Philippine Youth Leadership Program (ACCESS Philippines)

Southeast Asia Youth Leadership LogoBRIDGING THE GAP: Engaging a New Generation in the Southern Philippines in Inter-Ethnic Dialogue and Conflict Resolution

The ACCESS Philippines program brought to NIU twenty-six Muslim and non-Muslim youth and their adult leaders from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and surrounding provinces in the Philippines during the period April 17 to May 22, 2010. 

The program, in its seventh year of federal funding, aims to teach conflict resolution skills, examine the important role of volunteerism in civil society, and introduce participants to American institutions that promote tolerance and religious diversity.

Girls at tableThe overarching goals are to develop a sense of civic responsibility and commitment to community development among Muslim and non-Muslim youth; to develop a cadre of community activists who will share their knowledge and skills with their peers through positive action; to foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious and national groups; and to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of other countries. Participants are expected to implement projects cooperatively after returning home.

ACCESS Philippines is a project of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. It has been continuously funded since 2002.

The project is directed by CSEAS Associates Dr. Susan Russell (anthropology) and Dr. Lina Davide-Ong (International Training Office). The in-country coordinators are Evelyn Dumdum and Gloria Seno, members of the Board of Trustees of the in-country partner organization, the International Visitors Program-Philippines Alumni Foundation, Inc. The U.S. Embassy in Manila is also a participating partner organization.