This is what happened with Siriphone Siriphongphanh, a Laotian student who is majoring in Accounting at National University of Laos and Business Administration at Lao-American College, when she decided to take part in the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM) 2018.
To satisfy her own curiosity about how ASEAN does its decision-making process, Siriphone immediately said yes to her friends’ invitation to form a team of 8. Even though she didn’t have prior experience, the excitement of being able to role-play as ASEAN’s senior officials and simulate ASEAN’s high-levels meeting made her fearless. She managed to overcome all obstacles, such as writing a position paper and applying tactics to persuade other delegates, by listening to the advice of her advisor and team members. Exchanging the pros and cons of each country with ASEAN friends, made her thinking more about making her country to be a better place to live in.
For Siriphone, AFMAM 2018 was a fruitful opportunity to learn more on international diplomacy, decision-making process, and inter-governmental system. Where joining the programme expanded her important network with talented and inspiring youths who would be her potential partners from other ASEAN countries.
Further, Siriphone is highly recommending and encouraging youths across ASEAN to join AFMAM 2019 since it will prepare youths from any field of study to become a future leader of the country. She strongly stated that “it was a great self-improvement opportunity to develop my professional and leadership skills”.
Article by Randa Sandhita, a Communication Consultant at the ASEAN Foundation.