On 22-26 June, we launched our first ever Compass Youth Leadership Camp (CYC) at the lush and green campus of Traidhos Three-Generations Community for Learning in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Based on the foundations of systems thinking and sustainability, the camp is specially designed by youth for youth with goals to help them to be powerful and effective change makers in their schools and communities.
Fifteen passionate youth participants from seven different countries – Vietnam, Thailand, US, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, China – participated in the six-day camp. They worked really hard and had a great time learning about sustainability, systems thinking and how to apply to community service and development, along with learning how to facilitate training others using the Compass and Systems Thinking tools. Some of the participants were awarded full or partial scholarship through a thorough selection process. The funds for these scholarships were raised through our crowd funding Indiegogo campaign in March.
This year camp was facilitated by Jason Fresnedi, a Senior School student from International School Manila (ISM). Jason has been actively using the Sustainability Compass and Systems Thinking tools through various programs and events, such as GINila 2014 and 2015, at his school over the past 2 years, which is why he was chosen as the Lead camp student facilitator. He did an amazing, amazing job of taking up the challenge and excelling in every way.
The highlight of the CYC week was the community investigation using the Sustainability Compass and the subsequent development of the students’ community sustainability Action Plans, which they presented to the community representatives on the final day of the camp. The group spent one full day, an overnight (which campfire and cultural exchange) and morning session in the hill tribe community of Dara Ang. They also did a service project with the local school, painting all the schools student desks and chairs in bright colors, and redesigning and organising the school’s small library along with donating many new and easy to read books for the library.
On the final day of the camp, six representatives from the Dara Ang community came down from the mountain to listen to our young change agents’ presentations and their recommendations strengthening the resiliency and sustainability of their communities. They came up with three sustainability action plans, all of which are very quite feasible for the Dara Ang community. The proposals for action and recommendations were well received by the community representatives and our students did a really great job of thinking through each project.
We are really proud of the achievements by the participants, and very much looking forward to the next CYC in 2016!