the House” in Rising Kashmir: http://www.risingkashmir.in/news/disorder-in-the-house-34597.aspx
Read Asia 21 India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative Fellow Zafar Choudhary’s piece on Kashmir “The Regional Heritage” in Rising Kashmir.
Asia 21 India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative Fellow, Zafar Choudhary wrote a piece on Rising Kashmir. Read about “Rising Kashmir’s arrival in Jammu is celebration of 166 years of unity in diversity.”
Asia 21 Young Leader (Class of 2011), Pushpa Basnet from Nepal has been nominated as one of the Top Ten CNN Heroes for 2012.
Ms. Basnet is the Founder of Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) and Butterfly Home. Both organizations focus on enriching the lives of children who live behind bars with their incarcerated parents. Her mission is to ensure that “no child grows up behind prison walls.” She runs both as a day care center for children under the age of 6, and a residential home for the older children where she provides food, clothing, shelter, and education. Coming from a privileged background, she has sold most of her possessions in order to run both facilities. She even started a livelihood program for the parents of the children—where they make handicrafts to sell—as means to support the care of the children. Her goals for the future include raising money for the children’s higher education, and buying or building a house that they could call their own.
To read more of her story, you may follow this link: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/15/world/cnnheroes-basnet-nepal-prisons/index.html.
The CNN Heroes is organized by CNN annually to commemorate individuals who make extraordinary contributions to society through humanitarian aid.
The winner of the CNN Heroes Award 2012 will be announced in Los Angeles, California, on December 2. Apart from the US$50,000 that was awarded to each Top 10 Hero, the winner of the CNN Hero of the Year will be awarded with an additional US$250,000 to continue his/her work.
Read India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative Fellow Zafar Choudhary’s Op-Ed, “Clueless at Bakshi Stadium”
India-Pakistan Regional Young Initiative Fellow ZAFAR CHOUDHARY explains how Indian national holidays are (not) observed Jammu and Kashmir. Click here to read his op-ed, “Clueless at Bakshi Stadium,” published in Rising Kashmir.
The India Blog of the New York Times has posted an article about the Oscar-winning documentary “Saving Face,” co-directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Asia 21 Fellow.
Originally posted on Roots of Health.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan:It began as an informal open-air meet during a coffee break at the Asia 21 Summit in Gurgaon – India, in November 2011. The winners of the Asia Society Asia 21 Public Service Award, Roots of Health, had travelled from Palawan in the Philippines, to receive their award and meet the Class of 2011 fellows. Selected after a comprehensive elimination process by the 2011 fellows class and Asia 21, RoH (Ugat ng Kalusugan in Filipino), a reproductive health NGO focused on improving the health of women and girls and their communities, came out tops. Mother-daughter duo Susan Evangelista - deputy director and founder RoH and Amina (Ami) Evangelista Swanepoel – founding executive director RoH, Michael G Kulma - executive director of Global Leadership Initiatives at Asia Society, and class fellows discussed various ways to take the initiative forward. Though fellows based on their professional backgrounds and proficiencies could share expertise individually, a joint effort and in-kind help would be beneficial to the PSA winner, so a visit to the RoH facility in Palawan, the Philippines, was proposed. With fellows based in over 10 countries and with diverse professional backgrounds, varying schedules and time constraints, there were many obstacles to overcome. Nevertheless, the seeds were sown; after the summit, the discussions continued online for months.
The unflagging enthusiasm of Mun Ching Yap, persistence of Jamie Choi and regular inputs from class fellows and Ami, ensured that a plan took shape. The dates May 24-27, 2012 were set aside for a visit to the RoH facility in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Fellows charted a plan for optimal use of skill-sets to fulfill the PSAs larger aims – not just a felicitation and a cash award for the organisation in question but how best to use the collective expertise of the fellows group to give the award value. The challenge was to translate the know-how, networks and resources of the fellows group into developing training and strategic-planning agendas for RoH.
Fellows Jamie Choi (campaign director Avaaz.org), Adam Gilmore (division chief engineer Space Shuttle Program NASA), Mun Ching Yap (founder Broadsheet Communications), Rabi Karmacharya (executive director Open Learning Exchange Network), Arief Koesoemawiria (founder and director Suar Intermuda), Martin Tan (founder RiverLife Community Services and Halogen Foundation), Dr Bryan Lim (research Associate University of the Philippines and house Physician San Pablo Doctors’ Hospital) and Vinita A Shetty (journalist and documentary producer), committed to the visit. Mike Kulma of Asia Society joined in as well. This was a first of sorts for Asia 21 – never before had such a large group of fellows embarked on a visit to meet a PSA winner in their home country, and aid them through a hands-on resource and capacities sharing exercise.
