APAY e-News June 2013

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Monthly eNewsletter of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs

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Monthly eNewsletter of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs June 2013

1. APAY 2nd Green Ambassadors Training

2. Change Agents

3. YMCA Disaster Prepardness, Management & Risk Reduction Workshop

4. Focus on Environmental responsibility

5. YMCA Strikes to bring change to the communities in Makassar, Me4dan & Yogyakarta

6. RoanAtti International Youth Volunteer Service Program

7.  New President of NCY of Sri Lanka


June 3-10: Gender Advance Training, Bangkok, Thailand

June 26-July 1: APAY Regional Workshop on Social Economy, Seoul, South Korea

July 21-26:  Disaster Preparedness, Management & Risk Reduction Workshop, Kallar, Sri Lanka

Aug 30-Sept 5:  ASYG 2013, Metro Manila, Philippines

APAY 2nd Green Ambassadors Training

The Green Ambassadors Training, second of its kind was organized by the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs and took place in Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village, Hong Kong during 8 – 14 May 2013. Eleven participants representing YMCA Movements of Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Pakistan, Taiwan and Thailand participated at the Training Program. The APAY Green Team Members facilitated the Training Program.

Rev. Simon Chan, Assistant General Secretary, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong led the Opening Devotion on the inaugural day. Mr. Yau Chung Wan, President of the APAY, Mr. Karl Lau, General Secretary of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and Honorary General Secretary of the Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong and Mr. Kohei Yamada, General Secretary, APAY were present at the inaugural session of the Training Program and encouraged the participants to be more involved in green activities in their respective YMCAs.

Mr. Samson So, Founder and Director of Eco Institute, Hong Kong delivered the key note address, elaborating the present state of the ecology, environment and bio-diversity of our planet. The best environmental practices of the YMCAs of our region were presented at the Training Workshop, they were Chiangmai YMCA, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and the YMCA of Hong Kong. The participants had the opportunity to have field visits, as an exposure to the Zero Carbon Building, Organic Farm, Plastic Recycling Center in Hong Kong.

Mr. Colin Lambie, APAY Green Team Member from Australia, explained the participants the terminologies of energy units and the consumption behaviors of various power appliances. He also discussed about various energy appliances and their cost benefit. The participants were taught through practical exercises to estimate the carbon emissions of the YMCA through the use of online carbon calculator. The participants also learnt about the energy consumptions of our own YMCAs and the volume of carbon foot prints we were creating and the possible ways to offset the carbon footprints.

During the final sessions the participants were acquainted with the terms of reference of Green Teams, which they required to form in their own YMCAs. They also prepared plan of action, on personnel, societal and YMCAs perspective, which they pledged to fulfill upon return from the training.

The 1st Green Ambassadors Training Program was held in Chiangmai, Thailand, during the month of May 2012. Fifteen participants from various countries of the region of Asia & Pacific participated at the Training Program last year.

At present we have a total of 26 Green Ambassadors in our region who have been trained in the last two years to initiate various green activities in their respective YMCAs.


They first form small Green Teams in their respective YMCAs for a collective action program. Action program includes monitor the carbon emissions of the respective YMCAs through the use of the online carbon calculator as devised in APAY website. The Green Teams motivate the YMCAs to be more environmental friendly in their activities, take effective measures to reduce carbon footprints, initiate renewable energy programs, motivate the people to become more environment friendly by making changes in their behavioral patterns.

APAY has engaged environmental mentors, who are members of the APAY Green Team to guide and assist the Green Ambassadors in delivering various Green Activities in their own countries.

APAY now plans to hold Green Ambassadors Training at National Level in several countries as a follow up program, so that a large number of youths could be involved in this program.

APAY is also thankful to the Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong for financially supporting this program.

Duncan Chowdhury
Exexcutive Secretary


Change Agents

The World Alliance discussed and decided to select 200 Change Agents from all over the world and to train them at the World and Area level in 2013-2014. This same idea was also incorporated in the APAY strategic plan 2012-2015. APAY uses the term “youth rep” (representative) instead of “ Change Agents” APAY has already selected 45 youth rep including 11 APAY youth committee members. The APAY conducted training for them in August 2012 in Sri Lanka and in March 2013 right after the ECM in Hong Kong.

The World YMCA is developing a project to raise the youth voice from local communities to global platforms to work towards a better quality of life for young people through Change Agents. Together with 119- member national country YMCAs all over the world, the world YMCA plans to conduct a transformative global citizens opinion survey known as One Million Voice (OMV).

The Goal of One Million Voice research project is to collect and understand young people’ (aged 15 to 24) perception of their current situation and what it should be in the context of their individual and collective opinion. The out comes of the project will contribute to the understanding of youth perspective on social justice issues and barriers and opportunities relating to employment, health, civic engagement and organizational involvement.

A Change Agent with the mission of unifying the YMCA movement under the common umbrella of youth empowerment. Between the age of 18-30 years (preferably) Committed to the mission of the YMCA and willing to provide long term leadership either as volunteer or staff, series of training opportunities at various levels (local, national, and global) and deliver specific action responses through December 2014 and beyond.

In the city of Prague, from August 4-10, 2013, Love 2 Live festival will provide a unique opportunity for 10,000 young people from across Europe and the world to come together to celebrate life, Culture, diversity, international understanding and everything that is inspiring about being young.

During the course a week, the festival will take young people on a journey: exploring dreams, aspirations and talents; develop their leadership skills and challenge them to be active in the world they live locally, nationally.

The programme will include performance, music, workshop, sports, leadership training and culture events.

Around 30 Change Agents from the APAY are going to attend the Prague Festival and Training.

