The recent seminar on Youth Involvement in the Asia-Pacific Region included members of the planning team that are current and former members of the Young Adults Members Group (YAMG), young adults between the ages of 18 and 26. They had the opportunity to lead sessions and share their learning and experiences with the participants. The YAMG was initiated at the Regional Conference in Brunei in 2004 and it consists of seven young people elected at the Regional Youth Forum. The YAMG has a role to plan the next Regional Youth Forum and each member also sits on a Regional sub-Committee with the Chairman being a member of the Regional Committee.
Here are some of their profiles and examples of experiences and learning from their involvement in the YAMG.
Manabu was elected as a member of the Young Adult Members Group (YAMG) at the Asia-Pacific Youth Forum in Japan in 2007. He served for 2 years as Chairman of the YAMG, as well as being a Member of Regional
Scout Committee. His most significant challenge was maintaining effective communications within my team and lack of funding. To solve this problem, I always encouraged all of the members to involve to the operation of APR. I also asked to each sub-committee chairman to support of YAMG in its sub-committee. Through my activities as chairman of YAMG, such as implementing youth forum recommendations, attending and preparation for Regional Scout Committee meetings and reflecting on the voice of young people, I gained a lot of skills and knowledge of Scouting, such as, how to communicate with adults, how ensure outcomes from my activities and sharing responsibility with adults. Now, I am serving the Asia Pacific Region as a member of the Youth Programme sub-committee.
I think that the following points are very important.
• Continuity of involvement in decision-making is seriously important. I graduated from a young person with little experience, and I am currently working as an adult to support to maintain more suitable environment for more young people.
• The implementation of youth involvement is taking time, it cannot be changed overnight.
• Adults are not an enemy for young people; we need to cooperate with each other as partners to create a better world.
Manubu is 26 years old and has been a Scout since he was 5. He has a masters degree in International Co-operation and Development and is about to start working for the Ministry of Defence in Japan. He is currently a Scout Leader for the Rover Scout Section, a member of the International Committee and a member of the Core Planning Team for the World Scout Jamboree that will take place in Japan in 2015.
Jessie was elected as a member of the Young Adult Members Group (YAMG) at the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Malaysia in 2009. In this role she is also a member of the Adult Resources sub-Committee for the Region. He recently supported the meeting of the World Scout Parliamentary Union in Korea. One of the most interesting experiences was to support a workshop on Youth Involvement for Parliamentarians. This was run by Thérèse Bermingham, member of the World Scout Committee, supported by three young adults, Jessie, Jaemin Choi, Youth Advisor to the World Scout Committee and Robert Mark, a representative from the Boy Scouts of America.
During the workshop they had the opportunity to ask 14 Parliamentarians about involving young people in decision making their countries, what activities they run to interact and gather views of young people. Jessie was impressed with the level of interest and support from the Parliamentarians and recognised that often they have little opportunity to engage with young people.
Jessie feels that in the last 12 months she has gained a much greater understanding of the fundamentals of Scouting.
Jessie is 21 years old, has been a Scout for 10 years and is currently a Rover Scout in Korea. She studies English and Japanese at university in Korea and is currently taking a year out to work as an intern with the Korea Scouts Association.
Hafiz was elected as a member of the Young Adult Members Group (YAMG) at the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Malaysia in 2009. Hafiz has been very active in supporting youth events in the Region since he was elected. These include a Youth Forum in Thailand and a Youth Forum in Japan. At the recent APR Jamboree in Korea, he was manager of the International Service Team. Hafiz has valued the opportunity to participate in Scouting at a strategic level which has broadened his perspective of Scouting from his involvement at local level. Being a member of the WAMG has also helped him to learn more about the different cultures that exist in the Region and the different ways that Scouting operates in the various NSOs. He felt that he learned a lot through participating in the elections for the YAMG, as he had to reflect on his reason for wanting this role and what he could offer Scouting in the next three years. He also values the support he has received from the Region and feels empowered in his role.
Hafiz is 21 years old and joined the Movement as a Cub Scout. He is currently a Rover Scout in Malaysia and Assistant District Commissioner for Youth Programme. He is currently studying Technology management and is a member of the Management sub-Committee at Regional level.
Benz was elected as a member of the Young Adult Members Group (YAMG) at the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Malaysia in 2009. Benz was chairman of the 3rd National Youth Forum in Thailand. This event attracted 60 participants, 45 from Thailand and 15 from other countries in the Region and included a special guest from Belgium. This forum developed recommendations that will be put to the national board of the NSOT in the coming months. Benz has supported a number of other youth events in the Region and the highlight has been participating in the first meeting of the YAMG. He feels proud to have been elected as a member of the YAMG, working with adults to support the development of Scouting, and learning from them through the informal chats and conversations as well as through the participation in the formal meetings and events.
Benz is 22 years old and has been a Scout since he was 7. He is currently a volunteer at national level in Thailand and studying at the civil aviation centre at Bangkok airport.