Youth Empowerment

4th APAY Youth Assembly: Sep 1-2, 2019

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Last Updated (Friday, 11 October 2019 17:24)

Youth empowerment for a more sustainable grassroots response
4th APAY Youth Assembly
1-2 September, Japan


“Empowering all, especially young people and women to take increased responsibilities and assume leadership at all levels and working towards an equitable society.” - Challenge 21 Imperative

One hundred sixteen youth from 16 national movements who participated in the 4th Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs Youth Assembly (YA) held in Japan last September 1-2, 2019 strongly affirms that the commitment to Challenge 21 imperative of “empowering all, especially youth and women, remains to be the strength of the movement”. This strength sprang from the deeply rooted YMCA Christian character that respects diversity, embraces inclusivity and works toward human development. This identity is challenged to be more reflective of Jesus Christ’s examples by living the heart of YMCA’s mission for justice and peace, community development and social transformation.

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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.

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Global Citizenship Institute, Aug 15-28, 2017

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 06 June 2017 13:20)



The Global Citizenship Education of APAY is rooted in the YMCA mission of building a human community of justice with love, peace and reconciliation for the fullness of life for all creation. It speaks about sustaining an environment in which relationship among people are characterized by love and understanding. It is therefore the core of Global Citizenship Education, as a tool for youth empowerment, to nurture Global Citizens capable of appreciating their identity yet respecting cultural differences; to deepen understanding and critical thinking on social realities/issues both on a local, regional and global perspectives, to strengthen values of compassion among the marginalized sectors and to mobilize youth to act towards creating a society liberated from injustices.

Global Citizenship Education at the APAY level was initiated during the Tozanso Youth Roundtable on Globalization and Global Citizenship in July 2008 and later at the YMCA International Forum on Global Citizenship in Tokyo in the year 2008. The thematic development of APAY Global Citizenship Education took shape from these events which to date contributed and was utilized as a tool for the transformational development of the youth as change agents.

Since then, the APAY was involved in imparting Global Citizenship Education to the youths of the region through a series of workshops and trainings. These activities facilitated the integration of global citizenship perspective and competencies in local and national programs. The events were meaningful foundations in creating a zeal amongst the youth to continue exploring and working on community action-based programs that aim to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and eradication of social injustices.

The need to continue educating and engaging the youth through Global Citizenship-related pro-active programs grew stronger. It is through Global Citizenship Institute that knowledge and understanding of the Globalization, Social Injustices and Inequities, Diversity and Sustainable Community Development are recognized, reflected and acted upon. The comprehensive processes of the institute are concretely expressed through dialogue and experiential learning. Thus, the program provides an opportunity for the youth to learn from theoretical perspective and experience community life especially with those most vulnerable groups in the society. Along with the knowledge and values gained, the youth are assisted in gaining practical skills and competencies needed in program implementation.

The challenge called for through the Global Citizenship Institute is not only how well the participants are informed of the current social injustices. But more importantly on how as global citizens they would act as change agents through conducting community-based programs that are geared towards achieving sustainable community development.

This training is part of a series of programs planned to provide further competencies for YMCA Youth Representatives/Program Staff that are either engaged in or are planning to implement Global Citizenship Education (GCE) program.


Read more: Global Citizenship Institute, Aug 15-28, 2017