Vongrathayuth Hingphith wrote -
Founded in 2004 by graduate students from Stanford University, Southeast Asian Leadership Network (SEALNet) aims to foster the spirits of service leadership in future leaders of the Southeast Asian community, and has organized its activities in ASEAN nations the last 11 years.
As for our project which will take place in August, the overarching theme of this project is “Individuality.” During these two weeks, we will be working with two main groups: the high school students of Vietnam and Cambodia, and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community of Vietnam in order to answer this question, together.
For the LGBT community, a socially oppressed group, we aim to accomplish our shared mission of creating a more sympathetic society that will allow them to embrace their identity. Specifically for the LGBT participants that we’ll be interacting with, we will provide them with leadership skills, knowledge about their community, and opportunities to step up and develop a strong sense of conviction in them, in order for them to best contribute to the LGBT community at large. Upon embarking on this journey, we seek to listen to their stories, to widen our perspectives, and to deepen our understanding of our surroundings, as well as ourselves.
For the high school students of Cambodia and Vietnam, we strive to foster a safe environment where they can explore and discover themselves. Through multiple approaches, ranging from leadership workshops, service to the LGBT community, to one-on-one mentorship, we challenge the students to step up, to redefine themselves, and embrace their individuality. At the end of the two weeks, we hope the students will leave with a fresh sense of confidence in themselves to voice their opinions, take action for their beliefs and the understanding that they will have a vibrant community of SEALNutters behind them every step along the way.
Our overall objectives are
For Vietnamese and Cambodian high school students:
- To create a new form of acceptance
- To create bond between all of the members
- To enforce the participants devotion to the courses that they think is important to them
- To find their inner leader
- To encourage them to take initiative in the issue that matters to them
For LGBT community:
- To create a new form of understanding among LGBT Community and Society
- To enhance the participants’ leadership capacity
- To build strong support system for the LGBT participants
As for how we are going to reach our objectives are:
1. PFLAG Talk
We will invite one of the officers from PFLAG to come to the event in order to give advice in a seminar.
2. Mentor and Mentee System
During the project period, all of the mentors will be asked to design a leadership schedule with their own mentee. The purpose of this is to both keep track of the mentee achievement after the project and maintaining the relationship of the mentor and mentee.
3. Mentor Mentee System
We would also like to introduce a system which the mentor and the mentee have to plan a one year development schedule for their own pair. This will serve as the sustainability of the project goal in improving the mentee and at the same time maintain the relationship between mentor and mentee.
4. The Mentee Challenge
Before the actual project start in August, we will recruit 10 mentees from Cambodia and 10 mentees from Vietnam. They will have to work together in order to fund raise as the mentors in each location, observe over their abilities and rate them according to the involvement and determination to learn. The information obtain will be used in the later project by their mentor in order to effectively improve their leadership potential. Second part of the challenge will be held during the project period when all of the mentees are assigned to design a two days leadership workshop. This activity’s purpose is to test how much the mentee has learned during the workshop.
5. Building Agency for LGBT Participants
Give the LGBT participants the agency in providing direction for our team in understanding their realities (e.g. stories sharing, privilege walks, etc.) and help assist them in building a stronger LGBT community.
6. Assist OPEN House
Assist OPEN house in building stronger infrastructure with a focus on bringing in permanent funding sources and connecting them to potential foreign partners.
7. Information Session
Together with the LGBT participants, we will build a comprehensive basic LGBT information curriculum, so they can disseminate that education to middle schools and high schools in Saigon after the two weeks.
8. Talent Show
Plan a Talent Show with the goal of giving the LGBT participants a stage to tell their stories through artistic forms and spread the message of celebrating “individuality” to foster understanding and empathy from the larger society
9. Leadership Workshop Schedule
The Mentor in Leadership Team will be in charge of designing the whole two week workshop. They will have to design based on the theme of the project and the objectives given by the two project leaders. The whole planning process will start one month before the project. The three themes of the workshop include Individuality, Adaptability and Initiative.Each workshop will be designed based on our Leadership Team and their creativity. However, the leadership will have to follow the three main themes’ objective, set by the two project leaders.
Date: 3rd Aug 2015 to 17th Aug 2015
Location: Saigon City, Vietnam