The Youth Policy and Action project’s activities in the Philippines has come to an end. All participants are back home and back in their daily routines. Now there is an evaluation meeting to attend to in Poland with the 8 partners in order to see, how the project went and perhaps develop new partnerships in the future.

The Alumni Board can only recommend you – members of the Alumni – to stay tuned for upcoming projects and apply! For this particular one, all those, who applied for the project, was accepted. We only received applications from Esben, Marie, Lars and Lea. So there is a good chance you will be able to go, if you apply for the next one!

This is the last article from the job shadowing activity in the Philippines. This one is form Lea Kielsholm, who stayed in Manila during the project:

 

“My name is Lea, I am 23 years old and a former student at IPC of the autumn term 2015. Currently I am taking part in a project between a Job Shadowers working at the National Youth Commission in Quezon City in Metro Manila. I am assigned to the office of Commissioner of Luzon that shares office wih the staff of Commissioner of Visayas. Luzon and Visayas are two of the three main islands in Philippines. We are here to learn about the practices of implementation and governance of youth development projects.

 

As our job title inclines, we were supposed to ‘shadow’ someone’s job, meaning that we should follow the commissioner, of the office we have been assigned to, on a daily basis. However, the reality is slightly different than expected. The commissioner is only at the office once a month – and my JS-colleague and I have not been allowed to follow him around to his activities. Therefore we are mainly sitting at the office, not really doing much. We have been given short presentations with information we were already being given on our introduction days in Tanay and on our first days at the office. The commissioners assistants are very kind to us, but they are busy, and they don’t know what to do with us. It seems they have not been prepared for our arrival. At NYC they have a strict working hour policy. That means we have to stay in the office strictly from 8am to 5pm, except for 1 hour lunchbreak, where we are allowed to go out. Since it has not been possible to follow our commissioner as planned, we are instead focusing on another task we have been given by the project.

We have to conduct three interviews – with a commissioner, youth worker and a youth. It’s has been extremely difficult to arrange the interviews, because people keep on postponing or cancelling. However, I managed to conduct my final interview on my last day in the office. So one thing is that NYC has not understood on what terms we, the job shadowers, are here, but the real question is: how is the NYC working and does it actually work? The answer to the latter is not simply yes or no. NYC is supposed to gather data about youths and, with this data as a baseline, they create suggestions for policies. NYC doesn’t have any legislative power, but they are trying to convince politicians and governments units to adopt the policies they believe will benefit the youth. We don’t know how this works in details, because we have, as earlier mentioned, not been allowed to follow our commissioner. So basically you can say we have been taught theory but not seen it in practice, and therefore it can be difficult to know if it’s actually working. One of the most interesting activities was to go to a university, AMA Fairview, where the non-profit-organisation Rescue Kabataan (rescue the youth) did a workshop on how youths can face and overcome challenges in their every day life. It seemed very empowering and motivating, however preaching about God was also a big part of. That was quite unusual for me, as religious preaching is not allowed at public schools in Denmark. We went here on initiative by another Job Shadower, and it was not something we were invited to by NYC.

After having spent two weeks at NYC, I can conclude that my learning experience primarily has been centered around getting to know the culture and political systems of the countries of my fellow job shadowers, and then some theory about the work of National Youth Commission of Philippines. I hoped to learn more specifically about the work of the commissioners, which has not happened.

However, a part of the learning experience is also to realize and accept that things work differently in this country and that communication misunderstandings are likely to happen. Despite the disappointment of the job shadowing itself, I learned a lot from doing the interviews as well as talking to the young people in my office. Filippinos are extremely kind people, and I have felt welcome any place I have been.”