2022/2023 Report

Hello everyone! Welcome to the GYLN PLLC 2023 journal. We are the GYLN Peter Lougheed Leadership College (PLLC) chapter located in Edmonton, Canada and we are delighted to present our annual summary report, a reflection of the incredible journey we have embarked upon together over the past year. With utmost humility and gratitude, we share our collective efforts with the unwavering support from the Sunwah organization that has propelled our chapter forward.

Student Clubs Fair

Our table at the University of Alberta Winter Clubs Fair was a huge success! Before the end of the day, we had already given out all of our brochures to interested students. These brochures included a QR code to access the application form for Project Lead and VP Events, as well as a general volunteer application form! Sharen, Natasha, Vishwa, and Susana managed the booth and did an excellent job encouraging passersby to join GYLN.

Hybrid Meeting on Environmental Innovation & Green Technology

On September 27th, 2022, our GYLN PLLC representatives (Natalie, Christy, and Harveen) attended the hybrid meeting on Environmental Innovation & Green Technology hosted by the China Insituate and Sunwah Foundation! We met Jackson Choi (Director of Sunwah Group), Betty Chan (Director of International Relations, Sunwah Foundation), and the GYLN Ho Chi Minh City Chapter members who won the environmental project – “I CAN”. We learned about the different sustainability technologies and research at universities in Hong Kong, Canada, and Vietnam through the presentations delivered by Truong Ngoc Kiem (Vice Director of the Cooperation and Development Department, Secretary of VNU Youth Union) and various professors. It was an inspiring experience to listen to the sustainability innovations around the world, watch professors deliver presentations, connect with delegations as the host of Canada, and chat with the friendly China Insitute staff who worked hard behind the scenes to organize the event.

Fun Fact: Did you know we are featured on China Insitute’s news website?

Following the Hybrid Meeting, the China Institute and Sunwah Foundation hosted an Evening Dinner Party at the Upper Crust Cafe. Our GYLN PLLC representatives had the chance to connect with the amazing Foundation Leaders and the Vietnamese Chapter! Part of our Foundation’s mission is to strive to build networking among young leaders and sharpen social and professional skills, which shone through our GLYN PLLC Team! Our leaders had the opportunity to connect with many people from other Foundations such as Miss Eve, who is part of the Vietnamese Chapter, and got a chance to learn more about her work in Sustainability Awareness and ongoing projects. From the GLYN PLLC, we want to give a huge appreciation to the China Institute and Sunwah Foundation for visiting Edmonton and connecting with us and we hope to connect with them again in person soon!

As the holiday season approached, GYLN PLLC hosted its annual winter holiday team celebration! This holiday team social merged with our team onboarding event this year to welcome our 10 new members while celebrating all the hard work our team has done this past year. This event included a leadership activity called: “Colours”. Colours was a leadership activity that allowed individuals to realize their leadership strengths and weaknesses by identifying with one of the four leadership colours. This activity also highlighted how to work best with people who have different leadership styles and how to bring out the strengths of others. It was then followed by a series of team-building games and board games which would foster great opportunities for conversation after our leadership activity. In addition to the activities on Nov 27th, we ask members to share their IDs with all members on our Discord server. Sharing IDs with their pictures and fun facts promoted our Discord server’s livelihood and prepared members’ comfort with socializing at the in-person event. With the holiday celebration, members were able to become familiar with their team members and the goals of our chapter

View our presentation here: FMD2Q3FYs&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink

Take a Bite: Food Drive, Recipe + Video, Fun Fact

During the Summer, our Projects Committee worked on the ‘Take A Bite’ initiative which focused on food shortage and raising awareness for proper nutrition. They posted informative posts on our social media highlighting how dire the food shortage crisis is and how to combat it. Furthermore, they posted their own favorite recipes and easy meals for students to try making at home. As a part of the initiative, they reached out to the community and asked for food and bottle donations to give back to the Campus Food Bank. They designed flyers, personally handed them out, and collected donations all through Summer. They received around 5 (very heavy!) bags of food donations and used the money from the bottle donations to get more groceries for the Campus Food Bank! Overall, we would call this a pretty nice run for the Project Team!

Take a Bite of Locals Silent Auction on Instagram

As a sequel to the Take a Bite project, the Public Relations Committee organized a silent auction on Instagram where all generous bids will build homes, inspire hope, and create a brighter future in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. With the generosity of our participants and collaboration with local organizations, we donated a total of $126.25 to Habitat for Humanity (@habitatedm) which works hard to provide affordable homeownership to YEG families! Thank you to all of our sponsors and participants for your support and donations!

Special appreciation to our sponsors listed below (in no particular order): @stoney_beads; @leopoldstavern; @replenish.zerowaste; @alpineemberco; @wishingstarpublishing

Chillato with GYLN PLLC

In light of the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions that have made connecting and gathering difficult, the PLLC Chapter of GYLN organized its first get-together since the Winter semester. This special event aims to warmly welcome the new formation of the competition team while reuniting and reestablishing connections among existing chapter members.

Beginning with a refreshing gelato treat at La Carraia Gelaterie Cafe to beat the summer heat. Following this delightful indulgence, we continued our gathering at Board N Brew for a delightful session of socializing and fun.

A Day in the Life of GYLN PLLC members

Have you ever wanted to get to know the executive members more? No need to wonder further. The PR Committee members (Natalie, Sarah, Vishwa, and Emily) took turns taking over the Instagram and Facebook page with our A Day in the Life of Executive Members project.

Head to our Instagram page (@pllc.gyln) now to watch the interactive story highlights and fill in the blanks below:

  1. Sarah is part of a band called “                                                                 ”.
  2. Vishwa had       ,       ,        on her plate.
  3. Emily took a video of       (number) puppies playing.
  4. Natalie played        with her friends on Halloween

To increase our public visibility, we also launched a GYLN PLLC LinkedIn Page! Follow us here: ge-chapter?trk=public_post_feed-actor-name

Competition Team

The PLLC Chapter of GYLN participated in the 2023 GYLN Year of Innovation Competition with the idea of an app development project named Recipe Story. The competition team consists of Natalie Kwok, Justin Kan, and Sarah Woodbridge.

