Access to Community and Civic Enrichment for Students Philippine Youth Leadership Program (ACCESS-PYLP) started in the 2013-2014 academic year, and has evolved since. Initially it was focused on conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue only. Now, ACCESS-PYLP focuses on interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution by doing diverse environmental community projects.
The Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) works to develop a new generation of young leaders with a strong sense of civicl responsibility and commitment to community development. It harnesses the leadership potential of young people as advocates for the preservation and protection of the environment. It provides participants with tools to work collaboratively across ethnic and religious lines, leading to the cooperative implementation of community service projects in local communities.
Results of PYLP's work
- The laying of the foundations for a new generation of interfaith youth leaders and citizen advocates for sustainable environmental and ecological development.
- Increased knowledge and skills in leadership, civic responsibility, community activist, and respect for diversity.
- An appreciation of the value of community service as evidenced by increased levels of participation in volunteer and advocacy work.
- Deeper understanding of environmental issues and the role young people can play in protecting and preserving the environment.
- Increased participation of youth in environmental protection and conservation projects.
- New knowledge and skills in action plan development.
- Established collaboration and networking among PYLP alumni in developing and implementing community service projects and the modelling of positive cooperation among ethnic, religious, and socio-economic groups.
ACCESS-PYLP Alumni Association, Inc. has members and chapters in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and its surrounding provinces. The alumni are products of an intensive training programme on peacebuilding and conflict resolution management at the International Training Office of Northern Illiinois University in the USA.
The annual US programme is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State in the USA. Depending on the budget, PYLP brings about 25-40 youth and adult leaders annually from Mindanao to participate in an intensive discussion about Mindanao issues, particularly on peace and leadership. This takes place from April to May annually. Upon return, each participant individually implements a community project to help help empower different communities. The Alumni Association serves as a home for the alumni who are committed to serving their communities and bringing forth development with regards to issues on peace and conflict. The Association was recognised as one of ten accomplished youth organisations in the Philippines in 2014.