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In celebration of the United Nations’ International Youth Day, Nestlé Philippines recently hosted a forum with youth leaders titled “NesTalk: Youth Building Peace” dedicated to inspiring the company’s young professionals and interns to focus on the role they can play in building sustainable peace and conflict prevention.

The youth leaders consisted of Norman King, the first member of the Aeta community to graduate from the University of the Philippines – Manila; Farahanz Ali Ghodsinia, a Maranaw third year law student at the University of the Philippines who served as the president of the 10th National Youth Parliament, a biennial gathering of the country’s youth leaders which aims to craft policy recommendations on government policy and program development; and Katarina Rodriguez, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017, a graduate with a double degree in business administration and philosophy of the De La Salle University who is active in service-oriented organizations dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized members of society. The question and answer portion of the forum was moderated by Voltaire Tupaz, MovePH editor of Rappler who covers development issues and humanitarian crisis situations as well as advocacies.

 

In her opening remarks, Nestlé Philippines SVP and HR Director Mitzie Antonio said, “Nestlé is a company driven by purpose and guided by values, so we can help enhance the quality of life of Filipinos and contribute to their healthier future.  NesTalk today, with Youth Building Peace, is one important way to live our purpose and our values.  The youth is the future of our nation, and this event aims to inspire us all to put to heart the role that each of us plays in contributing to peace and helping build a stronger nation.”

In his remarks, Norman King said his role in building peace consists of reducing the gap between the Aeta community and other people, citing the importance of consistency and sincerity in dealing with one another. Norman’s concerns encompass the proper portrayal of the value systems of Aetas from their own perspective, and the protection of their ancestral domain and rights as people.

 

Farah Ghodsinia, who founded and manages “Children of Mindanao,” a socio-civic venture to help children from minority communities access better education, said the very fiber of humanity is built upon diversity.  “Oftentimes, people fear what they do not understand. We fear what is different. From my own experience, the best way to eliminate this fear of the ‘different’ is through education, exposure and peace studies.”

 

Katarina Rodriguez, who delivered a peace message at the last meeting between representatives of the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front in the Netherlands, underscored the value of educating millennials and the youth about peace, especially transformational peace. She said, “We have a tendency to stereotype the word, to oversimplify it, to underestimate it. But it is very complicated. And it all starts with finding peace within yourself, trusting yourself, being confident with yourself, loving yourself, then it branches out to your family, friends, school, workplace.”

 

At the end of the forum, Nestlé Philippines Senior Vice President for Liquid Beverages Joey Uy, said Nestlé employees can connect to building peace and unity in the country by staying true to the company’s mission and vision of nurturing generations of Filipino families. “We can contribute to nation – building if we continue to provide health and nutrition especially to the less fortunate.”

 

Photo Caption: Celebrating UN International Youth Day, Nestlé Philippines recently held a forum with youth leaders titled “NesTalk: Youth Building Peace.” In photo (left to right) are Caron Cruz, business unit manager for ready-to-drink, and Mitzie Antonio, corporate HR director of Nestlé Philippines; Norman King, the first member of the Aeta community to graduate from the University of the Philippines – Manila; Farahanz Ali Ghodsinia, a Maranaw third year law student at the University of the Philippines who served as the president of the 10th National Youth Parliament; Katarina Rodriguez, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017, a graduate with a double degree in business administration and philosophy of the De La Salle University who is active in service-oriented organizations seeking to improve the lives of marginalized members of society; Voltaire Tupaz, MovePH editor of Rappler who covers development issues and humanitarian crisis situations; and Joey Uy, business executive officer for lifestyle and active beverages of Nestlé Philippines.