On May 24, a sunny Puerto Princesa Thursday, fellows came in from as far as the US, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and as near as Manila. Daphne, Martin Tan’s wife accompanied him on the trip. Ami, Susan and Marcus Swanepoel (media and program director of Roots of Health and Ami’s husband), met the group at the Oro Bonito Place Hotel, where they had checked in. The plan for the next two days – the 25th and 26th of May – was set and included visits to community sites, meetings with locals who were beneficiaries of RoH initiatives, interactions with staff and daily sessions set aside for strategic planning and training etc. The 2011 fellows’ group moniker is Namastasians – an amalgam of Namaste-Asia (Welcome Asia), and from the time the group met for the very first time at the Fellows Summit in Siem Reap Cambodia, the mission to better each trip in every way, has been a tough one. In true Namastasia style, we signed off on day one with lots of laughs, memories of our last trip to Dharamshala to meet the Dalai Lama and for some of us, our very first taste of Sisig.
RoH provides holistic community services to three communities in Puerto Princesa: Pulang Lupa, Unang Lahi, and Little Tondo. Friday began early with a visit to the RoH office on the North Highway, San Jose, where we met staffers Lyn-Lyn Paliza, Joyce Yacas, Daisy Ellorquez, May Arzaga, Mariefe Portuguesa, Belle Cortezano and Wayne Socrates. Staffer Shirene Saban was on maternity leave. About an hour’s drive away from the RoH office, the first stop was Unang Lahi, one of the two communities we visited that day. At Unang Lahi, the RoH team conducted activities, which included monitoring of infant growth and nutrition, providing counseling to new and expectant mothers, distributing nutrient-rich food to children and parents and discussing reproductive health with mothers. For the fellows, it was a chance to interact with the rural community, discuss problem areas with RoH staffers and ways to improve education services.
At Pulang Lupa – Red Earth, so called as it is an area near the Puerto Princesa landfill, which is former mercury mine, more women and children were waiting patiently for RoH. There are multiple health hazards in the area – soil and air are still contaminated with mercury, and homes are in close proximity to the landfill. Here, staffers conducted modules on health and nutrition for women, young mothers, and discussed matters pertaining to female reproductive health. For children, art and playtime activities ensured no one was ignored. Fellows sat in on training modules, discussed the efficacy of outreach programs and discussed issues including income generation, the Reproductive Health Bill, infant mortality rates and whether men in the community were cooperative. Here too, as part of the RoH nutritional support initiative, mothers and children were given a wholesome meal, something they say, they are not used to having often. Marcus took the fellows on a visit to a flourishing Vertical Garden, which is considered a model for the community. For a minimal fee, RoH leases vertical gardens to families so they can grow vegetables for their own consumption a big bonus was playing with the children and hearing anecdotes from Susan about people’s initial reactions to RoH years ago. In addition to comprehensive reproductive health-aid community programs families in their community sites, RoH also works with young people currently at Palawan State University, Santa Lourdes High School and Santa Monica Elementary School. After a hearty local lunch, it was time for Martin’s session on leadership, at Marcus and Ami’s lovely home.
Saturday saw the day begin at the Swanepoel home with fellows and the RoH staff tuned in to Adam’s session on Strategic planning, Rabi and Mun Ching’s session on Marketing and Fundraising, Bryan’s session on Monitoring and Evaluation and end with Arief’s session on Programming. The sessions were at their interactive best; staffers asking questions, giving suggestions and talking about difficulties they faced in the field. Many were thrilled that the fellows had made time for them and put aside their busy schedules to visit RoH. While there are plans for expanding into other communities and strengthening the RoH network, the biggest challenge they face is the sheer number of communities that need their services. Ami said, “We are a relatively small organization and do not currently have the capacity to work in a bigger number of communities and schools simultaneously. Being a non-profit, we have to work hard to find funds for our work. Reproductive Health can be a controversial topic for some, and this has somewhat limited our capacity to do local fundraising in the Philippines. She added that she was extremely honoured to have been chosen for the Asia 21 Public Service Award and was particularly excited about being able to tap into the expertise of the Fellows. “It was amazing to have the Fellows here with us in Palawan to help us think through our strategic planning, marketing and fundraising plans. The Fellows all have such varied skills and experiences and it was great to get so many different perspectives and more information to help strengthen our programming and our organization.” Once the training was over, it was time to unwind with Joyce teaching fellows a few steps of a not-so-easy Palawan dance and then for goodbyes. Our hosts ended the day on a high note with a sumptuous dinner at Ka Lui and a fabulous night of local music at Katabom with a not-so-eager Jamie being forced to sing with the band.