Recipe Story is a mobile app for international users to post personal and cultural recipes. Picture a social media app; yet for recipes and stories!

Users can share recipes by posting pictures, sending texts, and filming short videos. Moreover, users can create their personalized avatars and author pages, as well as react with others through the comment, share, and direct messaging features. For recipe collectors, there is an option to save individual recipes to a personal Liked Recipe list.

You can read our proposal via this link:

Goodbye and a Little Teaser Time

New year comes with new projects and resolutions! In 2024, the executive teams are working hard to register GYLN PLLC as a student group of the University of Alberta Student Union. With the registration completed, the chapter will have future opportunities to promote event and project engagements with the University of Alberta (UofA) community. Registering as an official student group under the UASU will allow us to publish events and recruitment advertisements via their communication channels, participate in the annual Fall and Winter Clubs Fair, utilize UofA spaces, and other privileges in place that would benefit our outreach. We will also recruit new members to join our chapter soon!

A teaser of a project by the Public Relations Committee:

What is GYLN PLLC? A question interested applicant asks. As one of our goals this year, we aim to promote our public visibility on our social media. To achieve this goal, we will create a video featuring members and Betty Chan (Director of International Relations, Sunwah Foundation).

The Project Committee is also engaging with the community and working on a mental health fundraiser. The members coordinated Bottle Drives and Grocery Runs in Edmonton.

Thank you for reading about our 2022-2023 year journal. Keep in touch with our social media for updates on future exciting projects that work towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and service to the communities we are a part of!

Instagram: @pllc.gyln

Facebook: @pllc.gyln

Linkedin: llege-chapter/?viewAsMember=true

Wix Website:

Written by Natalie Kwok and Sharen Anna Manuel

Co-Chairs of GYLN PLLC

GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter Internal Team Bonding Events

Hello fellow GYLN members from around the world! We are the GYLN Peter Lougheed Leadership College (PLLC) chapter located in Edmonton, Canada and we are here to bring you a recap of our latest internal team bonding events and to tell you the story of how we went started from a humble team of 5 to now, a multifaceted team of 25!

Onset of COVID-19, Dwindling Down in Numbers, and Reorganization 2020 was not an easy year for anyone, and it was no exception for GYLN PLLC. Shortly after our members, Christy, Reshma, and Candice came back from their fantastic experience at the GYLN Macau Summit at the end of 2019, the pandemic hit. Many of our old members were deeply affected and some had to step away from the team to refocus their goals in life. For next year, our chapter reoriented our priorities as a team of 5 members working virtually in the midst of the pandemic. During this time, our small team learned to be more effective by becoming a Jack of all trades – from project planning to research, marketing to outreach – everyone did a bit of everything. Resultingly, each of the members were able to tap into their greatest strengths, teach each other, and as a whole, we became more well-rounded. While it was a challenge to navigate a virtual team during the pandemic, our team seized the challenges as an opportunity to give back to the local community.

In the Christmas of 2020 and throughout the New Year of 2021, our chapter launched the “Turning the Spotlight to Local Businesses and Non-Profits” project in Edmonton. Our project promoted local businesses and featured non-profits who struggled during the unprecedented times, in accordance with the City of Edmonton’s recommendations on supporting the community during COVID-19. Our goal was to raise awareness on the importance of shopping local to help small businesses cope through this hardship and to recognize the tireless efforts of unsung heroes in non-profits who are working especially hard to support vulnerable populations.

Recruitment (August-September 2021, February 2022) and Full Team Onboarding (October 23, 2021, Zoom)

With the success of our projects in 2021, our small team of 5 was able to build a strong foundation and raise awareness on the GYLN PLLC brand in the community. With more collaborations and project opportunities in line for the future, we wanted to realize our team’s potential by recruiting more talent, ideas, and passionate youth members to join us on our leadership journey. To get a headstart on the 2021-22 school year, the GYLN PLLC Chapter did its largest onboarding to date since its establishment in August 2018. Our chapter welcomed fifteen passionate and eager members into our External, Internal, Marketing, and Project teams, as well as some new general members.

New GYLN members were invited to an onboarding event where they got the chance to familiarize with the SUNWAH Foundation and the GYLN, network with existing/other new members, identify their self-development goals, settle into their position, and forecast their contributions to the team. In February 2022, our chapter recruited six more members to complete our team.

During one of our full team meetings shortly after our onboarding, the GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter collaborated to come up with our GYLN PLLC Team Charter. This team charter served as a useful tool for us to set boundaries and collective goals as a team, while also laying the grounds for how we wanted to measure our success and hold each other accountable. A particularly meaningful activity we did was creating the word cloud below, which is a collage of the team values we each valued the most. The bigger the word in the word cloud, the more important that value was to our members. As a team, our most defining values were: Communication, Respect, Diversity, and Teamwork!

Winter Gala (December 2021, Discord)

In order to strengthen the connection between the team members and uplift team morale, the Internal Team has planned a holiday-themed team bonding event: The Winter Gala! All GYLN PLLC members are invited to the event where they will get the chance to network with existing/other new members, enjoy fun games, and win amazing prizes in the spirit of TEAMWORK and HOLIDAYS for the first time!

The Winter Gala consisted of both synchronous and asynchronous virtual activities, including:

Winter Gala Meet, Frosty Fun Bingo, Among Us, and ICE to See You. The members had a great time getting cozy together with heartwarming conversations and exciting games. Kowthar (project lead), Wenhui (general member), Radha (co-chair and vice president external), and Natalie (internal relations director) were winners of a $20 local business gift card for Winter Gala!

ID-yourself (January-February 2022, Discord)

From January to February 2022, our Internal Team organized a sequel of the December Winter Gala! We brainstormed questions for team members to answer on a new Discord channel that would allow other members to get to know and understand each other. Then, our VP Internal cum Co-Chair, along with our Finance and Admin Director, created fabulous ID cards for each member of our chapter. Every member then posted their individualized ID card into the channel and answered the question: “what is the best thing you did this week?” with some pictures to go along with their answers. This not only allowed us to put faces to a name, but we also got to live vicariously through each member even if it was merely a week.

Here is a sneak peek of some of the members’ ID Cards!

Newsletter – The Monthly Tea:

Due to such the big team size and the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has been difficult for all of the members to meet and get to know each other on a personal level! So Natalie, an Internal Relations Director, had an
idea of creating a centralized announcement platform for all GYLN PLLC members. Through collaboration with the internal team, we created this centralized update newsletter – Monthly Tea – as a way to keep members in the loop!

The newsletter includes team updates, superstar member features, form intakes, and special days of the month. Feel free to check out our Monthly Tea newsletter of the year by clicking the links below:
● Our very first Monthly Tea in February:
● March
● April
● Ocotber

Spring Re-Leaf

Spring is here in May!

All GYLN PLLC members were invited to attend both in-person and virtual team bonding events to increase team morale, inter-portfolio connections
and comfortability, and sense of belonging. With the increased motivation and rapport from this bonding event, members will be encouraged to
strive towards optimal completion of their projects, as well as continually improve their leadership skills. This event will also serve as a celebration for the success of the Event Team’s “Mind and Money Workshop” and the official launch of the Project Team’s series: “Journey into Canada: A Guide to Navigating University for International Students.” among other milestones achieved.

We first went to the local Gateway Bowling during the Glow Bowling special event. The GYLN PLLC team really built the bowling muscles in the night. Through cheers, high fives, and strategy conversations, we had an enjoyable time at both lanes! After our bowling competition, we went on a quick 10 minute nature walk to local korean crusine restaurant Hanjan South. From eating delicious food, chilling after a bowling workout, to having deep conversation together, most of our members rated the overall experience a 5 our of 5 stars! Truly, nothing beats good company and good food!

The virtual event later that week went great as well and was the perfect opportunity for the team to reinforce our new found connections! The GYLN PLLC Internal Team had a wonderful time bonding through various multiplayer games.

Fall 2022 Clubs Fair Tabling Fall, Recruitment on Campus!

With the new semester starting at the University of Alberta, our chapter wanted to use this opportunity to recruit some new blood into our events & project team and encourage more innovative project ideas! In order to do this, we partnered with the university’s Student Union to table on the first day of classes at the Week of Welcome. This was a major milestone as this semester marks the first time classes are back in-person since the onset of COVID-19. Our table at clubs fair this year was a huge success! Before the end of the day we had already given out all of our brochures to interested students. These brochures included a QR code to access the application form for Project Lead and VP Events, as well as a general volunteer application form! Sharen, Natasha, Vishwa, and Susana managed the booth and did an excellent job encouraging passerbyers to join GYLN. In the end, we were able to welcome 3 very talented students onto our team – Ofure, Priyanka, and Precious! Glad to have them onboard!

With our team now fully staffed (25 members), we are proud to present the launch of our Meet The Team page on our official GYLN PLLC website! Come check us out!

Words from Our Members

With our evergrowing team, sometimes we wonder, what motivates each one of us to be a part of this big family? And so…we embarked on a mission to interview some of our members to find out what there favourite part of being in GYLN was! Below are some of their responses!:

❖ My favourite part about joining GYLN is collaborating with and promoting our diverse GYLN PLLC member’s leadership skills. Along with other members, it provided opportunities for me to share what I know about leadership and improve my leadership skills.
❖ My favourite part is being able to work with an amazing group of people! I get to create and execute projects and have fun at the same time. Best of both worlds!
❖ My favourite part about joining GYLN is meeting new people and having a creative outlet to make posts. I also really enjoy growing my leadership skills and learning how to effectively get tasks done well

Teaser into Future Events
In the future, we will try to cater to our members’ preferences as much as possible. Some of the ideas we have gotten for future bonding events are laser tag, escape room, discovering new food places, hiking, watching movies or shows together, cooking classes or gaming sessions! As well, we plan on having a Professional Development event to aid members in strengthening their leadership skills.

The Internal team looks forward to bringing more engaging event and valuable professional development sessions in the future! Maybe going to laser tags, escape rooms, discovering new food places, hiking, watching movies or shows together, cooking classes or gaming sessions! The endless opportunities await!

For now, we are excited to present our annual holiday team celebrations (Frosty Fest!) to thank our team members for all their hard work this past year! We can’t wait to update you on how our event goes and share some jolly pictures! Take care everyone! 🙂

Reported by GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter | 18 Nov 2022

HCMC Chapter Winning Team’s Environmental Study Trip to Canada

As the winner of GYLN 50 Student Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam 2020, GYLN Ho Chi Minh City Chapter members, who founded I CAN project, had an exceptional study trip to improve our knowledge in environmental studies and sustainability in Alberta, Canada, organized by Sunwah Foundation and the Jonathan KS Choi Cultural Centre of Canada, the University of Alberta from September 25 to October 1, 2022. The study trip not only provided theoretical knowledge about sustainability but also gave us a chance to observe and practice our understanding in the local context.

