Team APAY: Change Agent Regional Training

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Last Updated (Thursday, 03 August 2017 17:06)

Thirty-three young staff and volunteers from our region bonded together during the Change Agent Regional Training held at YMCA International Youth Center, Tozanso, Japan last July 12-17, 2017 which was organized by APAY and hosted by the National Council of YMCAs of Japan. The event which was participated by 12 national movements paved way for the formation of a strong and solid relationship among Change Agents from Asia and Pacific region.

The four day gathering included learning opportunities on Contemporary Christian Leadership which was presented by Rev. Masashi Sawamura of Hiroshima YMCA; Mission in Context: Christian and Ecumenical Identity and Legacy that was shared by Mr. Nam Boo Won, APAY General Secretary; and Youth Situation in Asia and Pacific as presented by Dr. Lee Hyei Jung, Deputy Chief of Youth Research Institute, YMCA of Korea. Those sessions were aimed to provide learning on regional realities, issues and concerns affecting youth and to facilitate appreciation of regional values, identity and principles. Moreover, the visit to Fureai-kan, a community that was originally established for Koreans in 1988 and now open for other nationalities and the film showing about the mothers affected by Fukushima Nuclear Power plant, gave opportunity to explore and understand multicultural and human rights related issues.

The event highlights comprised also of individual stories of involvement with YMCA, sharing of local programs and good practices and showcasing of traditional dances and songs. These spaces enabled recognition and respect for each other’s strengths, differences in culture and at the same time a celebration of diversity. More importantly, the regional training was an avenue to strengthen the connections among the youth. This was concretely expressed as the participants showed concern for each other during the hiking activity at Gotemba Peak in Mt. Fuji. The participants made sure that no one was left behind. As part of the team, everyone expressed a word and action of encouragement that helped those struggling to reach the ‘trail peak’. Indeed, it was their remarkable ‘team’ spirit that made the gathering a meaningful one and a foundation from which to anchor their journey as agents of change.

It is important to note that the current batch of Change Agents (2017-2018) is integrated with the APAY existing Youth Representative Program. This approach presents a wide-range of opportunity to empower youth to represent the region and learn global perspectives in various levels of programs, leadership and advocacy activities after undertaking a specifically designed youth leadership formation and development training.