For most fellows, this was their first visit to Puerto Princesa – that meant time-out spent together, savouring local food, enjoying balmy fun-filled evenings and catching up. It also meant the group trying out their talents at Karaoke – with superstars Martin, Adam, Jamie and Mike – shopping at local markets, being in awe of Rabi, Adam and Mun Ching’s dance moves and getting Arief and Bryan to sing solos. On Sunday, the fellows group packed into tricycles and headed to Microtel in San Jose Palawan for discussions related to Asia 21 and the upcoming summit for the year. Being Mike’s “annibirthary”, deliberations were brief and to the point and then it was time to head to the resort’s Emerald beach with its white sands and azure blue waters. A few days later, back in our respective countries we had memories of a lifetime to cherish.
Salamat Po RoH!
Asia 21 Fellow Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy‘s Academy Award-winning documentary Saving Face captivated audiences at the Habitat Film Festival in New Delhi on Monday. The film was produced with support from the Asia Society India Center. Sharmeen was also one of five Pakistani delegates who participated in the inaugural India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Forum this weekend.
Read about the film festival and the post-screening interview with Sharmeen in The Hindu.
The New York Times published a story on July 13 2012, concerning 7 officials in the Afghan Investment Support Agency who resigned to protest mis-mangement, corruption and graft within the agency. Dr. Rohullah Ahmadzai, formerly the director of investment promotion and one of the 7 officials who resigned, is a member of the Afghan Young Leaders Initiative (AYLI).
The Asia Society is pleased to announce a call for applications for the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative 2012 Public Service Award (PSA). The deadline for applications is midnight ET, September 10, 2012.
Please submit all applications by email to email@example.com. (Click on the link to download the application form.)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ):
1. What are the criteria for this award?
All organizations applying for this award must:
- Be nominated by an Asia 21 Fellow or Delegate of a past Asia 21 Young Leaders’ Summit;
- Be based and conduct activities in the Asia-Pacific region;
- Have a plan to engage actively with and accept ongoing support from the Asia 21 Class of 2012 Fellows;
- Have permission to accept funds from the United States of America;
- Demonstrate positive impact from their work at the time of submission of their application;
- Have an annual budget of less than US$3,000,000; and
- Have a transparent accounting process for finances.
For a list of additional desirable criteria, please see the complete application form.
2. What documents are needed for applying?
- Completed nomination form;
- Two (2) references / letters of recommendation from individuals and/or organizations clearly indicating their support for the nomination for the Asia 21 2012 PSA and attesting to the nominee’s contributions. These supporting letters must come from appropriate project stakeholders (e.g. project beneficiaries, government officials, or private sector);
- Most recent annual report of the organization from 2010-2011 or 2011-2012, including an annual financial statement (please include only the latest report);
- Additional information that supports your application (such as press releases, reports or other data relating to projects mentioned in your application). The additional information should be a maximum of five (5) pages. This is not essential to your application. We may request additional information during the review process.
3. When is the award going to be decided and what are the deadlines of which I should be aware?
- Call for Nominations: July 19 – September 10, 2012
- All proposals for the Asia 21 2012 PSA should be submitted by email to the Jury Administrator by September 10, 2012, 12:00 midnight ET.
- Review of proposals and the selection of Top 5 nominees: September 11 – October 1, 2012.
- The Top Five contenders are notified of the results of the Asia 21 2012 PSA: November 1, 2012.
- Asia21 2012 PSA Presentation Ceremony at the Asia Society’s 2012 Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in Dhaka: December 7-9, 2012
4. Why is it important for the organization that I nominate to be able to communicate with Asia Society Asia 21 in English?
In addition to the US$10,000, a very important component of the Award is access to the Asia 21 Fellows’ network for program development and mentoring. To ensure that the award-winning organization gets the most out of their experience through this exchange, English proficiency is a requirement.
