Promoting Healthy Competition among the Youth

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Promoting Healthy Competition among the Youth
Joanne B. Agbisit
Associate Editor, The ASEAN ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Department
Ixora Tri Devi
Staff Writer, The ASEAN ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Department
21 Mar 2023

Youth competitions keep young people involved in ASEAN while developing their social skills, confidence, and resilience. In 2022, three region-wide youth competitions were held: 6th ASEAN Youth Video Contest, ASEAN Youth Photo Competition 2022, and ASEAN Youth Debate 2022.

6th ASEAN Youth Video Contest

The ASEAN Youth Video Contest, now on its sixth cycle, focused on the theme “Youth Addressing Challenges Together–Staying Dynamic in the Time of Pandemic: ACTnow!”. 

Nine amateur filmmakers were selected as finalists out of over a hundred applicants. The finalists were given an intensive four-day training workshop in August 2022 to hone their photography, videography, editing, and storytelling skills. After the training, they were given a chance to polish and finalise their video projects. 

Soumontha Douangmala of the Lao PDR was chosen as the competition’s winner. Her short video titled “Change for Better Mental Health” called attention to the mental health struggles of the youth during the pandemic and showed how a strong support system could dispel feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

In the second and third places were Prince Jairo Paglinawan of the Philippines for his video titled “Y.A.N.A. (You Are Not Alone) and Kirtana Genason of Malaysia for her video “Ask, Listen, Communicate.” Indonesia’s Nabila Yasmin Nurrita, with her video “Silent Room” received an honorable mention. The videos of all finalists are available at ASEAN Foundation’s YouTube channel. 

The contest is a joint initiative of the U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development; Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; the ASEAN Foundation; ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Youth (SOMY); and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Winning entry for the ASEAN Youth Photo Competition 2022 by Phanith Um from Cambodia

ASEAN Youth Photo Competition 2022

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia, the ASEAN Youth Photo Competition 2022 invited budding photographers in the region to submit photos on the theme “Youth’s Role in Supporting ASEAN A.C.T. (Addressing Challenges Together).” 

The winning entry was submitted by Phanith Um of Cambodia, who captured the building of a bamboo bridge, the traditional way of crossing the Mekong River during the dry season. The second prize went to Thailand’s Pitchawat Proongsak, whose photo depicted communal street cleaning, while the third prize went to Borey Ten of Cambodia with his rice planting photo. 

The award-winning images, along with 42 other top entries from 10 ASEAN Member States, were compiled into a photo book by Cambodia’s youth ministry. In his message, Minister Hang Chuon Naron said that the competition allowed the youth to play a role in building ASEAN awareness. Cambodia’s Director General of Youth and SOMY Leader Sroy Socheath added that the competition gave a platform for the youth to find and understand the strength within themselves.

The competition was held in partnership with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Malaysia and Cambodia debate teams compete at the ASEAN Youth Debate 2022 grand final round, Photo Credit: © SOMY Cambodia

ASEAN Youth Debate 2022

The inaugural ASEAN Youth Debate aimed to equip young people with research, in-depth thinking, public speaking skills, and to raise awareness of ASEAN values and identities. Hosted by the 2022 chair of ASEAN, Cambodia, the debate competition was held under the Addressing Challenges Together theme. 

Thirty-two teams from 10 ASEAN Member States competed in the debates. Each country had three groups, with five members and a team leader in each group. Viewers at home were invited to join the conversation through a live social media broadcast by Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

The first elimination round took place on 4 and 5 August, while the final round was on 12 October 2022. Cambodia and Malaysia competed in the final round held in Phnom Penh. Sok Tola, Nang Khourn Kimmariya, Hor Heng Serey Roth, Usha Sophea Janardhan, and Veng Sovanmeng from the Cambodian Team prevailed over the Malaysian team.

On the final day, Cambodia’s Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hang Chuon Naron, said that debate could build 21st-century skills among ASEAN people through industrial revolution 4.0 and strengthen the ASEAN spirit to contribute to achieving the ASEAN vision.