APAY Conducts GATN Task Force and Mentors Meeting

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The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) held its GATN Task Force and Mentors Meeting on 5-9 December, 2017 at Taichung, Taiwan where task force members and mentors from Australia, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan gathered to share information and discuss the Alternative Tourism programs of the YMCA. The meeting was hosted by the YMCA of Taichung. Our delegation was warmly welcomed by Mr. James Tou, NGS of YMCA Taiwan and Mr. Thomas Kuo, GS of Taichung YMCA.

In the meeting, a review on the framework of the GATN was conducted where the practitioners of Alternative Tourism shared important components of their GATN programs. The members of the GATN Task Force reviewed and evaluated the work of GATN in the last year based on the programs conducted by the APAY and the results of the survey conducted among the receiving and the sending YMCAs. The Task Force also reviewed the GATN checklist to provide the necessary updates and revisions. The checklist will be used by local YMCAs to self-assess their Alternative Tourism programs and it will also be used as a preparation for the major evaluation program that will take place at the end of the year.

Towards the end of the meeting, YMCA of Taichung provided the participants a comprehensive experience on the tea drinking which is an important part of the culture in Taiwan. Participants visited tea plantation, observed the process of roasting tea leaves and storing, had tea tasting and finally a tea ceremony hosted by the parents of Steve Chiu.

The Task Force and Mentors Meeting is an annual meeting conducted to discuss policy-level review and initiatives for the GATN programs.