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Bangkok, Thailand – Arianne Ishreen C. Bucar, Labor and Employment Officer II of the Institute’s Advocacy and Publications Division bags the award on Best Social Innovation Project for the Community of Nong Sa Rai in the recently conducted 7th Asia Pacific Youth Exchange (APYE)-Thailand.

APYE-Thailand is an annual regional youth program, which responds to the global need of actively engaging youth in localized Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiatives. By working with experts and multiple stakeholders in local communities, the selected youth delegates were given a unique opportunity to learn and hone the skills necessary to come up with a social innovation project that will help attain the SDGs.

After a series of training, immersion, and mentorship, her team came up with the project Sarn Suuk Nong Sa Rai or Connecting to Happiness: A Mental Health Tourism Project. It aims to make lasting impact on the promotion of mental health while upholding decent work and community development through a new type of tourism program.

The team is composed of Ms. Bucar (Philippines), Ms. Aakriti Lamsal (Nepal), Mr. Min Paing Moe (Myanmar), Ms. Miji Ju (South Korea), and Ms. Zixuan Wang (China). Ms. Bucar presented the project to social innovation experts at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Headquarters in Bangkok.

Ms. Bucar has been an advocate of SDGs since the start of her career in the civil service. Her participation in the program is in line with the Institute’s continuing effort to promote decent work and sustainability, not just within the Philippines but also across the globe.