Global Citizenship Education for Change Agents

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 August 2012 17:21)

The Global Citizenship Education for Change Agents organized by the APAY, hosted by the National Council of YMCAs of Sri Lankan took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 6 – 12 August 2012.

The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs gathered a total of thirty seven (37) participants from 13 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. There were six (6) members of the Youth Participation and Leadership Committee (YPLD), twenty (20) Youth Reps, seven (7) other youth participants and four (4) officers from the Asia and Pacific Alliance office.

The program started with expectations setting, warm up games and team building activities to get to know each other and develop closer working relationship. It was followed immediately by input on leadership which was summed up as follows: KMF, which means, ‘Keep Moving Forward’; S P A R K, which means: S- Speak with candor, choosing our language as it forms character; P- prioritize; A- adversity bridge opportunity; R- responding; K- kodus, an act of gratitude, always be grateful. Another acronym from the session was: H U M A N which means: Helpfulness; Understanding – taking the lowest position to understand others; Mingle – interact with people; A- amuse, to see amusement as a leader can let you listen; and N- nurture.

Immediately after the opening worship was a day for input sessions. Mr. Kohei Yamada shared the quadrennial program plan on Empowering Young People to be the Change Agents in the Asia and Pacific Region and other program plans for Change Agents and Youth Empowerment in Action.

The World Alliance Change Model concept and framework was then presented by Jose Varghese and how the Asia and Pacific Alliance can actively participate and adopt its components as it relates to its own context.

For the next session on Understanding realities, dynamics and social processes in global socio-cultural and political aspects in societies with Prof. Tex Gabo, the participants were requested to sit in their respective groups. The session started with reading the “Hope for the Flowers” as a reflective group activity. Sharing from the groups’ reflections was given by members from each group. These reflections were then connected to the definition of globalization and how power relations interplay in the economic, political and cultural life of a society. The process of how marginalization of people happens was illustrated and the question was asked how and in what ways the YMCA can play a role in bringing back the people into the mainstream global reality while being in solidarity with them through the promotion of global citizenship education. This was followed by preparing the participants for the community exposure by providing guidelines on how to relate and interact with the local people, know and understand their situation without making them feel being intruded. Specific orientation on the areas was then provided by Mr. Thoumyan, a youth leader of the National Council of Sri Lanka and a former member of the YPLD Committee of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs.

The last day of the ‘GCE for Change Agents’ was a dialogue with the Johan Eltvik Vilhelm, Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCs, Yau Chung Wan & Kohei Yamada, President and General Secretary of APAY respectively. Johan profoundly presented and discussed the vision of a NEW WAY which has clarified many of the questions from the participants. Kohei Yamada provided a brief on APAY’s expectations from Youth Reps and their respective roles at local, national and regional levels. Jose Varghese provided an overview on how the Global Citizenship became a focus of the APAY region, and why there is need to further understand it and to promote actions through education.

The event in Sri Lanka was also memorable and fun-filled being highlighted by the celebration of the Golden Anniversary of the founding of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka.