This update was shared by Exan (Salic Sharief Jr.), Spring 2018 YSEALI PFP Fellow from the Philippines
Right after the fellowship, I went back to Mindanao and applied my learning. I partnered with the Philip Morris Foundation Inc. to provide back to school programs to marginalized communities in the region. I also went back to assist in the Marawi Rehabilitation and Recovery effort through work with the Department of Trade and Industry. We provided consultations on the livelihood skills needed and attempted to establish and revive trade centers within communities of internally displaced persons, transitional shelters and tent cities.
In addition, I met with Equal Access International, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC. We initially conducted formative research on the situation of violent extremism in southern Mindanao and I eventually landed a position as the Senior Program Manager for the start-up country office in Cagayan de Oro. After a few months, I was promoted and I am currently the Country Director of said representative office.
YSEALI PFP has indeed brought many positive changes because the skills learned during the fellowship were very useful as I finished my political course in the Academy of Political Management within the same year of the PFP. This also brought me more invitations for speaking engagements in inspiring the youth of Mindanao. I also received the award “Peacebuilder of the Year” during the 2018 Young SDG Champion Awards.