UNESCO Participates in the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme (AYVP) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13-14 August 2014
UNESCO was invited to take part in the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme which was hosted by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and was supported by the USAID, ASEAN Secretariat and Malaysian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, The programme brought together over 50 youth volunteers from every ASEAN country in order to support young leaders actively participating in heritage conservation.
The ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme (AYVP) is an annual event that focuses on leadership training on youth addressing different issues each year. This year’s topic of ‘youth leaders' involvement in heritage conservation’ was very much aligned with UNESCO’s support of young people’s engagement in safeguarding cultural heritage, particularly World Heritage. The 2014 AVYP programme will take place over a five week period and will include in-class training, on-site research, and project planning and cultural performances representing each country of the participants. The participants are expected to implement and share the knowledge gained by through the AVYP programme in their own countries upon their return.
UNESCO joined the first week of the program, and participated in the 13th and 14th of August 2014. On the 13th, the AYVP hosted the Project Consultations with Experts, the programme where Ms Diana Setiawati and Ms Maria Anggita Kusalasari from the UNESCO Jakarta Office along with the other heritage experts were invited as the resource persons. The programme was specially focused on consultation session in which each resource person was divided into groups with around 12 volunteers who presented their heritage project proposals simultaneously. Each volunteer was given 5-10 minutes time to present and receive feedback from the resource person. A number of fresh ideas related to both tangible and intangible cultural heritage were presented with high enthusiasm.
On the 14th of August, the representatives from the UNESCO Office Jakarta were given the opportunity give a presentation entitled "UNESCO Activities in World Heritage: Community and Youth Involvement." Started with a brief introduction on UNESCO Office Jakarta's overall activities, Ms Setiawati and Ms Kusalasari then focused the elaboration on UNESCO's active involvement in the project of the revitalization of the community livelihood in Borobudur through the establishment of Galeri Komunitas, which is a community-run gallery in Karanganyar Village, Borobudur that becomes the hub of interaction and tourists in promoting their tradition and local handicrafts. In addition, a short presentation was also made on ideas and opportunities for youth to be involved in such project, which drew many interests from the participants. Prof. Dato' Dr. Saran Kaur Gill, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Industry & Community Partnerships) & Executive Director of the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme Secretariat further stated, “UNESCO’s presentation was very useful for the youth participants, as they heard experiences from the field, especially how to work in the community. We are grateful that UNESCO joined this session and shared with us their field stories.”
The session was also attended by Prof. Dato' Saran Kaur Gill, Mr Francesco Volpini, the Director of Research and Development Unit at Better World, Republic of Korea and Mr Rior Santos from the Youth for Sustainable Development Assembly (YSDA), Philippines with each of them delivering presentation on youth active involvement in heritage conservation and other culture-related projects.
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