5. Is the award only for organizations or can individuals also apply?
This award is only for organizations that are based and conduct activities in the Asia-Pacific region.
6. Can I nominate my own organization if I work at a public service organization?
If you are a past Asia 21 Fellow or Delegate, you are also encouraged to nominate your own organizations.
7. Who should I contact if I have more questions about the Public Service Award?
For further queries, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to ensure a speedy response, please do NOT leave a question in the comments section on this page.
Roots of Health Named 2011 Asia Society-Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia 21 Young Leaders Public Service Award
New Delhi, 19 November 2011 – In recognition of its outstanding work in providing quality reproductive health education and an introduction to human rights and empowerment to the women of rural communities in Puerto Princesa, Palawan in the Philippines, Roots of Health has been named winner of the 2011 Asia Society-Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia 21 Young Leaders Public Service Award (Asia 21 PSA). Patricia Amina Swanepoel, Founding Executive Director, represented the two-year-old startup organization and received a US$10,000 cash prize during ceremonies at the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in New Delhi, India.
Roots of Health empowers women and girls to secure their right to health and freedom from violence, and to support and protect the health and well-being of their children, by providing education focused on reproductive health, critical thinking and human rights, as well as access to clinical services. Swanepoel, who has a background in human rights and trained in international affairs and public health, started the organization with her mother, Susan Evangelista, in 2009. “Our activities are guided by the international human rights framework, which includes a core belief that health is a human right, and are carried out using a community-based approach.”
Jamie Metzl, Executive Vice President of the Asia Society, remarked that “Developing the next generation of women leaders begins with raising a generation of young girls and women who are empowered to take active control of their own lives. Roots of Health undertakes invaluable work in helping women in rural communities in the Philippines make better informed decisions about their and their families’ future.”
“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is committed to recognizing achievements which have a positive impact on the social and cultural fabric of society,” said Kaku Nakhate, President & Country Head India, Bank of America. “This award is a recognition of the transformational work done by Roots of Health in empowering women and through them having a constructive impact in the rural community.”
The Asia 21 PSA recognizes an organization that has made an outstanding contribution in reaching underprivileged social/economic groups by providing a meaningful service to a community and the public in the region. The selection is overseen by the incumbent Asia 21 Fellowship Class, a core group of young leaders from across the Asia-Pacific, soliciting nominations for the Award and narrowing down the pool to five finalists based on project innovation and feasibility, quantifiable impact, sustainability and growth potential.
Aside from receiving a financial grant, generously provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Roots of Health also gains access to the network of resources and expertise of the Asia 21 Fellowship Class. This may include mentoring in such areas as Strategic Planning, Capacity Building and Training, Resource Mobilization, and Program Development and Management.
Aaron Maniam (Asia 21 Fellow, Class of 2008) was one of three young leaders who received the Singapore Youth Award (SYA) from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.
The Award recognises youths for their achieved excellence and significant contributions to society.
The Singapore Youth Award is the highest national honour for youths in Singapore.
Aaron Maniam is currently Deputy Director at at the Strategic Policy Office of the Public Service Division, where he leads a team that analyses long-term inter-agency issues. From May 2006 to January 2008, he served as First Secretary at Singapore’s Embassy to Washington, DC. In his community work, Aaron has served as a resource person for Singapore’s National Youth Council and a Member of the Executive Committee of Mendaki Club, a group of young Muslim professionals in Singapore. He was Director for Fundraising and Special Services with the Washington DC chapter of the Hugh O’ Brian Youth Foundation, a501(c)(3) youth leadership body. As Vice President (2003-2005) and President (2005-July 2006) of the Debate Association (Singapore), Aaron was active in promoting debating among Singaporean youths. He continues to judge debating competitions and conduct workshops for schools. He will be one of the Chief Adjudicators at the 2008 World Schools Debating Championship, to be held in Washington, DC. Aaron won the First Prize for English Poetry in the 2003 National Arts Council-Singapore Press Holdings Golden Point Award. His first collection of poems, Morning at Memory’s Border, was shortlisted for the biennial Singapore Literature Prize in 2007. He graduated from Oxford and Yale on a Singapore Public Service Commission scholarship.
To read more about the awards, click here (link to external site)
Please see below for recaps of the Asia 21 Breakout Sessions from the 2010 Summit