AYALA Foundation, Inc., (AFI) in partnership with Active Aid Partnerships (AAP), officially launched its latest youth leadership development program last November 3, 2011 with partners and members of the academe present.
Inspired by the impact of the annual Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC), which for the past 13 years has been bringing together the country’s most promising student leaders, AFI has developed the Leadership Communities (LeadCom) program to inspire and develop an even greater number of servant leaders all over the Philippines.
“The roots of LeadComs started back when we were preparing for AYLC’s 10th congress back in 2007, we reflected on the impact we wanted to make and asked what more we can do. Are we doing enough to create this critical mass of leaders that can lead to a tipping point?” said AYLC Program Director John Philip Orbeta.
Taking on the challenge of developing more young leaders, LeadCom aims to develop the capacity of colleges and universities to nurture the leadership skills of their students and the youth in their localities.
“We believe that every person can develop his or her leadership skills. We look to your institution as the country’s best hope for developing the leadership skills of our children and youth. The many years they spend within your walls give you the perfect opportunity to give them the skills, the tools of leadership as well as the values and the moral moorings to use their leadership potential in the service of others. We would like to see our educational institutions take on the challenge of developing our youth, not just for academic excellence but for servant leadership as well,” said Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and chief executive officer of Ayala Corporation, addressing school officials.
Working with 5 to 10 partner colleges and universities in a chosen province, the program’s goal over a 12-month period is to form a community and network among these schools to champion youth leadership development and to equip them with the skills and competencies to develop servant leaders on a regular and sustained basis.
The program begins by putting together a core group of school representatives who would build synergy and cooperation among their schools and other local partners. Under AFI’s guidance, the partner schools jointly organize a three-day student leadership camp for 100 college students.
Drawing inspiration from the AYLC, this leadership camp becomes a venue for young leaders to interact with each other, learn leadership values, and hone their skills to help them become positive agents of change in their schools, communities and society.
Aside from working with partner schools, what makes the program unique is that LeadCom partner schools are then asked to implement a LeadCom-inspired leadership program in their schools, thus multiplying its impact and reach.
“Through LeadCom, our dream is to unlock this potential and create a spark that would eventually kindle the fire for service and leadership in the hearts of more young people in your area,” shared Orbeta.
Prior to its launch, two LeadCom areas have been piloted in the provinces of Catanduanes and Oriental Mindoro, and both areas have seen much progress and success.
In Catanduanes, seven partner schools have already set up their facilitators network and begun conducting leadership trainings in their respective schools using a unified leadership development module they themselves created.
At the same time in Oriental Mindoro, using seed funds provided by AAP, the delegates to the LeadCom camp have been implementing various entrepreneurial and service programs in their communities.
After having taken keen interest in the Philippines and developing young Filipino leaders, Active Aid Partnerships’ support to the program will make it possible to bring LeadCom to 12 areas in the country over the next to year.
With 12 LeadCom areas for the next two years, the program will implement its first six areas in the provinces of Benguet, Isabela, Capis, Samar, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao, while the remaining six areas will be underway in 2013.
As more LeadCom areas are being developed all over the country in the next two years, the vision behind the program is to see a country that is lead by servant leaders who are all over the Philippines. With the LeadCom program at the help of developing young leaders, that vision may soon become into reality.