Established in 1990, the Micronesian Youth Services Network (MYSN) is a network of various youth service providers and communities within the Micronesian region. MYSN works collaboratively to improve the quality and quantity of youth and community’s unique cultural values. MYSN seeks to develop opportunities for an exchange of information between young people, organizations, agencies, individuals and coalitions on Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Belau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Nauru, Kiribati and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. MYSN’s mission is to support, collaborate, coordinate, promote and strengthen youth programs and services throughout Micronesia. Its vision is for Youth, families, leaders and communities taking a positive role in issues that impact our lives today for a better tomorrow.
Each year, MYSN hosts a conference for youth, service providers, policy makers, political leaders and youth advocates from all over Micronesia to gather and network with one another. Through this regional event, we share ideas to improve youth programs, seek solutions to the issues our youth face and develop programs to assist the needs of the community. It is a well-known tradition of MYSN to host the conference at different Micronesian island each year. This allows opportunities for the youth, youth advocates, service providers and policy makers of each island to create necessary changes for stronger communities.
This year's 2011 MYSN Conference was hosted in Guam from March 19-25, theme being: "Policy + Practice: Raising the Bar in Youth Services". It brought together around 160 participants, including youth delegations from throughout the Micronesian islands. For the duration of the conference itself concurrent workshops were held on various issues, and I was lucky enough to hold workshop as an Intro-Session on the World Youth Alliance. The international youth led NGO that I have been interning at. For more information visit www.wya.net.
Alongside me in the FSM Delegation were a handful of other promising active youth leaders:
Tim Ruda, Yap
Libuw Aaron Pongliyab, Yap
Alex Thaley Fnoway, Yap
Quintina Letawerpiy, Yap
Myjolynne Kim, Chuuk
Lucille Sain, Chuuk
Harrison Seymour, Kosrae
Bell Toise, Kosrae
Ryan Yamada, Pohnpei
Stuard Penias, Pohnpei
Here are some words and thoughts on the MYSN Conference from the FSM Youth!
"Majority of FSM Representatives were involved and dedicated not only to the meetings but to the best interest of youth in Micronesia. I could not have asked for a better group of leaders to work with"
"This MYSN 7th Annual Confrence Trip has been adventurous for me. We, as FSM Youth Council Representatives, accomplished alot in regards to doing the works, finding the common grounds to address each of our differences and compromised in order to make the best out of this trip. We worked together as one to face challenges, meet the expectations, iron out the disappointments and frustrations, share the enlightenments and fun-filled moments"
- Lucille Sain
"We must work together hand in hand and pick up from our slacks and scratches and try our very best to drive FSM Nation forward with great success."
- Harrison Seymour
"The conference allowed me to get to know and network with other youth representatives from the Pacific region. In the week since the conference, we have already created a very active and vocal community amongst ourselves sharing experiences, both positive and negative and sharing relevant communications from our areas that affect youth; in which matters we can have a voice on a larger scale."
- Alex Thaley Fnoway
All in all, the conference served very beneficial and am sure that our brothers and sisters from throughout Micronesia who attended feel the same way. We all look forward to progressing from here, to next year's conference (hopefully in Palau), and also hopefully involving and reaching out to more young people from throughout the region through initiatives such as this.