First Youth Fellowship Program for Democracy in the Philippines Opens

Applications are now being accepted for the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed)’s 2021 Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind program aiming to empower youth for civic participation and democratic governance.

Thirty youth leaders, ages 18-30, are targeted to participate in a series of leadership and skills development activities, real-world application training, and network-building engagements spread out from May 2021 to March 2023.

“We are looking for youth leaders from diverse backgrounds, particularly those who are active members of a private, public, civil society organization, educational institution, and community organization. We need champions of civic engagement, democratic participation, and activities for the benefit of the community. The program is completely free” says Ching Jorge, Chief of Party, Youth Leadership for Democracy, The Asia Foundation.

She adds, “We offer equal opportunities regardless of one’s background, geographical origin, gender, belief system, and social status. We encourage differently-abled persons, members of indigenous communities, and those identifying as LGBTQI+ to apply.”

Training programs are in partnership with prestigious institutions including Asian Institute of Management’s (AIM)’s Future Bridging Leadership Program, Ateneo School of Governments (ASOG)’s Executive Education Courses, and Ayala Foundation Inc.’s (AFI)’s Servant Leadership Program. Selected YouthLed Young Leaders will also undergo mentorship activities with Makati Business Club (MBC) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

Aside from these, participants will have opportunities to access grants and funding for their respective organizations or will receive guidance in establishing their own agencies as youth leaders. They will be backed by a network of mentors and will be recognized as a member of the YouthLed network of young leaders in the Philippines.

The fellowship program is being organized by The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), along with several organizations, institutions, and experts.

The program is designed to produce youth leaders who are champions of democratic values, participatory governance, and civic engagement. It aims to support informed, engaged, and empowered YouthLed leaders in their ability to navigate, engage, and optimize platforms for democratic governance through issue-based campaigns and development programs.

Applications will be accepted from February 1-28 with selections announced at the end of April on

Interested candidates can submit completed applications before February 28 with completed LEAD Fellowship application form, updated Curriculum Vitae (CV), project proposal, budget proposal of proposed project, and two endorsement letters from an employer, teacher, school official or verifiable mentor.

Candidates will undergo two stages of application review including the blind review and panel interview. Results will be announced by the end of April.

For more details about the LEAD Fellowship, visit or or e-mail the secretariat at

YouthLed (Youth Leadership for Democracy) is a five-year program implemented by The Asia Foundation in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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