The study trip began with the lecture of Prof. John Acorn on Nature Park Conservation with the attendance of Mr. Jackson Choi – Director of Sunwah Group; Ms. Betty Chan – Director of International Relations of Sunwah Group; Prof. Ngo Phuong Lan – President of the University of Social Sciences and Humanity, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City; Dr. Truong Ngoc Kiem, Vice Director of Development and Cooperation Department, Vietnam National University, Hanoi; Ms. Phan Tuong Yen – Vice-Chairlady of GYLN Ho Chi Minh City Chapter; representatives of the University of Alberta and I CAN Project team members includes Le Thi Xuan Mai, Doan Thi Linh Chi and Vu Duc Huy. With his experience in Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences, Prof. Acorn presented an overall picture of the conservative action of Canada National Park in the whole nation and Alberta in particular. From the history of national parks worldwide, Prof. Acorn introduced the establishment of Canada’s national park and how it impacted the infrastructure development in surrounding areas, such as the railway system, the Banff Spring Hotel, and the whole town later. We also discussed the invisibility of indigenous people in the territories and how they came back with the change of governmental policy. The relationship between the authority and the indigenous community is our interest as the target beneficiary of our environmental education project is the ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Another highlight of the lecture is the impact of infrastructure on wildlife. The Canadian government has several effective innovations to encourage biodiversity preservation, but they also struggle with bad consequences from touristy buildings and have to find an alternative to reduce the negative impact on nature. Hence, the team has a multi-dimensional perspective on environmental conservation programs in Alberta and Canada in general.

Figure 1. GYLN Delegation and Prof. Acorn after his lecture on Nature Park Conservation

In the afternoon, the Energy & Climate Action (E&CA) team gives us a green building tour to learn how institutions as an enabling factor for environmental protection. In 2021, The University of Alberta was one of Canada’s top 100 greenest employers; this is the 13th straight year the university got this record. Sustainability is one of the main pillars of the University of Alberta, and they have implemented multiple innovative programs to reduce waste and utilize green energy for buildings. The Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) is a vibrant example of the University of Alberta’s commitment to operating green buildings on its campus. The facility received a LEED certificate for improving efficiency, lowering carbon emissions, and creating healthier places for people. During the tour, we observed the lighting and electricity efficiency system, the building floor made from mining waste products, the solar panel system, and the garbage disposal system to understand how the building costs less energy for daily use.

Figure 2. The ground floor of Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS)
Figure 3. Green water conservation result of Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS)

The last section is Prof. Jasmine Farahbakhsh’s presentation on the Sustainability Council and Sustainability at the University of Alberta. The council is operated as an academic leadership to integrate sustainability into academia and campus life and foster the active citizenship role of faculty and students. In the academic curriculum, the council offers sustainability studies and provides the Certificate in Sustainability to encourage students to study across disciplines to understand human and environmental issues in today’s world. Till now, more than 200 students have gotten the Certificate in Sustainability, and there are 891 faculty involved in this academic initiative to offer around 300 courses integrating sustainability at undergraduate and graduate levels. They also provide sustainability and sustainable development courses across all faculties, such as Introduction to Sustainability and Global Sustainable Development. They also implement Experiential and Work-integrated learning by funding Sustainability Scholars to work with Edmonton-area corporate, institutional, and government partners for six months. After completing the program, graduates have a substantial shift to pursue their careers in sustainability-related fields. The internship and volunteer program for Student Council are executed, and some of them become staff for the Council after graduation. The Sustainability Council also provides research funding, leaders’ awards, and an academic network for staff to foster communication and collaboration in academia toward sustainability.

Figure 4. GYLN Delegation and Prof. Jasmine Farahbakhsh after her presentation on the Sustainability Council

On the second day, the team joined a Hybrid Meeting entitled “Environmental Innovation & Green Technology” organized by Sunwah Foundation and Jonathan KS Choi Cultural Center. Prof. Ngo Phuong Lan gave an opening remark emphasizing the importance of sustainability and the necessity of raising awareness of environmental issues in the community and fostering innovative technology to solve these problems. She also shared her vision to change VNU’s University of Social Sciences and Humanity in Ho Chi Minh City to become a green university in Vietnam. The meeting had six presentations from distinguished professors from the University of Alberta, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Fudan University in China. Dr. Scott Chang from the Department of Renewable Resources, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, presented his finding on developing biochars for climate change mitigation and environmental remediation of contaminated soil and water. His colleague, Dr. Miles Dyck, focused on sustainable agriculture and researched the soil carbon and nitrogen balance on improving soil health and crop productivity in long-term rotations at the Breton Plots. Prof. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez conducted research on greenhouse gas and their sources in agriculture to mitigate them in long-term agroecology. Dr. Lexuan Zhong shifted to a new topic, infrastructure, and green technology, with her presentation on green and healthy built environments. Prof. Hong K. Lo followed up on the topic with his presentation on HKUST’s sustainable, innovative campus. The presentation showed HKUST’s effort in building a green and technology-enabled campus to mitigate harmful effects on the environment. Finally, Prof. Wang Zimeng introduced the Applied Geochemistry journal and several topics that the journal focuses on. The meeting is an excellent opportunity for I CAN project to present our actions and results in providing a biodiversity education program in Mang Den, Kon Tum province, Vietnam, with middle high school students.

Figure 5. Hybrid Meeting “Environmental Innovation & Green Technology”
Figure 6. GYLN Delegation and professors in the hybrid meeting at the University of Alberta campus
Figure 7. GYLN Delegation at Jonathan KS Choi Cultural Centre of Canada

In the afternoon, the team went to Elk Island Park with staff from Canada Park to listen to their history of conserving the bison in North America. The park is named after the Elk to honor the discovery of this native animal. However, this park is better known for its care and conservation activities for the bison, which were almost extinct in the 20th century. Currently, more than 800 bison are cared for and taken care of in various conservation areas across Canada, including the Banff National Park, which we had the opportunity to visit afterward. The guide also introduced us to the area for care, medical examination, and bison grazing. We learn about the herd structure, behavior, and habits of bison. Fortunately, we witnessed a herd of female bison resting in the meadow.

Figure 8. Canada Park staff introduced the history of bison in North America
Figure 9. Part of the bison grazing area at Elk Island Park
Figure 10. Canada Park staff presented health and reproductive testing procedures for bison
Figure 11. A bunch of bison hair
Figure 12. The dam built by beaver
Figure 13. Observe the beaver teeth marks

From the 4th day until the end of the trip, we moved to Banff National Park, which is Canada’s first national park, established in 1885, and had a chance to explore the impressive natural beauty of Banff.

It was an honor for us to have a nature walk and talk with Mr. Harvey Locke, who is well-known as the global leader in the fields of parks, wilderness, wildlife, and large landscape conservation. Throughout the trip, he introduced us to the diversity of Banff National Park, including wildlife, animals, and plants, as well as how Canadians interact with nature in this park. One of the most interesting parts was how the river works through the seasons of the year at the Bow River. We could see the river at one certain place with the water flow. However, the water also flows strongly under the land surface. In the springtime, the snow is melted and provides a huge amount of water into the river to expand its flow and might cause a flood.

Figure 14. The Bow River at Banff National Park
Figure 15. The Bow River at Banff National Park

In addition, we also visited the Banff Park Museum, Western Canada’s oldest natural history museum. It allowed us to peruse a lot of historic items, including stuffed animals, minerals, and plants. We believed that visiting this museum was a fantastic way to get to know Banff animals up close and to learn about how natural history was seen a century ago.

Figure 16. Bird’s egg specimens at the museum
Figure 17. Stuffed animals at the museum

Besides, Barb Johnston, a wildlife ecologist in Parks Canada, gave us a unique lecture about protecting Banff National Park. We were astounded to learn of the challenges facing conservationists in Banff, including wildlife movement, aquatic restoration, climate change, and fire management – rekindling the flame. In Banff, man-made wildlife underpasses and overpasses have been constructed along a key transportation corridor to reduce the negative effects of wildlife crossing the road on people and to prevent them from being hit by cars.

Figure 18. GYLN Delegation and wildlife ecologists in Parks Canada

In addition, the Columbia Icefield – the largest ice field in North America’s Rocky Mountains – was also a wonderful landscape in that we had a chance to step into it. Besides the beauty of nature at this icefield, we saw the landmark displaying an area of ice year after year, and this indicates that the ice in the Columbia icefield has melted due to climate change.

Figure 18. GYLN Delegation at Columbia Icefield
Figure 18. Information board at Columbia Icefield

Also belonging to Banff, Lake Louise has a long history of being one of the most breathtaking mountain destinations in the world. We quickly learned about the local fauna and how we could contribute to their protection. Even though this location receives a lot of tourists, they did a great job managing the terrain and protecting the species.

Figure 20. Beautiful landscape at Lake Louise
Figure 21. Wildlife protection information

Last but not least, one essential part of the study trip was our opportunity to connect with other GYLN from the chapter of Peter Lougheed Leadership College, University of Alberta. We joined the hybrid meeting together and later had a cozy dinner where we got to know more about each other.

GYLN HCMC Chapter met GYLN PLLC (University of Alberta) chapter and Mr. Jackson Choi

We have different backgrounds in culture and also education nevertheless we do share mutual care for fostering a better world through our leadership competence and the power of the leadership network.  During the dinner, we likewise talked about culture, academic learning and our career path to name but a few.

It was also a reunion occasion for members who took part in the “Macau Sunwah GYLN International Summit 2019”. Chi from GYLN HCMC Chapter, Christy and Candice from GYLN PLLC (University of Alberta) Chapter, were extremely happy to see each other again with madam Betty Chan. Though the three-year period is such a long time, we still hold a strong connection with each other and miss the trip to Macau very much. We saw ourselves have been going a long way in our development as a GYLN member.

Madam Betty Chan, Candice, Christy and Chi met again in Canada after the  Macau International Summit 2019

The study trip ended with myriad lessons learned, connections established and promising steps towards optimizing the team’s project in the near future. “It’s a chance of a lifetime” – said GYLN HCMC Chapter members.

Reported by GYLN HCMC Chapter I CAN Project Team | October 27, 2022

GYLN Internal Bonding Event 2022

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In celebration of its 8th anniversary, Sunwah GYLN Hanoi Chapter held a bonding event in the evening of April 24 at the ULIS-Jonathan KS Choi Cultural Center with the presence of Ms. Janice Le – Representative of Sunwah Hanoi Office, Ms. Chi Dao – Partnership Executive of Sunwah Hanoi Office, and 20 members and alumni of the Chapter. The event, consisting of a meeting and a dinner with many activities, was an occasion for members to learn about each other and gain better understanding of the organization.

To begin the meeting, Ms. Janice Le, who has guided the Chapter for the past eight years, delivered an encouraging opening address, noting that Hanoi’s chapter is a vibrant branch. In the words of Ms. Le, the significant age gap as well as diverse backgrounds of the members has become the unique characteristics of Sunwah GYLN, allowing members to complement one another and grow in a variety of ways. The case of Ms. To Nhu, who is currently in charge of the HR and Communication Teams, is a significant example of Ms. Le’s sharing. Ms. To Nhu revealed that two years ago, when she lacked experience and didn’t know how to express herself in the application form, she was disqualified in the CV screening round. Unprecedentedly, her dedication in the thank-you email has opened the door for her to become a mentee of the Hanoi Chapter and later an official member. The alumni’s recognition and nurturing of her talent over the last two years provided her with several opportunities to improve professionally and inspired her to remain a member of the Hanoi Chapter. 

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Ms. Janice Le delivering a speech on behalf of Sunwah Foundation

The meeting continued with an inspiring sharing session during which Ms. Tam Dong, the Chairwoman of the Hanoi Chapter, and alumni as well as other outstanding members gave their remarks. Every single one of them reflected on their time at Sunwah GYLN as an excellent platform for helping each individual improve while also giving back to the community.  In addition, Sunwah GYLN has provided them with genuine friendships that have lasted well beyond their time with the organization. These bonds has bound many GYLN alumni together and many will always consider GYLN part of their youth.

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Ms. Anh Truc sharing her own experience at Sunwah GYLN

Afterward, all members and alumni participated in a quiz game with 20 questions about Sunwah Group, Sunwah Foundation, Sunwah GYLN in general, and Hanoi Chapter in particular, followed by a brief presentation and a fruitful discussion led by Ms. Ngoc Quynh – Vice-Chairwoman of Hanoi Chapter about strategic orientation and future projects of the Chapter. 

