Bandung – Fifty young volunteers from 10 ASEAN countries have gathered for four weeks in Bandung, Indonesia, to participate in the annual ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program (AYVP) supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For the month of August, participants will learn about natural disasters, how to mitigate risks, and build resilience. Participants will also work directly with communities on risk mitigation activities, including an earthquake preparedness drill.
“AYVP brings together emerging leaders from across the region to build a sense of community through knowledge sharing among ASEAN youth and to cultivate knowledge of disaster risk mitigation,” said Nils Bergeson, USAID ASEAN Affairs Officer. “If a disaster strikes, the ASEAN community, including young people, will respond.”
Prof. Dr. Ir. Kadarsah Suryadi, Rector of Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), and Prof. Dato’ Dr. Imran Ho Abdullah, Vice Rector of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), as host and program implementers, opened this year’s AYVP program at ITB on Tuesday, August 1. The opening ceremony was attended by Remy Rohadian, Senior Officer of the ASEAN Secretariat’s of the Education, Youth and Sports Division.
“AYVP is part of a leadership program for young volunteers from all ASEAN countries. We hope AYVP can reinforce that ASEAN is part of their identities,” said Mr. Rohadian.
ASEAN Member States have demonstrated their commitment and have made significant efforts to coordinate and strengthen cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster response across the region. ASEAN has endorsed a declaration of “One ASEAN One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region.” To this end, AYVP volunteers will continue to receive support from the AYVP as they return home to their respective countries and apply what they have learned.
“AYVP is a manifestation of the UKM’s commitment to support the ASEAN integration agenda through a platform that can reach young leaders; it is of great significance when we managed to gather 50 young leaders as ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary,” said Prof. Dato’ Dr. Imran Ho Abdullah.
AYVP is one of the many U.S. initiatives supporting ASEAN and its 10 member states. The United States partners with ASEAN to support economic integration, expand maritime cooperation, foster emerging leaders, promote opportunities for women, and overcome cross-border challenges. Through USAID’s cooperation with ASEAN, the United States addresses the root causes of poverty and instability and helps lay the foundation for mutual prosperity and security. The United States and ASEAN celebrate their 40-year partnership in 2017, marking deepened cooperation under the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership.