16th General Assembly
Pacific Cultural Night
Youth Forum -Space for Freshness and Dynamism
Quadrennial Council Meeting
Executive Committee Meeting 2004
Support for Action Programmes 2004-2005
Interim NGS for Philippines Appointed
YMCA South West Region India Celebrates Golden Jubilee
World Alliance Executive Committee in Hong Kong
Global Capacity Building Forum for HIV/AIDS
EASY Net National Coordinators' Meeting/ASYG
YMCA Leaders Meet at World Social Forum
Important Notice: Change of Work Schedule in APAY Secretariat
Closing Thoughts - "One Day in Peace"
On Our Way to the 16th General Assembly
are now in the final stage of our preparations for the Youth Forum
and the 16th General Assembly. We are most appreciative of the support
you have given in garnering participation for these major programmes.
We are expecting at least 65 participants at the Youth Forum and
250 at the Assembly. Registrations are still being received.
Bishop Rev. Dr. Robert Solomon, Head of the Council of Churches
of Singapore will be the Guest of Honour at the Official Opening
of the Assembly on 10 March 2004.
are expecting at least 450 persons - delegates, YMCA members from
Singapore and guests at the Opening Dinner on the evening of 10
March. The Host Committee has prepared an exciting Cultural Programme
for the evening. His Excellency, S.R. Nathan, President of Singapore
will be the Guest of Honour.
Pacific Cultural Night
In the Assembly Programme Schedule, there is a space for National
Movements to share cultural expressions on 11 March 2004, Thursday.
We seek your cooperation in preparing for the presentation of your
delegation at the Asia Pacific Cultural Night. We encourage participants
to wear their National /Traditional costumes during the Opening
Ceremony and Asia Pacific Cultural Night to enrich our cultural
Anniversary Trust Fund (GATF) Bazaar
As agreed at the Alliance Executive Committee Meeting held in
March 2003, a collective Fundraising event, the GATF Bazaar, will
be set up daily during the Assembly from 18:00-20:00. Movements
have been invited to contribute traditional/indigenous handicrafts
or items for the Bazaar, all the proceeds of which will go towards
the GATF. It will be an excellent opportunity for movements small
and large, urban or rural, a Century old or a year old, and participants
to play a part in supporting the GATF.
are most appreciative of the efforts of many of our movements, and
individuals in the region who have contributed to the GATF. We have
been able to secure over a Million US Dollars in pledges and more
than 75% of these pledges have been fulfilled. The GATF has so far
provided support from the interest derived, to 4 action programmes
benefiting the poorest of the poor in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
confirm your movement's participation including the items for sale
in the GATF Bazaar with the APAY Secretariat by 1 March 2004.
This will enable the Secretariat to make the appropriate arrangements
for the Bazaar.
The Host Committee has arranged several interesting programmes
for accompanying spouses to the Assembly - cultural, taking in a
taste of Singapore, and of course, shopping!
Youth Forum - Space for Freshness and Dynamism
60 young delegates from Asia and Pacific will touch base with each
other at the Youth Forum, 7-9 March 2004 in Singapore. The Youth
will have knowledge-based and practical exchanges on the theme "Young
People, Together Towards a Transformed World" as they seek space
and avenues to invigorate their participation and contribution in
the YMCA and the community in general.
Tan Ngoh Tiong, Associate Professor at the Department of Social
Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore will be the
Keynote Speaker to inspire the youth towards participation in transforming
societies. Management Consultant, Mr. Louis Tong, President of the
Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong, will facilitate the practical learning
session and action planning for youth participation in the YMCAs.
from each National Movement will share a joint paper on the youth
situation in their countries. The Paper should cover crucial issues
affecting youth, including: culture and identity, education, employment,
social participation, peace issues; Challenges faced and YMCA responses
to the above issues. Youth delegates are encouraged to participate
fully during Forum sessions as well as the General Assembly, bringing
youth's freshness, idealism, dynamism and enthusiasm.
Quadrennial Council Meeting
Quadrennial Council Meeting of the APAY will take place on 9 March
and 12 March, beginning at 20:00 hrs. In addition to the Quadrennial
Report, other Reports including the Youth Forum; the Election of
Officers for the new Quadrennium will be take place in the session
on 12 March.
movement in good standing will have 3 official voting representatives
at the Council Meeting, one of whom should be a youth or a woman.
Others are welcomed to observe the Council Meeting.
Executive Committee Meeting 2004
Executive Committee Meeting will be held on 8-9 March 2004 and 13-14
March 2004, at the YMCA of Singapore, 1 Orchard Road, Singapore,
in conjunction with the 16th General Assembly.
first session of the Executive Committee will be a Special Executive
Committee Meeting with the incumbent Officers. This session will
begin at 1600 hrs on 8 March and end by 1300 hrs on 9 March. It
will take up outstanding matters from the Executive Committee Meeting
of March 2003, including pending Constitutional Matters.
second session, the Executive Committee Meeting 2004, with the newly
elected Officers will commence at 1500 hrs on 13 March 2004 and
conclude by 1600 hrs on 14 March 2004. This session will take up
matters related to the new Quadrennium. National Movements have
already been invited to recommend suitable YMCA leaders as Members/Invitees
of the Standing Committees.
related to these meetings had already been sent out to the National
Movements. You may also visit www.asiapacificymca.org
for more details.
