Ateneo Bigkis partners with AASYP to strengthen ASEAN-Australia bonds between the Youth

A pandemic won’t stop the youth from striking a conversation. In the spirit of collaboration, AASYP is working with students from Ateneo de Manila University through Bigkis, one of the university’s projects under the National Service Training Program (NSTP) mandated by the Republic Act 9163 under Philippine law.

Over the last month, the students have helped to organise and facilitate a project made by the youth for the youth. Inspired by the goals of Bigkis, namely the promotion of civic consciousness, public engagement, and development of their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being, the International Relations and Information Design students at Ateneo conceptualised this interactive webinar entitled “InterAct: Bridging Voices for a Unified ASEAN & Australia.”

The theme of InterAct was inspired by the Filipino concept of “Bigkis,” which can be literally translated in English as “bundle” or “bond.” When one forms a bundle, they attempt to put things together to serve its purpose, hence, it can be interpreted as a “coming together.” With this in mind, “Bigkis” has been applied to InterAct by emphasising that the ASEAN nations and Australia are interconnected and interdependent and removing one part of their bundle weakens us in our collective pursuit of development. Both regions are weaved together, binding their experiences and allowing for more well-grounded responses to address those which would hinder development, such as the lack of effective policies. Additionally, the youth organisers bear in mind that pursuing development requires a multidisciplinary approach to ensure a more sustainable development. A concrete step towards this goal requires the innovative ideas of the youth, produced through dynamic cultural exchange and active dialogue.

The online interactive webinar will be held on Friday, December 18, 2020 using Zoom. Youth who are interested in participating may pre-register through the following link. Check out the AASYP Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin pages for further updates about this event!

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