This is part of a series of YouthSpark profiles where we highlight young people in Asia who are dedicated to changing the world through technology, and inspiring others along the way.
OCCUPATION PROGRAMME DIRECTOR, TEN ACCOMPLISHED YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS FOUNDATION
BIOAs the programme director of Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Foundation, Anthony Luigi De Vera has worked with various organisations to empower young Filipinos to make a positive impact on society. Luigi recently headed the media and communications team for Youth Vote Philippines, a network of youth groups working toward voters’ education and empowerment. He also founded a nonprofit programme named Empower Philippines to broaden opportunities for young people to work at various local government agencies to nurture their interest in social projects.
Tell us one exciting thing that you have been working on in the past 3–6 months.
I led the communications efforts for Youth Vote Philippines’ 2013 campaign to educate and drive awareness among our young voters about the importance of voting, as well as helped in the redesign of our online portal. I’ve also been travelling across the country to spread the word about how young people can become more engaged in our nation’s political process. In April, I was invited by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to share my experiences in community projects with various Thai youth groups in Bangkok.
What are some of the challenges facing youth today that concern you the most?
A key challenge is the lack of opportunities that young Filipinos face in realising their dreams. There are many youth groups in the Philippines who are committed to solving social problems related to education, health, livelihood and the environment, but do not have the access to the latest information technology resources to develop their own projects.
If you had the ability to create one change in the world, what would that be and how can technology help you achieve this change?
I would like to transform the field of education, and help to provide every child with ample educational opportunities. With the prevalence of mobile technology, I see a great potential for the development of an app with a database of children who require funding assistance for their education. Helping a child go to school with just one click on a phone or a tablet is a great way to address the opportunity gap.
I’m inspired by… stories of courage and patriotism — such as the real-life story of Janela Lelis, a student who risked her life to save the Philippine Flag during the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Juaning in 2011.