On this occasion, on behalf of Sunwah Foundation, Ms. Janice Le awarded honorable titles and certificates of recognition to alumni and members with remarkable contributions.

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Ms. Janice Le awarding honorable titles to outstanding members and alumni
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Ms. Janice Le awarding certificates of recognition to alumni

At the end of the meeting, new members were invited to introduce themselves and share the reasons why they joined the Hanoi Chapter. It turned out that they all had known Sunwah GYLN from previous activities and were really interested in participating in such projects, and seeking more international experiences. They also expressed confidence in this global platform and eagerness for new experiences with the organization.

During dinner, members had the opportunity to get to know and understand more about each other and about Sunwah GYLN. Members and alumni all appreciated the gathering and felt proud of being part of this organization.

A group of people sitting at a table with food

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Birthday dinner with barbecue buffet

Reported by Hanoi Chapter, May 6, 2022

Sunwah GYLN 3rd Workshop on Leadership led by Angeline Letourneau – Teaching Fellow of Peter Lougheed Leadership College (University of Alberta)

On Saturday, April 24th, 2022, Sunwah GYLN members from various chapters attended the online leadership training workshop on “Followership: The Forgotten Side of Leadership”. At the beginning of the workshop, Angeline and her team moderated discussions on the definition and role of leaders and followers before diving into three types of followers: passive, effective, and alienated. Following the discussion, there were then three separate breakout rooms for experiential learning. For 15 minutes each, the participants in each room worked on their own case studies, which allowed them to actively share ideas and play their own parts.

Moderator shared about 3 types of #followership and their distinct characteristics
Group photo of all participants and moderators at the end of the workshop

At the end of the workshops, participants were encouraged to reflect on their learning and experiences.

  • In the absence of followers, there cannot be true leadership. Despite the fact that followers are sometimes given a lower status than leaders, they are an essential part of every team.
  • In order to push the team to its boundaries and enable everyone to play to their abilities, it is critical to grasp the characteristics of the three categories of followers.
  • Leaders are generals who direct and assist their teams. However, instead of merely telling your team what to do, show them how to do it.
  • Followers are encouraged to raise questions to clarify orders and directives from their leaders.

The program was a success, with participants gaining fresh insights.

GYLN Workshop on Mental Wellness and Trust in Teams led by Helene Jørgensen of Peter Lougheed Leadership College, University of Alberta

On Sunday, November 28th, 2021, nearly 60 members of Sunwah Foundation Global Young Leaders Network from 11 Chapters around the globe have successfully celebrated the second online workshop on leadership with the participation of Ms Helene Jørgensen – Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alberta. During the workshop, Ms Helene and her team facilitated discussions about the representation of mental wellness, how to maintain mental wellness, and how to build trust within teams. There were several breakout rooms for small and large group discussions, active question and answer exchanges, and sharing of personal experiences.

Ms Helene Jørgensen, fellow teachers and GYLN members participating in the workshop

Throughout the workshop, Ms Helene delivered several key messages on mental wellness and building trust within teams, including creating a safe “container” where whatever you share stays within the team. It denotes a secure environment in which to share. Maintaining and supporting mental wellness were also mentioned as it is more important than ever in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The member of GYLN then learned about the different meanings of mental wellness to different people. Each individual should develop their own definition of mental wellness and the types of activities that keep their mind in good shape. It is critical to care for your own mental health as well as the mental health of others. One method is to show people you care about a safe vault.

At the end of the workshop, GYLN members shared their own experiences on trust and all agreed that trust is something that must be built and earned over time.

The active discussions in the breakout rooms showed that mental wellness is a topic attracting participants’ interest, especially when they asked a series of questions surrounding the topic. Everyone had a great time discussing and sharing knowledge, as well as improving leadership skills in terms of mental wellness and trust.

After all, the workshop was encased in the feeling of passion with young people who are eager to learn and improve their knowledge. It was a precious chance for all GYLN members to widen their social network and develop knowledge about the mechanism of leadership.

[Sunwah-GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter] Fighting for Our Future: Sustainability, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and Climate Action

Before the COVID-19 pandemic came into center stage of the global community, the Sunwah GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter worked on a sustainability awareness campaign in 2019 called “Fighting for Our Future” where we strived to combat climate change through increasing awareness on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Our campaign centered around two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Responsible Consumption and Production (#12) as well as Climate Action (#13).

Climate change is undeniably one of the biggest issues facing society today and responsible waste management plays a significant role in the rate of acceleration of climate change.  EPR is an emerging trend in the field of environmental policy and waste management that looks at the sustainability of specific consumable goods in both the post-consumption and disposal stage. The idea of EPR is to shift waste management responsibility upstream in the product’s life cycle to the producers so that action can be taken before irreversible damage is done to our environment. This means that producers are designing every product with a specific recycling plan in mind from the very beginning in efforts to make more products recyclable. As a chapter, we believed that the two-pronged strategy of encouraging both consumers to responsibly manage their waste and producers to proactively adopt more sustainable production methods as the optimal method to secure a more sustainable future. Through our videos and social media campaign, the GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter:

  1. Raised awareness for EPR to help ensure a sustainable Earth;
  2. Raised awareness on harmful environmental effects associated with a lack of EPR;
  3. Promoted sustainable practices the general public can adopt;
  4. And initiated a call to action in our community – to “Fight for Our Future” against climate change.

Our first step of this campaign was to alert the public that our planet’s resources are finite and that we will soon be in a crisis state if we continue wasteful habits. In order to extend the life of our planet’s finite resources so that for the generations to come, life on Earth will still be possible – we as a chapter launched our first video “Fighting for Our Future”. By introducing the concept of EPR and advocating for sustainability, we hope that we can lead a change in responsible production.

