By Karla Pastores
The Manila Times
More than 100 student leaders and professionals came together in the first ever Kaya Natin! Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Training Seminar held last February 7 (Saturday) at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
The participants came from different places all over the country including Ilocos Norte, Laguna, La Union, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Zambales, Camarines Sur and Davao. Facilitating the seminar were Kaya Natin! Convenor Harvey Keh, who also serves as the Director of the Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship program of the Ateneo School of Government, Simon Mossesgeld, organizer of the Ayala Young Leaders Congress, and Atty. Arnel Casanova, faculty for Social Entrepreneurship of the Ateneo School of Government.
The training seminar aims to develop leaders for nation building, particularly through the Kaya Natin! Movement. The participants organized themselves into Kaya Natin committees and brainstormed about possible activities aimed at promoting good governance and ethical leadership to all Filipinos. The seminar marks the first step towards an empowered movement with young leaders all helping towards changing Philippine politics.
“We want to be able to empower more Filipinos to take the lead and help bring about positive change and effective governance in the Philippines through their own small ways,” Keh said.
Mae Paner, who plays YouTube sensation Juana Change and is a core group member of Kaya Natin, was also present during the event to promote her latest videos and encourage the participants to take a more active role in fighting corruption in the government. Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija also gave a talk on how she as a leader was able to transform the small municipality of San Isidro into an empowered community with responsible and enabled citizens.
During the day-long seminar, Keh, Casanova, and Mossesgeld lectured on the Kaya Natin! leadership framework as well as leadership through social entrepreneurship. The participants were then given a chance to develop their own strategies for leadership according to the framework through the five different Kaya Natin committees—Communications, Membership, Research and Recommendations, Marketing and Fundraising, and Special Projects, as well as a separate group to manage Kaya Natin chapters that the organization is forming all over the country through the initiative of volunteer members.
This will be the first of a series of leadership training seminars that Kaya Natin! will hold around the country.
The next seminar is targeted on February 28 in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, while the second Manila session will be held on March 14.
The Kaya Natin! movement was initially convened by Keh. Its founding leaders include Lorenzo, Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City, Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela, Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga, and Gov. Teddy Baguilat Jr., of Ifugao.