(This is a press release from Girls for Girls and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative)
MANILA, Philippines – An all-girl group organized camps in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia to empower young girls to make an impact on society.
Last August 2015, Girls for Girls won in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future program under the US Department of State. YSEALI Seeds for the Future aims to provide financial support to promising and outstanding projects that will create a lasting impact on the ASEAN community. Founded by young women from the University of the Philippines Diliman - School of Economics who share the belief that girls have limitless potential, the project aims to inspire and guide girls in building confidence and self-worth.
This initiative began with an idea of Erica Juan and Catricia Bantoc (the project’s President and Co-President) to do something big, different and fulfilling. With partnership in mind, they considered setting up a business. However, in the middle of planning this endeavor, the two realized that they can do more. So, instead of taking on something that could be profitable, they decided to pay it forward. With this goal in mind, the two looked for a competition where they can be provided with the resources they needed to set their project in motion.
They submitted their proposal to YSEALI, an Obama-led initiative, who then chose Girls for Girls as one of the 18 projects to win the 2015 grants competition. Not long after, personal invitations were sent and online applications were opened to complete the team of volunteers who helped organize the camps. Going through this process, they realized that it wasn't difficult to find people who share the same cause of empowering and inspiring young girls.
After several weeks of planning and preparation, the first Girls for Girls Camp was finally held on November in Malolos, Bulacan. More than 30 girls from different schools in the province came together for one and a half day to learn from the inspiring speakers, participate in fun activities and meet new friends. The talks were intimate but engaging, encouraging the participants to indeed dream, learn and inspire.
Following the success of the Bulacan Camp, three more were held in different parts of the country this year. The team went to Catanduanes in January and Cebu City in March, bringing the same initiative to a new group of girls each camp. Finally, the Davao Camp concluded the Philippine leg of the project last April. The team is set to finish the project with the last two camps to be held in Vietnam and Malaysia, hoping to bring the same energy and inspiration to young girls in our ASEAN neighbors. – Rappler.com