The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative United for Peace is a signature program of the U.S. President Barack Obama to empower the youth to organize programs and come up to projects that would promote peace in different localities all over Southeast Asia.

For this reason, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines in partnership with the Focolare Movement have come up to conduct the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative United for Peace National Forum 2015 in Mariapolis, Tagatay City last March 18-22 with the theme “Building Bridges, Celebrating Differences”.
In a personal way, I am indeed flattered to become one of the delegates of the National Forum of the YSEALI United for Peace 2015. The Forum was indeed empowering a lot for me as a young leader who works in promoting dialogue and peace. I learned many things specially in organizing workshops for team building and at the same time became a perfect venue for me to meet young people who have the same aspiration and advocacy for dialogue and peace. In this way, I became more hopeful now that I can pursue the organization of the Interfaith Council of Leaders in Quiapo, Manila with the help and support of my colleagues in YSEALI United for Peace National Forum.
Further, this program will not only end up on the 5 days forum in Tagaytay for we were given a great challenge by the U.S. Embassy to concretize all the learning that we gain during the conference through making projects that will promote peace that will also have a community impact along the way.
Consequently, the YSEALI United for Peace National Forum of the Philippines came up to have a Peace for Reel project which aims to empower the young Filipino change agents to build a culture of peace through creative media, civic engagement, and inter-faith and intercultural dialogue. The project shall bring together young people from diverse backgrounds to produce such creative platforms as videos, photographs, and animated works, among many others on the general themes of peace-building and conflict-resolution.

-Alfrein Quirionez

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