GYLN PLLC produced the video above: “Fighting for Our Future

In the process of making our videos and other related campaign content, the GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter toured local landfills in Edmonton, Alberta, where we were able to familiarize ourselves with the current waste management system in place and gather insight on the challenges the industry faces. One such challenge brought to our attention during our landfill tour and our team’s research was the waste product of plastic clamshell packaging. Although the plastic used to make clamshells are often highly recyclable, the adhesives and labels used on these clamshells make the recycling process incredibly difficult. The adhesives on these clamshells require extensive washing to be separated from the recyclable plastic which puts higher demands on both time and resources. As a result, the “not-so-recycle-friendly” clamshells frequently end up in landfills where they take over hundreds of years to decompose, leaving a significant carbon footprint behind.

Sunwah GYLN PLLC members touring the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC)
Campaign Mascot, Clancy the Clamshell

With this new knowledge in mind, our team decided to further mobilize this knowledge into the community, illustrating how products such as clamshells can lead to devastating consequences for our environment. To do this, we created an educational stop motion video about how the current production of clamshells prevents them from being recyclable and developed our campaign mascot, “Clancy the Clamshell”. By incorporating a mascot character within our video, we hoped to attract further interest and maintain the awareness of the public with a lasting impression. From storyboarding, scriptwriting, to building a full filming set largely out of recyclable products, we strove to capture our sustainability mission through every piece of our project. Ultimately, our goal was to target consumers and producers through a relatable story and encourage them to make more sustainable decisions. 

GYLN PLLC produced the video above: “Adventures of Clancy the Clamshell”

This stop motion video captures “Clancy the Clamshell” at the end of their product life cycle where they are awaiting to be sorted at the “Blue Bag Community” (recycling center). Unfortunately, Clancy is told that as a clamshell, they are not recyclable and will need to be transferred to the biofuel center to be destroyed or dumped with other garbage. Clancy is told that perhaps one day their fate as clamshells will be different if EPR policies are introduced into the community’s waste management protocols. This video is a call to action for the need of EPR polices in our communities.

Alongside the production of our videos urging for a call to action on climate change, we connected with our public audience via social media. We posted weekly posts surrounding the topic of sustainability and provided concrete methods as to how the general public can easily contribute to the cause. For example, we encouraged the community to use reusable bags when shopping to reduce plastic waste and followed up with a separate post emphasizing on the devastating effects plastic waste can have on our oceanic ecosystem. Our sustainability social media series successfully garnered attention and increased our social media engagement.

We hope our work here is only the start that sparks a movement leading to lasting change in the form of government implemented EPR legislation in Canada, and eventually, around the world.

— Reported by GYLN PLLC Canada Chapter members

Leadership Training Workshop with Dr Cristina Stasia from the University of Alberta, Canada

On Sunday, October 10th, 2021, nearly 60 members of Sunwah Foundation Global Young Leaders Network from 11 Chapters around the globe have successfully celebrated the first online workshop on leadership with Dr. Cristina Stasia, Director of Instruction – Peter Lougheed Leadership, University of Alberta. The workshop also received great attention and participation from Sunwah Group leaders and associates, namely Ms Betty Chan, Executive Director of Sunwah Foundation, Director of International Relations of Sunwah Group, and Ms Janice Le, Manager of Sunwah Foundation.

The virtual event was packed with contentment and enthusiasm. Initially, all members had the opportunity to meet renowned guest speakers as well as leading individuals from Sunwah Foundation. It was such an honor for the whole network to welcome these charismatic speakers on screen, especially Dr. Cristina Stasia.

Throughout the 2-hour workshop, exchanges between GYLN members and teachers were encouraged through breakout rooms for small group discussions, active question posing, and personal experience sharing. During the workshop, Dr Stasia clarified the distinction between leadership and authority, as well as the relationship between the two.

Dr Stasia, fellow teachers, associates from Sunwah Foundation and GYLN members participated in the workshop

We then learned about formal and informal authority. The lively discussions in the breakout rooms proved that the topic is certainly new and exciting for all GYLN members. We all shared personal experiences with and implementation of authority, both formal and informal.

GYLN members from Vietnam, China, Macau, Hong Kong, Cambodia, USA and Canada joined in the workshop

Dr Stasia later clarified the distinction between previously assumed and adaptive leadership. Dr Stasia also praised GYLN’s spirit and effort in contributing to the community and making the world a better place. GYLN members are unquestionably the young leaders who practice adaptive leadership in their projects and activities on a daily basis.

After all, the workshop was encased in the feeling of passion and surrounded by so many inquisitive stakeholders. It was a precious chance for all GYLN members to widen our social network and develop knowledge about the mechanism of leadership. We would like to express our utmost gratitude and appreciation towards Dr Cristina Stasia, many professors as well as international GYLN members, and specifically, Sunwah Foundation, for giving us the opportunity to interact with many professional individuals worldwide. The workshop must be a motivational contributor in our progress of becoming an all-around leader, sparking our aspiration to keep moving forward and devote ourselves to the blossoming of Global Young Leaders Network in general and Global Young Leaders Network Hanoi in particular.

We really look forward to the second workshop on well-being and mental health, which will take place in late November or early December 2021.

— Reported by GYLN Hanoi Chapter members

Sunwah-GYLN MSU Students Complete Local Park Renovation

The Global Young Leaders Network (GYLN) at MSU kicked off the school year with an initiative to renovate a local park and teach children about leadership and community service. GYLN students dedicated significant service hours through the spring and summer toward planning the project, funded by the Sunwah Foundation.

On August 21, GYLN invited members of the community to a three-hour event at Risdale Park to present their renovations to the community. Risdale Park was selected after consultation with the Lansing Refugee Development Center (RDC), in large part because of its proximity to a large population of refugee families that settled in the area. “We chose to do a local project centered on soccer because it is an international sport played all around the world, and we wanted something to bring people together no matter where they come from,” said Peyton Naragon, student president of GYLN MSU chapter. The scope of activities quickly expanded beyond soccer to include basketball, jump rope, and other activities. Peyton also noted, “in a community, it’s important to have spaces where people can gather and interact. How are you supposed to feel at home in your community, not to mention improve it, if you don’t know it?”

