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(Left) Ambassador Maria Theresa P. Lazaro during her  opening remarks. (Right) Ambassador Lazaro and Consul Lillibeth Pono with the organizers of Noi-P.                                                 

Philippine Embassy in Berne Inspires Filipino-Swiss Students
and Young Professionals to Organize and Make a Difference

5 September 2010-Upon the encouragement of the Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Maria Theresa P. Lazaro, Filipino-Swiss students and young professionals in Switzerland decided to network and organize, in order to reach out to each other, strike a common cord for their Philippine heritage, and endeavor to discover, together, their common aspirations for the Philippines.

The group, aptly called “Noi-P” or Network of Integrated Pinoys in Switzerland, is made up of young men and women with Filipino parentage/background, who were born and/or raised in Switzerland.

Noi-P was successfully launched on 5 September 2010 in Zurich, with around 50 young Filipinos-Swiss present. With its theme “Connecting Pinoys 2G,” this occasion provided the right setting for the so-called “2nd Generation Pinoys” to share their personal experiences as children of migrants in a multi-cultural society.

During this event, Noi-Pi’s prime mover, Ambassador Lazaro, encouraged the young people to strengthen their network, evolve into a community that is deeply rooted in its Filipino-Swiss identity, and be involved for a common cause. Ambassador Lazaro added that the Noi-Ps in Switzerland generally lead comfortable lives, without much struggles and difficulties, which may be the opposite experience of many children of Filipino migrant families elsewhere. She urged the Noi-Ps to go out of their comfort zones and project the best of the Filipino in them through worthy project within the mainstream Swiss society.

Some accomplished Noi-P’s also shared their talents and reflections during the launching program, like the current Miss Earth Switzerland Liza Andrea Kuster, software developer Michael Alaba, and violinist Yann Passabet-Labiste. The program was concluded with a presentation of the Bolpen-Bata initiative, which encouraged the guests to donate their spare pens for the pupils of a school in Cotabato. 

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