The road ahead: Letters to my future self

The NewGeneration Leadership Training Course, or NewGen, was piloted in the Philippines in 2011. Thirty young people working with and from key populations around the country participated in this unique five-day training course that was designed for young key populations and focused on advocacy, leadership and personality development. This successful training course was led by a trainer from the University of Melbourne, Prof. Helen Cahill, who ably conducted the activity together with young facilitators from Youth LEAD. This training was the beginning of a journey for the young leaders who participated, allowing them an opportunity for growth and transformation.


Hence, when Youth LEAD fi nally launched NewGen and had its first regional training in 2012, ACHIEVE became one of the few organizations that had the chance to participate. In turn, ACHIEVE rolled out the NewGen Course in the Philippines by conducting the Training of Trainers of the NewGeneration leadership Training Course (NewGen TOT) in November 2012. This TOT produced 20 outstanding leaders from communities of young key populations (YKP) who were expected to roll out the NewGen training course in their localities.

In June 2013, ACHIEVE conducted a training evaluation process with the youth participants of the NewGen TOT. This evaluation activity aimed to determine the impact of the NewGen Leadership Training Course on the lives of the participants through a creative process that immersed them in reflection and creative exercises to capture their stories of transformation as leaders. Since the NewGen Training Course was designed to develop the leadership, advocacy and communication capacities of young key populations, ACHIEVE realized that as a form of qualitative evaluation of the training, it was equally significant to document the development of these young leaders at the personal level, as well the professional level in the work they do in their respective communities. In this evaluation process, 15 young NewGen leaders wrote their narratives that showcased their personal stories of triumphs and tribulations as emerging young leaders in the HIV response in their own communities. They refl ected on the reasons that led them to be involved in HIV work in their communities and they shared their dreams about how they can contribute to ending AIDS.

This book is actually a documentation report of the training evaluation workshop but presented in a creative way to highlight the stories of leadership and transformation that the 15 NewGen leaders produced. But even the stories are not presented in a straightforward manner. Instead, they are written as letters to the future selves of the 15 NewGen leaders to inspire the readers, especially the new generation of young leaders from key populations, to also reflect on their journeys and their hopes and dreams for themselves and their communities.

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Categories: Publications, Spotlight, Youth Networks

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