Starting in the February, students collectively contributed approximately 130 hours to plan the event and coordinate logistics, which included weekly student-led sessions and meetings with the RDC, officials from the City of Lansing, and MSU advisors. They also volunteered more than 30 hours at the park to repaint lines on two basketball courts and a soccer field, hang new nets on the hoops and goal posts, and pack gift bags, among other tasks. Srijith Venkateshwaran and Isaiah Daik, both members of the chapter’s executive board, also spent time in the community to get to know residents and spread the word. “We took 50-75 flyers to the neighborhood to hang up and pass out to people. It was fun to see people approach us to talk and learn what we were planning.” Venkateshwaran added, “kids were asking us if they could have a flyer to take back to their apartment and share with their families. We were able to talk to some of their parents while we were there, which was great.” 

Many children from the neighborhood responded to the campaign and came by to enjoy basketball and soccer games at the renovated park. GYLN Vice President, Tomas Keck, took the opportunity to talk to the kids about taking leadership in their community. “One of the best ways to help kids learn leadership is to show them real-life opportunities and examples. We put the idea into practice by working together to clean the park. I started a timer to make it fun, and within minutes, the park went from looking bad to being clean. We talked about how, even though they weren’t personally responsible for the trash, they can take initiative to help their community.” Keck also shared some of his background having grown up in Lansing and attending the same schools that these young people currently attend. He hoped to inspire them and let them know that with commitment and leadership qualities, they can accomplish anything they set out to do. When asked who wanted to be a leader, every hand in the crowd shot up!

One of the best ways to help kids learn leadership is to show them real-life opportunities and examples

After three hours of outdoor activities and the leadership talk, all attendees received a meal and gift bag that included school supplies, snacks, and some fun items such as jump ropes. Everyone also entered into a raffle, and some kids took home prizes such as sports equipment and school supplies. A few lucky winners had earned extra raffle tickets for displaying leadership qualities during the event! 

Even as the event started to wrap up, some unexpected benefits continued to roll in. Naragon noted, “One cool outcome was meeting a group at the park called ‘Love the City’. They are similarly community focused and host block parties around Lansing to help neighborhoods unite. They noticed the work we were doing, and we talked with them and exchanged information to discuss joining efforts on projects in the future.”  

While the students are looking forward to continuing work in the local community, they also hope this project will be a springboard into even larger projects that can expand to international contexts. With support from the Sunwah Foundation and their network of GYLN chapters across the globe, the MSU chapter is aiming high to make a positive impact in Lansing and well beyond. 

— Reported by GYLN MSU Chapter members

Final Pitching Session of the “50 Student Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam 2020”

In November 2020, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sunwah Group in Vietnam, Sunwah Foundation has cooperated with Vietnam National University, Hanoi to launch the “50 Young Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam in 2020” in Hanoi, with the participation of 50 students from various universities across Vietnam. After a five-day training course conducted by environmental experts in Vietnam and overseas, these students returned to their university and community to prepare and implement various environmental projects.

On 17 April 2021, the Final Pitching Session of the “50 Student Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam 2020” project was successfully held virtually, with the participation of the students and the board of judges, including Ms Betty Chan – Executive Director of Sunwah Foundation, Ms Do Van Nguyet – Director of Live&Learn Vietnam, and Dr Truong Ngoc Kiem – Vietnam National University Hanoi (VNUHN) Youth Union’s Secretary. Fifty Student Ambassadors have implemented their projects, funded by Sunwah Foundation, over three months from December 2020 to March 2021. The projects covered a wide range of fields including environmental workshops, social media campaigns, educational activities, business and scientific research to raise awareness in the public as well as find new solutions regarding environmental protection.

Students and board of judges at the Final Pitching Session

The board of judges was impressed by the excellence in launching the projects. Many of them have created impactful events with exceptional growth in social media and public engagement. The Student Environmental Ambassadors also proved the effects of their projects through successfully fundraising and attracting attention and support from local government and other environmental NGOs in Vietnam.

Use-less Plastic Project by USSH HCM students
Citizen Science New Digest (CSND) project by Can Tho University students
Report from FIREFLY Project by University of Education (VNUHN) students

All of the presented projects are set to be continued and scaled up in the coming time, even after the “50 Student Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam 2020” project is completed. Sunwah Foundation will continue to support and act as a bridge to connect these meaningful projects with related partners, institutions of the Sunwah Foundation network, not only in Vietnam but worldwide.

TAGE Project by Green Impact Vietnam (University of Economics, VNUHN)
Biophilia Project by USSH HCM students
GASED project by Hanoi University of Science (VNU) students

At the end of the Final Pitching Session, the board of judges announced the team of Sunwah Global Young Leaders Network (GYLN), Ho Chi Minh City Chapter with their project namely I CAN as the Winner of the “50 Student Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam 2020” Project Competition. The “I CAN” project is a biodiversity education project, which aims to raise awareness of students about biodiversity and ecosystem conservation in Kon Plông – Kontum (central highland of Vietnam), encouraging school administration to apply biodiversity learning activity into the education program for all applied secondary school in Kon Plông through the instructional guideline developed by the project team and experts.

I CAN project by Sunwah GYLN HCMC Chapter

Besides, 4 other projects were given the Outstanding Project Awards including “Green Closet” by Sunwah GYLN Hanoi Chapter members; “Use-less Plastic” by University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City students; “Purple Petal” by Hue University students, and “GASED” by University of Sciences, Vietnam National University Hanoi students (a new initiative of converting agriculture residues to sustainable energy). All of the 5 above-mentioned projects will continue to receive special support from Sunwah Foundation and Sunwah’s worldwide network of partners. The Winning team also received sponsorship for a training and exchange program at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Purple Petal Project by Hue University students
Green Closet Project by Sunwah GYLN Hanoi Chapter

The Final Pitching Session concluded the “50 Student Environmental Ambassadors in Vietnam 2020” started in November 2020. The project received numerous positive feedbacks and thank-you notes from all stakeholders, achieving its mission of connecting like-minded young people and encouraging them to inspire other people to protect our environment together.