UnionAID’s Mindanao Young Leaders Programme is for emerging young leaders working in civil society organisations in Mindanao, the Philippines.
The Mindanao Young Leaders Programme (MinYLP) is a capacity building programme. Each year, ten participants are selected to further develop their knowledge, skills and confidence as leaders to contribute to the sustainable and peaceful development of their communities and of the Mindanao region, more broadly.
MinYLP offers emerging young leaders the opportunity to explore new ideas and approaches to sustainable development both in Mindanao and New Zealand, inspiring them to think creatively about the challenges in their own communities. Participants follow a group programme and work together on an inclusive, cross-ethnic and cross-religious basis. Each young leader will explore a specific development challenge affecting their community, undertake basic research on this topic, and prepare a proposal for a participatory action project to address this challenge.
MinYLP is managed and run by UnionAID in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington and Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS)(an environmental advocacy non-government organisation based in Mindanao), and supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of its Aotearoa New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation programme| Nga Hoe Tuputupu-mai-Tawhiti.
- Sustainable Development Course (SDC)
- The Sustainable Development Course (SDC) will be delivered in two parts. SDC Part 1 is a 12 week part-time online course of approximately 170 hours delivered in Mindanao, commencing in April 2024.
- Online learning is complemented by a two-week in-person residential workshop held in Davao City, Mindanao during SDC Part 1 for participants to meet their peers and teaching team, and to learn intensively. SDC Part 2 is a full-time, in-person course of approximately 12 weeks which takes place in New Zealand, commencing in September.
- The Sustainable Development Course will enable participants to:
- explore the principles and practice of sustainable development in Mindanao and New Zealand
- apply systems thinking to understand complex development challenges
- develop research skills, including participatory approaches, and apply these to gain a deeper understanding of a specific development challenge
- SDC Part 2 in New Zealand will include:
- exposure to a range of New Zealand institutions, policies and practices that are relevant to sustainable development, such as human rights, democratic processes, and community development, through classroom learning and field trips
- visits to government and non-government organisations, such as community development, youth and environmental organisations, and Parliament
- Introduction to Māori indigenous knowledge, the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori approaches to development and the opportunity to stay on a marae (traditional Māori meeting ground)
- English for Development course
- MinYLP participants develop their English language proficiency for professional and academic purposes through the English for Development course (EDC). The EDC runs alongside the Sustainable Development Course, commencing online and continuing in New Zealand.
- The course supports participation in the SDC by teaching:
- language specific to sustainable development
- formal English suitable for a professional context
- oral and written communications skills
- writing for research reports and funding proposals
- study skills for more effective language learning
- The online component of the English for Development course requires a total of approximately 60 hours: 30 hours of online workshops and 30 hours self-study.
- Additional in-country English language support is available for applicants whose level of English is lower than the selection criteria or who require extra support with English prior to departure for New Zealand.
- Action project implementation – Mindanao, Philippines
- Participants manage a small action project in their communities, which is funded subject to meeting certain criteria. The action project provides participants the chance to apply learning from the programme to address a specific development challenge in their community.
- The action project is in two phases: phase 1 (community consultation and scoping), and phase 2 (implementation). Both these phases take place after SDC Part 2 once participants return to Mindanao. Participants will receive coaching and ongoing support from UnionAID, IDIS and alumni throughout this process.
- Applicants must:
- be aged 23-30 years
- be working for a community-based organisation or NGO such as a women’s or indigenous organisation, labour union, or environmental group
- intend to continue working for your organisation for a minimum of one year after completing the programme
- have support to participate in the programme from the organisation you represent or work for, including flexibility to attend online study sessions during office hours
- have English language proficiency equivalent to ≥5.5 IELTS or > TOEFL 46-59. This level is necessary to ensure that the participants will get value from the programme, particularly the Sustainable Development Course. Note: you are not required to sit an IELTS or TOEFL test, but an English language test will be administered at the interview stage.
- be available to participate in a full-time residential of 2 weeks
- not be enrolled in any other full-time courses of study or a similar scholarship/fellowship during the Sustainable Development Course (SDC)
- talk to UnionAID before enrolling in any other part-time courses during the SDC
- hold, or be able to obtain, a passport issued by the Government of the Philippines valid for 6 months beyond the return departure date from Aotearoa New Zealand.
For more information, visit UnionAID.