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The ASEAN Youth Advocates Network (AYAN) is a youth-led, Philippines-registered non-profit organization that provides civic education to Southeast Asian youth between the ages of 13-25 to address the lack of civic engagement and youth participation. Founded by Mirus Ponon from the Philippines, AYAN started in 2019 through Mirus’ experience of poverty, the exclusivity of volunteering, and the lack of youth participation in the civic arena. AYAN provides advocacy-based programs that are diversity-rich, co-created, and youth-motivated, anchored on the agenda of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

Mission-Vision Statement



Building the ASEAN youth to make a collective difference.


A united ASEAN community led by active and genuine youth advocates, driving transformative change and shaping a sustainable future for all.

ASEAN YouthAdvocatesNetwork


            Language barriers, gaps in local and national support, the education system, and general inequalities have been said to hinder youth participation in socio-civic engagement. Statistically, the ASEAN Youth Development Index showed that only 5% of the youth situated in Southeast Asia are actively participating in volunteerism, and 14% of Southeast Asian youth aged 15 to 29 allot their time to civic engagement. This connotes that the majority of ASEAN youth do not contribute to societal development, which is why the ASEAN Youth Advocates Network (AYAN) was founded. The organization was established by Emmanuel Mirus Ponon from the Philippines, alongside his fellow delegates from ASEAN events, to capacitate the youth with the necessary skills to make a difference in the 10 Southeast Asian countries.

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