SPU Manila represented in AJAFA-21 32nd Executive Meeting

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Contributed by Portia Zoleta-Vitug, RN, PhD

Date: March 2, 2020Posted by: Marionette Martinez

The ASEAN-JAPAN FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION for the 21st Century is headed by an Executive Council, represented by the alumni associations among ASEAN countries and Japan. This year's Executive Council Meeting (ECM) was attended by all AJAFA-21 alumni associations and a representative from Japan International Cooperation Agency, Thailand.

The Training Programme For Young Leaders, the former Youth Invitation Program, began in 1984 for six countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand). During the past 20 years, the program has played a significant role in deepening friendship between Japan and ASEAN countries. The program has since expanded to cover 120 countries, and the total number of youths who have participated in the program through 2003 is more than 26,000.

The alumni associations of the Training Programme for Young Leaders were organized one by one in the six ASEAN countries, started with Indonesia in 1985 for the former training program. The original idea behind setting up alumni associations was to deepen the friendship that was cultivated through the program. Today, alumni associations for the Training Programme for Young Leaders have been established in the three new ASEAN member countries—Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam as well. (The alumni associations of Brunei and Singapore have been closed already.)

All of these associations were integrated into an organization called AJAFA-21, or ASEAN-Japan Friendships Association for the 21st Century, in 1988 with the objective of fostering closer relationships between ASEAN countries and Japan through social, cultural, educational, and other activities. AJAFA-21 hosts the Regional Leader Forum, as well as the Annual Executive Council Meeting, on a rotating basis among the member countries. These activities help expand human networks not only with Japan but also with neighboring countries.

Dr. Portia Zoleta-Vitug shares:
Being part of the Faculty of St Paul Manila, I am proud to share and to be chosen to represent the Philippines in the ASEAN –JAPAN Executive Council Meeting in Thailand.

This meeting provided the representatives of each country the opportunity for the development of their leadership and socials skills through an intellectual discourse with executive officers and other delegates of the ECM from ASEAN region and Japan.

It fostered strong partnership among ASEAN countries and Japan.

Communication, Collaboration, Culture, Creativity, and Commitment. Each of the five Cs builds on the previous one, to form a complete structure which fosters teamwork and relationship building.


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