UnionAID

Mindanao Young Leaders Programme

About

The Mindanao Young Leaders Programme (MinYLP) is a capacity building programme for young community leaders from civil society organisations. Each year, ten participants are selected to further develop their knowledge, skills and confidence as leaders to contribute to the sustainable and peaceful development of their communities and of the Mindanao region, more broadly.

MinYLP offers emerging leaders the opportunity to explore new ideas and approaches to sustainable development both in Mindanao and New Zealand, inspiring them to think creatively about the challenges in their own communities. Participants follow a group programme and work together on an inclusive, cross-ethnic and cross-religious basis. Each young leader will explore a specific development challenge affecting their community, undertake basic research on this topic, and prepare a proposal for a participatory action project to address this challenge.

MinYLP is managed and run by UnionAID in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington and International Alert Philippines (an international peace-building organisation operating in Mindanao), and funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of its Aotearoa New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation Programme| Nga Hoe Tuputupu-mai-Tawhiti. 

Programme Content

Sustainable Development Course (SDC)

The Sustainable Development Course (SDC) will be delivered in two parts. SDC Part 1 is a part-time online course of approximately 150 hours delivered in Mindanao, commencing in June 2023.

Online learning is complemented by a two-week in-person residential workshop held in Mindanao during SDC Part 1 for participants to meet their peers and teaching team, and to learn intensively. SDC Part 2 is a full-time, in-person course of approximately 12 weeks which takes place in New Zealand, commencing in September.

The Sustainable Development Course will enable participants to:

  • explore the principles and practice of sustainable development in Mindanao and New Zealand
  • apply systems thinking to understand complex development challenges
  • develop research skills, including participatory approaches, and apply these to gain a deeper understanding of a specific development challenge
  • understand how to achieve development goals through a range of approaches
  • apply learning on cross-cutting issues including human rights, gender and social inclusion, and environmental impact
  • build the skills required to develop and manage a project, including proposal writing, project management and MERLA (monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and adaptation)
  • improve their proficiency in English for professional and academic purposes

Programme Content

Sustainable Development Course (SDC) 

The Sustainable Development Course (SDC) will be delivered in two parts. SDC Part 1 is a part-time online course of approximately 150 hours delivered in Mindanao, commencing in June 2023.

Online learning is complemented by a two-week in-person residential workshop held in Mindanao during SDC Part 1 for participants to meet their peers and teaching team, and to learn intensively. SDC Part 2 is a full-time, in-person course of approximately 12 weeks which takes place in New Zealand, commencing in September.

The Sustainable Development Course will enable participants to:

  • explore the principles and practice of sustainable development in Mindanao and New Zealand
  • apply systems thinking to understand complex development challenges
  • develop research skills, including participatory approaches, and apply these to gain a deeper understanding of a specific development challenge
  • understand how to achieve development goals through a range of approaches
  • apply learning on cross-cutting issues including human rights, gender and social inclusion, and environmental impact
  • build the skills required to develop and manage a project, including proposal writing, project management and MERLA (monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and adaptation)
  • improve their proficiency in English for professional and academic purposes

Applications for MinYLP are open now!

SDC Part 2 in New Zealand will include:

  • exposure to a range of New Zealand institutions, policies and practices that are relevant to sustainable development, such as human rights, democratic processes, and community development, through classroom learning and field trips
  • visits to government and non-government organisations, such as community development organisations, the Human Rights Commission and Parliament
  • Māori approaches to development, introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi and the opportunity to stay on a marae (traditional Māori meeting ground)
  • leadership skills workshops, such as organisational management and campaign skills
  • a schedule of visits with organisations addressing similar issues to participants’ development challenges, either individually or in small groups
  • a multi-day young leaders conference to share learning and exchange ideas with young leaders from the Indonesia Young Leaders Programme

English for Development course

MinYLP participants develop their English language proficiency for professional and academic purposes through the English for Development course (EDC). The EDC runs alongside the Sustainable Development Course, commencing online and continuing in New Zealand.

The course supports participation in the SDC by teaching:

  • language specific to sustainable development
  • formal English suitable for a professional context
  • oral and written communications skills
  • writing for research reports and funding proposals
  • study skills for more effective language learning

The online component of the English for Development course requires a total of approximately 40 hours: 20 hours of online workshops and 20 hours self-study.

There may be additional in-country English language support available prior to departure for New Zealand for applicants whose level of English does not meet the selection criteria.

