For Immediate Release
BANGKOK, November 4, 2013 – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today announced a scaled-up program to engage volunteers across Southeast Asia to support development and enrich cultural exchange.
The ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program (AYVP) is funded by the USAID in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat, the Malaysia Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia).
"The spirit and passion of community volunteerism reflects one of America’s core values,” said USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia Director Michael Yates. “USAID is honored to be part of this exciting initiative that will promote improved regional cultural understanding across ASEAN and provide assistance to help people in need."
Following a pilot phase earlier this year, the expanded program will mobilize ASEAN youth volunteers to develop innovative solutions to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges facing communities across ASEAN.
The pilot group of 97 volunteers recruited through a competitive process from the 10 ASEAN member states completed their community service in September. The initial five-week program provided volunteers with practical experiences in volunteerism and community engagement focused on bringing positive environmental change. Volunteers came from diverse backgrounds and sectors; some were university students, eager to learn more about environmental conservation, while others were working professionals interested in finding ways to address environmental problems in their home communities.
The program’s next phase will build on the program best practices to develop and support work in other thematic areas, such as heritage conservation and poverty reduction. Over the next two years, the program team will send AYVP volunteers to carry out work in lesser developed ASEAN countries, particularly Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The ASEAN member states include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Follow the latest news and updates from program participants on Facebook at AYVP@AsiaEngage-ASEAN Eco-Leaders and USAIDAsia.
Last updated: September 15, 2014