17 City Global Youth Summit held Championing Sustainable Development Goals

Global Youth Summit participants
Global Youth Summit participants
(L-R): Resource speakers to inspire youth leaders: Loren de Guzman of Global Peace Foundation; Shanna Mae Castro, Executive Director of Children Optimization for the Revitalization of Environment; Chiqui Gonzales, Head of the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office; Lorenzo Benedicto, SM City Bacolod assistant mall manager;  Kevin Gaitan, Executive Director of Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute, Inc. and Paul Daniel Serrano, Youth, Climate and Energy Campaigner of the Negrosanon Initiative for Climate and Environment.
(L-R): Resource speakers to inspire youth leaders: Loren de Guzman of Global Peace Foundation; Shanna Mae Castro, Executive Director of Children Optimization for the Revitalization of Environment; Chiqui Gonzales, Head of the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office; Lorenzo Benedicto, SM City Bacolod assistant mall manager; Kevin Gaitan, Executive Director of Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute, Inc. and Paul Daniel Serrano, Youth, Climate and Energy Campaigner of the Negrosanon Initiative for Climate and Environment.SM City Bacolod photos
Some of the participants signified interest to be part of the Global Peace Leadership Corps
Some of the participants signified interest to be part of the Global Peace Leadership Corps
Some of the participants signified interest to be part of the Global Peace Leadership Corps
Some of the participants signified interest to be part of the Global Peace Leadership Corps

A total of 600 students and youth leaders joined the Bacolod Global Youth Summit to participate in a daylong event filled with numerous learning sessions and activities. 

Organized by the SM Cares and Global Peace Foundation (GPF), this event is part of the initiative to inspire the youth to become catalysts of change . Recently, they  completed the Bacolod leg of the 2024 Global Youth Summit (GYS) last May 26 at SM City Bacolod, one of the host cities for this year’s 17-leg event aimed at representing all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The GYS is an annual event that provides the youth with an avenue where they can share their ideas and work together to create long-term and sustainable solutions to the most pressing problems and challenges affecting them today. The Global Youth Summit 2024 is co-organized by SM CARES and GLOBAL PEACE FOUNDATION PHILIPPINES. Now in its 12th year, GYS continues to celebrate the potential of our youth. bringing this project closer to where they are, to communities and places where young people flourish and discover their potential.

For the Bacolod leg, GYS focused on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 13: Climate Action; and SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

Several experts and key opinion leaders who are knowledgeable on topics related to the SDGs joined the as speakers, including Loren de Guzman of Global Peace Foundation; Shanna Mae Castro, Executive Director of Children Optimization for the Revitalization of Environment; Councilor Em Ang, Committee Chairperson on History, Cuture and Arts; Kevin Gaitan, Executive Director of Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute, Inc.; and Paul Daniel Serrano, Youth, Climate and Energy Campaigner of the Negrosanon Initiative for Climate and Environment.

SM City Bacolod assistant mall manager implored to the youth that we must all work together to make lasting change. Chiqui Gonzales, Head of the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office, gave a special message in behalf of the Provincial Government, telling the youth, “You are the changemakers and the hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

 Meanwhile, de Guzman discussed the opportunities in joining the the expanding network of the Global Peace Leadership Corps. This worldwide youth movement is dedicated to addressing critical global issues, including youth empowerment, peace, and sustainable environmental protection.

Councilor Ang tackled the importance of community participation in urban planning and governance. Global Youth of Bacolod, let's learn how involving local communities can create more inclusive, safe, and resilient cities.

Serrano talked on the role of the youth in advancing clean energy solutions, focusing on how we can all contribute to mitigating climate change.

Castro explored climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, enabling participants to learn how fostering partnerships can lead to impactful and lasting change for our communities and beyond.

With Gaitan, participants learned about how the youth can create strategies for sustainable communities and making a big impact where they live.

The GYS is one of SM Cares' numerous Programs on Children and Youth, supporting all 17 UN SDGs. Others include The Book Nook, a free library and community hub where parents and children can bond over books, workshops and activities; and supporting UNICEF’s Programs for Education of Children.

Aside from its Programs on Children and Youth, SM Cares also has programs on the environment, women and breastfeeding mothers, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.

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