A fourth-year Development Communication student from Cebu Technological University (CTU) Main campus was among the ten participants from the Philippines joining the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Digital Connectivity Regional Workshop held on June 14-16 in Sarawak, Malaysia.
As the workshop commenced, Diogracias Olayon shared that the participants were allowed to speak during panel discussions about their solutions on how to enhance rural communities through digital connectivity while retaining the community’s livelihood.
“Educate the young on their livelihood culture to uphold the local community’s tradition and means of living. At the same time, they need to adapt to the new technology and have access to quality education. We have to make the rural area a beneficiary of industrialization,” Olayon said in an interview.
“Emotional quotient is very important, especially when dealing with culture. We can further expand their horizons by documenting the situation by inviting media outlets to cover the real situation [of the rural communities] and present it to all media platforms to reach out to non-government organizations and potential partners who can be of help in empowering these communities,” Olayon added.
As a development communicator, Olayon further emphasized the workshop’s relevance on “how to commune with the people and identify the best strategy to make the people adapt to the new culture for sustainable development.”
“Always be motivated to follow your dreams. After all, that dream is not just all about you. It is about how you are going to transfer that dream to be even more purposive to the community, to the people, especially to those who need help, of your expertise, and of your capacity to do it,” Olayon on being the future catalyst of social change.
Through the regional workshop, Olayon highlighted that “we are not too young to serve the people and support the causes that we believe in. The Philippines has so much to offer, yet with very few opportunities.”
The delegate also expressed his utmost gratitude to the people who believed in him and cheered him up in his most difficult moments. They mean so much to his success. “Without God, I cannot reach my dreams because He is my director, and I can only act according to His holy will and mandate,” Olayon added.
On June 27, days after he returned, Olayon paid a courtesy call to the University President, Dr. Rosein A. Ancheta Jr. His experience denotes that it is time to empower the youths in the Philippines through leadership engagement.
YSEALI Connectivity 2022, with the theme “Enhancing Digital Creativity for All”, was aimed to tackle digital connectivity challenges among young leaders to bridge the digital divide within their communities. The event was participated by young leaders across Southeast Asia, experts, and stakeholders.
The workshop concluded with hopes that the delegates are now ready to create an impact on their respective communities through everything they have learned on the digitalization of local economies, data privacy and security and digital regulatory framework to boot.
Words by Divine Grace Umadlao/BS DevCom Intern