From January 2017 to June 2018
The project aims to give participating organizations from Denmark, Greece, Italy, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Philippines the opportunity to get to know and compare approaches to youth work and youth policy between Europe and Southeast Asia.
Within the framework of the project “Youth Policy and Action”, the GEB is offering a jobshadowing to three young people from Germany From October 18 to November 12, the young people in the Philippines observe the everyday work of politicians and learn the processes in one municipal, regional and national government or administration. First, the three Jobshadowers, along with 21 other young people from Europe and Asia, will take part in a three-day orientation course, in which they learn about the cultural and social situation and how governments work in general. Then they get to know one of the three levels of government in practice, with a focus on youth policy. Anschießend begins the jobshadowing of a politician. Another task is to conduct interviews on youth policy in the Philippines.
During a conference from 1 to 13 October, the project’s nine partners prepared jobshadowing and clarified the different national approaches to youth policy. From 13th to 17th December 2017 the final conference with all project partners will take place in Wroclaw, Poland.
The project is funded by the European Union through the Erasmus + program.
A detailed description of the entire project can be found here: Youth Policy and Action-Description
Interviews with politicians taking up Jobshadower can be found here: www.interpolisweb.com.
Youth Policy and Action – the name of the program. But what does this actually mean and stand for in the Philippines? How does a local mayor’s office focus on the youth in their respective municipality, city, barangay, etc. if they put focus on them at all? How do they implement young people, their needs and interests in politics? Are there any young people taking actively part in the local politics?
I was hoping to find answers to these questions while staying in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, being assigned to Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina and his staff at the mayor’s office to observe. And I did get answers to these questions. But not only did I get answers, I got the chance to actually meet young people in Vigan and the people of the local government who work with them. Sir Carlo did not just sit down with us, took one hour off of his packed schedule and let us ask some of our questions. What he did was much more thoughtful – he let us visit every department of the local government so we could observe the processes and ask whatever questions that came to our mind while getting to know the departments. This way we had the chance to get a broad insight in every department and ask detailed questions in regards of our field of research.
We went to the Women and Child Protection Desk and learned more about the issues concerning child protection in Vigan City and the steps that the local government takes to prevent issues such as domestic and drug abuse. We also had the chance to follow the Department of Health officers on their regular home visits to families with children in need, e.g. mal nourished children and teenage mothers.
One of the most interesting meetings (in respect of our field of research) we had the chance to attend was the Council for the Protection of Children meeting. School leaders aged 10 to 17 had the chance to address issues that they face at their school directly to the mayor and staff of the different departments who were attending this meeting. It was amazing to see that every attendant was well prepared and that the stated issues and concerns were taken serious. Directly after the meeting we had the chance to interview two of these school leaders. The interview with these two young people was the highlight of my experience in the Philippines so far. I was amazed by the way they were able to express their opinions. I have rarely met young people that are as well informed about their local city government, the educational opportunities as well as the social issues in their hometown as these two students. The passion with which they fulfil their responsibilities as student leaders is remarkable and I feel honoured of having had the opportunity to get to know these ambitious individuals. They see themselves as the future of the country and as one of the interviewees put it: It is their task to be the eye-opener to those young people who feel they are not being heard by local politicians and to improve things when needed.
Conclusively, I would like to thank Sir Carlo and his team for their warm hospitality, for being open to all of our questions and suggestions and especially for introducing us to all these ambitious people in the City of Vigan.