Young progressives train for the challenge!
Young progressives from Asia gathered from October 29 – November 3 in Batangas, Philippines to gear up for the greater political challenges ahead.
SocDem Asia, in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Olof Palme International Center (OPIC) and Australian Labour International (ALI), trained young leaders through the second leg of the Political Management Training (PMT) 2.
In a time of shrinking democratic spaces in Asia, young political leaders gathered to discuss and learn skills on campaigning, negotiating and dealing with social issues in the region. The participants came from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Myanmar, and Thailand.
They exchanged ideas on creative campaigning, roleplayed as negotiators and learned about progressive responses towards migration, climate change, gender, and the global economy.
PMT also invited experts of different fields to share their knowledge to the young leaders. Atty. Tony La Vina, the chief negotiator of the Philippine delegation to the COP meetings, gave an insider’s view on the political dynamics inside climate conferences. Ellen Sana of the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) provided the participants an overview on the migration situation across Asia, including the challenges of getting governments to commit to workers’ welfare. Labour campaigners Cameron Smith and Aemon Burke, gave the young leaders a chance to practice new tactics of effective campaigning to win elections.
The young leaders have also discussed and debated with young politicians and their struggle against populism in the Progressive Governance forum. The panel included the former Youth Minister of the Philippines Gio Tingson, Pasig City Councilor Vico Sotto, The Falcon Movement Secretary General Carly Dawson and DAP State Assemblyman Shakir Ameer.
“PMT has helped me gain practical skills,” Yi Wei Lim of DAP Malaysia said. “My favourite sessions were message development and branding, and negotiations, which have helped me plan voter outreach programmes with very specific outcomes in mind.”
"PMT made me realize that we are not alone in the struggle for a better future,” Garie Rigor, a participant from Akbayan Youth in the Philippines said.
“While times are dark in the country now, it is comforting to meet other young activists who are engaged in the same fight in their own countries. PMT provides that platform to learn with and from them. This is internationalism and solidarity at its best,” Garie added.###