Action project implementation – Mindanao, Philippines

Participants manage a small action project in their communities, which is funded subject to meeting certain criteria. The action project provides participants the chance to apply learning from the programme to address a specific development challenge in their community.

The action project is in two phases: phase 1 (community consultation and scoping), and phase 2 (implementation). Both these phases take place after SDC Part 2 once participants return to Mindanao. Participants will receive coaching and ongoing support from UnionAID, International Alert Philippines and alumni throughout this process.

English for Development course

MinYLP participants develop their English language proficiency for professional and academic purposes through the English for Development course (EDC). The EDC runs alongside the Sustainable Development Course, commencing online and continuing in New Zealand.

The course supports participation in the SDC by teaching:

  • language specific to sustainable development
  • formal English suitable for a professional context
  • oral and written communications skills
  • writing for research reports and funding proposals
  • study skills for more effective language learning

The online component of the English for Development course requires a total of approximately 40 hours: 20 hours of online workshops and 20 hours self-study.

There may be additional in-country English language support available prior to departure for New Zealand for applicants whose level of English does not meet the selection criteria.

Action project implementation – Mindanao, Philippines

Participants manage a small action project in their communities, which is funded subject to meeting certain criteria. The action project provides participants the chance to apply learning from the programme to address a specific development challenge in their community.

The action project is in two phases: phase 1 (community consultation and scoping), and phase 2 (implementation). Both these phases take place after SDC Part 2 once participants return to Mindanao. Participants will receive coaching and ongoing support from UnionAID, International Alert Philippines and alumni throughout this process.

Who can apply for the MinYLP Programme?

Applicants must:

  • be aged 23-30 years
  • be living and working in Mindanao
  • be working for a community-based organisation or NGO such as a women’s organisation, labour union or environmental group
  • intend to continue working for their organisation for a minimum of one year after completing the programme
  • have support to participate in the programme from the organisation they represent or work for, including flexibility to attend online study sessions during office hours
  • have English language proficiency, with ≥5.5 IELTS (or TOEFL 46-59). Note: you are not required to sit an IELTS test, but an English language test will be administered at the interview stage.
  • be available to participate in a full-time residential of 2 weeks
  • not be enrolled in any other full-time courses of study during the SDC or participating in other scholarships/fellowships at the same time
  • talk to UnionAID before enrolling in any other part-time courses during the SDC
  • hold, or be able to obtain, a passport issued by the Government of the Philippines valid until 1 July 2024.

Selection Criteria

In making the selection candidates will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • demonstrated leadership and future leadership potential;
  • a commitment to development and community work;
  • a commitment to working with other ethnic and religious groups;
  • open-mindedness and maturity;
  • support from their employing organisation including a mutual commitment to continue the employment for one-year post-programme;
  • identification of a clear and relevant development challenge or area of interest that you wish to explore through the programme that can provide the foundation of an action project
  • that the group reflects an ethnic, religious and gender mix where possible, and that immigration requirements for a student visa can be met.

 

Who can apply for the MinYLP Programme?

***PLEASE NOTE APPLICATIONS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR 2023****

Applicants must:

  • be aged 23-30 years
  • be living and working in Mindanao
  • be working for a community-based organisation or NGO such as a women’s organisation, labour union or environmental group
  • intend to continue working for their organisation for a minimum of one year after completing the programme
  • have support to participate in the programme from the organisation they represent or work for, including flexibility to attend online study sessions during office hours
  • have English language proficiency, with ≥5.5 IELTS (or TOEFL 46-59). Note: you are not required to sit an IELTS test, but an English language test will be administered at the interview stage.
  • be available to participate in a full-time residential of 2 weeks
  • not be enrolled in any other full-time courses of study during the SDC or participating in other scholarships/fellowships at the same time
  • talk to UnionAID before enrolling in any other part-time courses during the SDC
  • hold, or be able to obtain, a passport issued by the Government of the Philippines valid until 1 July 2024.

Selection Criteria

In making the selection candidates will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • demonstrated leadership and future leadership potential;
  • a commitment to development and community work;
  • a commitment to working with other ethnic and religious groups;
  • open-mindedness and maturity;
  • support from their employing organisation including a mutual commitment to continue the employment for one-year post-programme;
  • identification of a clear and relevant development challenge or area of interest that you wish to explore through the programme that can provide the foundation of an action project
  • that the group reflects an ethnic, religious and gender mix where possible, and that immigration requirements for a student visa can be met.
Ben working with his mentor

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