RAFI-G&L Meets Belgian Partners

Posted 4 years ago

The Governance and Linkages of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-G&L) and its Belgian partners are now firming up plans for a better Youth Exchange Program (YEP) to be implemented this year and in 2019.

Last January 17, RAFI representatives and visitors from Kortrijk, Belgium met to discuss the upcoming activities and new developments of the YEP.

The Kortrijk, Belgium team was headed by Stijn van Dierdonck. He was accompanied by consultants for the arts Roos van den Dries and Pol Coussement. Representing RAFI were Vice President for Governance and Linkages Evelyn Nacario-Castro, Jenny Lea Tan-Menchavez, and Christian Anuta, senior program officers of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center of RAFI.

During the meeting, van Dierdonck revealed that for the next run of the YEP, the City of Kortrijk wants to send its youth delegates to Cebu in August 2019 instead of the original schedule of July 2018. This is to allow a slight modification on how the City would like its youth delegates to prepare for their Cebu immersion experience, which they dubbed as the “Jeepney Tour.”

He added that the Belgian Youth delegates would have to do their local action on their chosen Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in Kortrijk first, before they would try to learn about the same SDG in the Philippine setting during their stay in Cebu.

Their 2019 visit, he added, is apart from the planned immersion activity of their Dutch counterparts this year. He, however, assured that they would still be hosting the Cebuano youth delegates during their immersion to Belgium, also in 2019.

Like their Belgian counterparts, the previous batches of Cebuano delegates also worked on gaining insights on the Millennium Development Goals. The next batches of Cebuano delegates will now concentrate their efforts to gain an understanding on how sister cities like Kortrijk and Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands work towards attaining SDG targets.

Aside from the YEP meeting, art consultants from Kortrijk, who were here to observe Cebuano arts and culture particularly the Sinulog dance choreography and the costumes worn by Sinulog performers, shared about how they use art and dance to promote diversity, openness, unity, and engagement for the youth of Kortrijk, especially the migrants.

The discussion centered on different ways for arts to pave the way to creating an avenue for the youth, coming from different backgrounds, to interact with one another.

Alvin Dizon, head of the Cebu City Government’s Sister Cities Commission, was also present during the meeting. He and his team accompanied the guests from Belgium to several Sinulog rehearsals and other sites.

The Governance and Linkages Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-G&L) seeks to foster responsive institutions and an engaged citizenry through awards and recognition, good governance and leadership development programs, and active linkages and platforms of engagement and collaboration