SINGAPORE – In line with the celebratory spirit surrounding ASEAN Day on 8 August 2023, ASEAN Foundation and Maybank Foundation welcomed 120 youth volunteers and ten representatives from the selected civil society organisations (CSOs) and social enterprises (SEs) from across the region to the opening ceremony of the Regional Capacity Building Workshop of the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN (EYAA) programme, Cohort 3 at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
Before embarking on the community projects in the five ASEAN countries, namely Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, the youth volunteers will undergo a regional capacity-building workshop from 24 to 27 July 2023. This workshop will act as an avenue for youth volunteers and CSOs to receive extensive project management training and to finalise their project proposals.
The community projects implemented by both youth volunteers and CSOs will strive to tackle a range of issues around the topics of Arts and Culture, Community Empowerment, Education, and Environmental Diversity in the five countries. For instance, in Singapore, initiatives such as the Heysprouts Soap project promote eco-friendly practices. These projects collectively foster collaboration, innovation, and positive change, benefiting the youth of ASEAN.
Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, commented: “EYAA Cohort 3 Programme is representing a continued collaborative endeavour between ASEAN Foundation and Maybank Foundation to unlock the boundless potential of ASEAN youth and communities. This programme acts as a powerful catalyst for profound change, empowering young volunteers to embark on purposeful community projects that address the urgent challenges encountered by our people across the region.”
Aligned with Dr. Piti’s focus on empowering ASEAN youth and fostering positive transformation in the region, Mr. Shahril Azuar Jimin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Maybank Group said, “At Maybank we are dedicated to empowering the youths and fostering collaboration for positive change. Through our partnership with the ASEAN Foundation in this programme, we aim to cultivate a platform where young changemakers can harness their potential and make a lasting impact in their communities. Together, we strive to shape a brighter future for ASEAN by nurturing the passion and innovation of our youth.”
The EYAA programme is designed for youth between the ages of 19 to 35 years from the ten ASEAN Member States, offering them an immersive and educational learning platform through social volunteerism. In this programme, a diverse group of young changemakers will have the unique opportunity to bring their ideas to life and embark on impactful projects across selected ASEAN countries.
In its third edition, the EYAA programme offers a range of opportunities and benefits for participants. Each group of youth volunteers and CSOs within the programme has the potential to receive a grant of up to USD27,000, which will be used to support the implementation of the community projects.
Furthermore, participants will also have the chance to build an extensive network at the regional level, connecting with individuals and organisations across Southeast Asia. This expanded network opens doors for collaborations and partnerships in the future. Additionally, the programme facilitates exposure across ASEAN by involving various stakeholders from the region, allowing participants to gain visibility and recognition for their contributions.
The EYAA Achievements and Impact
Since its establishment in 2018, this programme has successfully empowered 175 youth volunteers and fostered collaborations with 20 CSOs and social enterprises, resulting in a direct impact on 38,933 community members across ASEAN. Additionally, the programme has reached an additional 851,910 individuals through a variety of online events.
The opening ceremony was marked by a gong ceremony that was attended by the key stakeholders of EYAA: Cohort 3, namely Associate Professor Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin, Ph.D., Dean of Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Amb. Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to ASEAN, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Zamzamzairani, Chairman of Maybank and Maybank Foundation, Dr. Areepong Bhoocha-Oom, Chairman of Maybank Securities Thailand, Mr. Shahril Azuar Jimin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Maybank, and Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation. Prior to the gong ceremony, a speech was delivered by H.E. Ekkaphab Phanthavong, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community through a message video.
The event was also attended by representatives from Permanent Missions to ASEAN, Assistant Professor Dr. Sineenat Sermcheep, Executive Director of ASEAN Studies Center, Professor Suthiphand Chirathiwat, Advisor of ASEAN Studies Center, Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, Executive Director of ASEAN University Network, and media.
About the ASEAN Foundation
Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognised that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among the people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established the ASEAN Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia, at ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 15 December 1997. The ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN.
About Maybank Foundation
Maybank Foundation, an ASEAN accredited entity, is the main vehicle for corporate responsibility across Maybank Group with the mandate to create positive, long-term impact in communities in the markets where Maybank operates through various community and social-impact programmes. Its accreditation as an entity associated with ASEAN marked them out as the first financial institution in ASEAN to be given such honour.
In 2010, in conjunction with Maybank’s 50th anniversary, Maybank Foundation was inaugurated as the main vehicle for corporate responsibility across Maybank. The Foundation’s mandate is to create positive, long-term impact in communities in the markets where Maybank operates. It strives to identify programmes that will have the most tangible and sustainable results. The focus of the Foundation is to enhance quality of life for all, irrespective of race, gender, or creed with an emphasis on the poor and marginalized. This is done through strategic partnerships with local stakeholders and CSOs in six areas, namely Education, Community Empowerment, Arts and Culture, Environmental Diversity, Healthy Living, and Disaster Relief.