Roger Peiris
Program Officer for Youth Development


YMCA Disaster Preparedness, Management & Risk Reduction Workshop

In recent years, the Asia and Pacific region has been continuously affected by large scale disasters which affected a number of economies, taking many lives across the region. Among the major ones was the 2011 earthquake in East Japan, followed by tsunami and nuclear disaster. Other South East Asian countries were also severely affected by other calamities like the prolonged period of floods in Thailand.

With the continuing support and cooperation of Y Care International, the APAY, in an effort to help build the capacities of staff and volunteers in developing and being pro-active in emergency and disaster response, another YMCA Disaster Preparedness, Management and Risk Reduction workshop will be held on 21st-26th July in Kallar, Sri Lanka.

The letter-circular has been sent to disaster-prone movements such as China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Deadline for submission of filled-up registration forms will be on 28th June 2013. For more information, kindly contact the APAY Secretariat with email: office@asiapacificymca.org.; oreloisa@asiapacificymca.org.


Focus on Environmental responsibility

APAY decided to focus on Environmental issues in the Quadrennial plan in 2011 GA. Then four year plan was made. After the GA 2011, the first Green Ambassador training was held in May 2012 in Chiangmai (15 participants). Then this time in Hong Kong, the second Green Ambassador training was held (14 participants), nearly 30 ambassadors were trained. After the training, the participants decided to issue the statement to spread the Green initiatives in many parts of the Asia and Pacific area. (see the web page for the “Green Ambassadors’ Declaration”.

During the workshop, we visited a Carbon Zero Building in Hong Kong. This building itself tells us how we could build up more carbon neutral society by our knowledge and efforts. This Carbon Zero building taught me a lot and I felt we, YMCA will need to work on this issue more seriously.

I here would like to suggest the following goals.

  • Form a Green Team  10 % or more of all local and national YMCAs
  • Provide awareness trainings in various levels
  • Take concrete actions regionally, nationally and locally
  • Audit and improve the own carbon emission (for cost saving)
  • Encourage young people for active and responsible participation

Based on the declaration stated by the Green Ambassadors, we will suggested Actions in Regional level, National level and many local YMCAs. For that, APAY will need to Get funds for more national level trainings and various actions by the local YMCAs and we will encourage and promote active movements by introducing good practices and recognize the accomplishments of individuals and local YMCAs.

Personally, I felt strongly that I need to learn more about what we could do and what the other organizations are doing. I heard that one small island in Hong Kong created a new waste management policy. Each family brings their food waste to some place where the NGO is making the food waste into fertilizer. This kind of action would create more organic farming in the area. We need to study and apply to our own areas and also what kind of actions the YMCA can make to lead for cleaner and healthier environment in our own community.

Kohei Yamada
General Secretary

YMCA strikes to bring change to the communities in Makassar, Medan and Yogyakarta, Indonesia

In May of 2013 I spent ten days in Indonesia, visiting three local YMCAs and learning about their vision, mission and their program. The trip was coordinated by the National General Secretary Ms. Retha Andoea. We were also accompanied by the senior Executive Director Ms. Boon Chin Tan from the YMCA of USA. We first visited Makassar YMCA, East of Indonesia. We met with a group of Young leaders during our stay. We heard about their community action work. One of the programs of Makassar YMCA is providing service to thirty children of Ex Leprosy community. They also provides program for empowering of women through recycling waste plastic. This program assisting women to earn a living and improve the family economy. We then visited the Medan YMCA, at the West of Indonesia. Medan YMCA has several activities for youth. One of the youth activities was eco tourism for the international youth and the rest are Bible Study, Spoken English club etc.. The Youth come from the various Christian churches and youth organizations. The third local YMCA that we visited was Yogyakarta YMCA. Majority of the members are University student. The Board met regularly to promote youth program such as; Jamboree Youth camp, Ecumenical dialogue for Christian youth and training for languages. During our stay, I observed that the National General Secretary trying her best to bring back these local YMCAs to life again. I also witnessed that, these three local YMCA’s leaders are young people who have great potential to grow and serve their respective local community.

Richard Kaing
Coordinator of Movement Strengthening

RoanAtti International Youth
Volunteer Service Program

International Coordinator meeting took place 8-12 May 2013 – Seoul, Korea. The RaonAtti, which was created in spring of 2008 by the National Council of Korea YMCAs and Kookmin Bank (KB) with the slogan “Friends of Asia” is now its 6th Year, RoaonAtti members have been sent 10 countries through 7 partner YMCAs Thailand, Cambodia, Timor Least, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh respectively, to acquire know how and gain experience of overseas volunteer work. Korean YMCA thrust is for youth to be trained as responsible members of global civic society through their working for building sustainable human community and transforming society and human lives.

Roger Peiris
Program Officer for Youth Development


Kishan Gunawardene Elected as
President of the National Council of YMCAs
of Sri Lanka

At the 48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Council of the YMCA s of Sri Lanka held on 25th May 2013 in Trincomalee, Mr. Kishan Gunawardene was elected as the President.

Mr. Gunawardene is an Active member of the YMCA of Dehiwela and first joined the YMCA movement in 1975. He represented the YMCA national movement at different programmes organized and conducted by Government and Non-Governmental Organizations. Kishan is involved in many committees at the National Council and was the key person in organizing the main celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the NCY of Sri Lanka which brought great international recognition to the Sri Lanka YMCA. At present he serves as a member of the Mission and Responses Committee of the Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY).

We wish Mr. Kishan Gunawardene all the success and God’s blessings to serve the community through the YMCA.


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