"In the pursuit of a brighter and more inclusive future, working hand in hand, not just for vulnerable children, but alongside them, will shape a world where every youth's potential is nurtured and fulfilled." - NordCham Sustainability Committee Meeting

The Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines hosted its monthly Sustainability Committee Meeting with the topic of Non-Governmental Organizations Collaboration for Vulnerable Children. It was held on the 26th of July 2023 at AstraZeneca Office, Inoza Tower, BGC.  

Representatives of various companies and organizations attended the event, namely, AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical, Best Buddies Philippines, Expeditionist Studio, France Philippines United Action, German Club Manila, ICT Events Manila, Impactville, KeystonePartners, Odfjell Technology, Optum, Q2 HR Solutions, SEARCA, and Youth Inclusion Network

Esteemed speakers were Ms. Laura Baptiste, Partnership & Fundraising – Global Operations at Life Project 4 Youth, Ms. Dina Osabel, International Freight Forwarding Operator at Bollore Logistics, and Mr. Admore Alzate, Head of Corporate Relations at SOS Children's Villages Philippines

Ms. Laura started the presentation by sharing the challenges faced by youth entering the job market and advocating for their inclusion and empowerment. She shed light on the concept of exclusion and its effect on society, particularly on the youth. Figures were presented from UN Habitat, showing that 37% of the 59 million inhabitants in Manila live in shanty towns, leading to exclusion from active societal participation. She also shared personal stories of young individuals emphasized the real-life consequences of exclusion, underscoring the urgent need for solutions to address these issues. 

Along with Ms. Laura, Ms. Dina shared her inspiring journey from facing adversities to finding hope through the organization LP4Y. She spoke about her struggles as a young woman with a challenging background but found a safe place in LP4Y, which offered training and support to help her grow both professionally and personally. Ms. Dina's determination led her to secure a job at Bollore Logistics, proving that despite lacking a formal diploma, youth like her possess immense potential and determination. 

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Hereafter, Ms. Laura shared several key insights and solutions to bridge the gap and empower the excluded youth: 

  1. Recognizing Essential Skills: The corporate survey by LP4Y revealed that essential skills for employment included a growth mindset, willingness to learn, communication skills, smartness, behavioral skills, and a positive attitude. 

  1. Involvement of Companies: Participants were encouraged to involve their companies in supporting youth development through training, internships, mentoring, and inclusive CSR programs. Collaborating with experts and other organizations in CSR initiatives was emphasized. 

  1. Role Modeling and Mentorship: The importance of role models and mentors for youth. Participants were urged to open doors to their companies, offer internships, and provide guidance to help youth navigate their career paths. 

  1. Networking for Success: Utilizing collision networks, such as Vision Network, to share successful practices, experiences, and challenges faced in implementing CSR policies. Connecting with like-minded organizations and learning from each other can lead to greater impact. 

  1. Involvement of Top Management: Top management was encouraged to be actively involved in CSR strategies to drive meaningful change and empower the youth. 

She concluded her presentation by urging attendees to trust and invest in the potential of the youth, allocate resources for their empowerment, and foster collaboration among organizations, experts, and businesses. She also encouraged participants to take immediate action in building an inclusive path toward youth empowerment and development.