Face of the World Conference on Youth 2014: Angeli Monique Siladan from Girl Scouts of the Philippines
2 May 2014
Angeli Monique Siladan from Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) was recently chosen as one of the seven faces of the World Conference on Youth 2014. Learn more about Angeli, her involvement in Girl Scouting and her aspirations in this article.
In pre-school we are taught about the many people who died for the freedom of the Philippines, they are called heroes. I started to believe that dying for a certain cause is heroism. It is not for all but only for the few. I guess that thought was the reason why I found home in the world of Girl Scouting in 1999.
Girl Scouting and Beyond
Fast forward to the next 14 years, I am still with the same movement that boosted my self-esteem, gave me indispensable management skills, made me discover my life’s purpose and taught me that heroism is alive in each and every one of us.
In 2007, I was offered by our troop leader to take the challenge of the Chief Girl Scout Medal Scheme. At the outbreak of Dengue fever—a known killer of children in the Philippines—in a nearby community, I decided to give it a try. For a year, we made alternative medicine available to more than 200 families. In the end, it was not about the award from the Philippine president that mattered to me but the genuine smiles of the children and their mothers.
While taking my Bachelors degree as a scholar, I took responsibility in various leadership roles in the university student government, the Sangguniang Kabataan—our local government unit’s youth council, the UNFPA Philippines- Youth Advisory Panel and our local Girl Scout council board. These endeavors supplemented my faith on what young people can do for the nation and the world.
Last year, I was given the opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to saving mother’s and children’s lives when I joined WAGGGS’ Photovoice event in Pax Lodge, London. As a result, I was able to train a pool of passionate girls to work on the same advocacy. Moreover, after I was chosen to attend the 11th Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Japan as a young woman delegate, I now serve as a member of the National Programme Committee of GSP.
In my professional career, I chose the path less traveled by girls. I am currently working as a computer programmer for a local bank developing smart solutions to our clients’ daily needs.
The Face of the World Conference on Youth 2014
Two months ago, I took the challenge of vying to be the Face of the World Conference on Youth 2014. There will be seven faces that will represent the seven thematic areas of the conference. In 200 words, I have to convince the judges that I deserve to be the Face of Promoting Healthy Lives and Access to Health—the theme I’m truly confident about.
From the hundreds of applicants, I made it to the top 10 finalists in my category. For a twist, the candidate with the most number of Facebook likes wins. With the full support of my friends and family, we went beyond social media and campaigned for 16 days. We tapped people from various organizations to random people in computer shops and business establishments. Finally, last April 11, 2014, I was declared the winner for my category. I will be forever grateful for the trust and the empowering messages of the people who voted and helped throughout the journey. Yes, it was exhausting but really fulfilling at the finish line.
On May 4, 2014, the real action begins. I will fly to Sri Lanka with all my hopes and dreams for the youth. As one of the faces of the conference, I will appear with six other young people on posters, billboards, publications and official documents of the said conference. As a Girl Scout, I will be joining 11 amazing young women from different WAGGGS Member Organizations who will also be there as delegates and facilitators. Besides taking part at the round table discussions, the WAGGGS delegation will hold a parallel event with the theme, “World We Want for Girls Beyond 2015.” It is our chance to engage the other delegates to our key messages. Furthermore, I will take part in the Spiralation Hackathon of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka where I will join a team of tech enthusiasts and young developers to do a partially or fully finished smart system that will solve the problems related to the conference themes.
I am without doubt looking forward to a fruitful event that I’m pretty sure would add up to my burning passion in making the world a place that doesn’t recognize any girl or woman and their children as an option but an opportunity to progress and be heroes too.