Support for Action Programmes, 2004-2005
are happy to inform that in spite of the conclusion of the funding
support from our ecumenical partners as per agreements signed, National/Local
YMCAs carrying out action programmes in focus areas can still avail
of financial support for them. Movements have been invited to submit
their applications for the following to reach the Asia and Pacific
Alliance of YMCAs Secretariat by 5 February 2004:
in Action Programme (MAP)
The Mission in Action Programme (MAP), replacing the National/local
Action Programmes (NLAP), aims to facilitate resource exchanges
and financial support from YMCAs within and outside the region for
action programmes that will impact and bring transformation within
the community. Resources from other partners will also be explored.
Anniversary Trust Fund (GATF)
The Golden Anniversary Trust Fund (GATF) was established
by the APAY in 1999 with the aim of supporting action programmes
among the poorest of the poor in the region with the interest derived
from the GATF. In 2002/2003, four action programmes were supported
by the GATF. Funds are available for limited action programmes in
Men International Time of Fast Fund (TOF)
From 1969, the Y's Men International has been making financial
assistance available from their Time of Fast Fund (TOF) to enable
YMCAs in developing countries, including our region, to respond
to the needs of the community. From the middle of 1980s, it has
been the practice for the Executive Committee of the Asia and Pacific
Alliance to recommend some of the programme proposals received to
forms and details have been circulated to National Movements and
are also available @ www.asiapacificymca.org.
Interim NGS For Philippines Appointed
welcome the appointment of Mr. Liberato G. Siaron as the Interim
National General Secretary of the YMCA of the Philippines, w.e.f.
1 January 2004 by the National Board. He assumes the position vacated
by Mr. Phil C. Celi who took early retirement at the end of 2003.
Mr. Siaron, currently President of the Quezon City YMCA and a National
Board member, was formerly a professional YMCA Secretary with the
Manila YMCA and the National Council of YMCAs. He brings much professional
skills and experience with him to the National Council.
YMCA South West Region India Celebrates Golden Jubilee
YMCA South West Region India celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 10
January. There were an estimated 5,000 YMCA Members at a Suvarna
Sangamam (Peoples' Gathering) that lasted from 2.00 p.m. to 10.30
p.m. Held in a public park, the YMCA members from all over the region
listened to an hour-long Invocation, joined in an Ecumenical Thanksgiving
Worship followed by a 4-hour public celebration event with the Hon.
D.D. Lepang, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and a former Vice President
of the YMCA of India. The celebration ended with a public concert.
Mr. Jose Varghese, the Regional Secretary had invited me to deliver
the Keynote Address at the Thanksgiving Worship on the theme of
our 16th General Assembly that they had adopted as their theme for
2004, "Spirituality of Transformation for Just-peace". Mr. P.M.
John, President and Mr. T. Thomas, National General Secretary, of
the YMCA of India, were also present.
the Golden Jubilee Celebration, Mr. T. Thomas, National General
Secretary and I travelled by road to Thiruvanantapuram for the Association
of Secretaries' (AOS) Conference from 12-13 January, visiting the
Allapuzha and Kollam YMCAs enroute. Rev. Samuel Stephens, one of
our Vice Presidents was the keynote Speaker for the Conference.
I addressed the Conference at the Inaugural Session at which the
Minister of Tourism for Kerala was the Chief Guest. I also took
the opportunity to specially meet with 12 of the Alumni of the Advanced
World Alliance Executive Committee Meeting in Hong Kong
Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong will host the World Alliance Executive
Committee from 31 March - 4 April 2004. Related meetings including
the Youth Committee, 29-30 March, the Global Operating Plan Support
Coordination Meeting, 5-6 April and the Global Staff Team, 6 April
will also take place. The Meetings will be held in the Chinese YMCA
of Hong Kong, and YMCA of Hong Kong.
welcome the members of the Executive Committee of the World Alliance
of YMCAs and other senior YMCA leaders to the Asia and Pacific region.
Global Capacity Building Forum On HIV-AIDS
Global Capacity Building Forum on HIV/AIDS to be held in Durban,
South Africa on 14-22 March 2004. It will be a unique opportunity
for YMCA professionals and volunteers world-wide with substantial
experience in the field of HIV-AIDS to "strengthen and expand the
YMCA's impact on HIV\AIDS prevention, care and advocacy at the local,
national, regional and global levels." Some practitioners from India,
Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have been invited to share their
experiences and expertise to further develop and strengthen the
work of YMCAs in HIV-AIDS prevention and care in over 20 countries
as part of the Global Operating Plan's initiatives.
EASY Net National Coordinators' Meeting and ASYG Planning
participants from nine countries, including EASY Net Core-team members,
National Coordinators and Ecumenical Team members, of the Ecumenical
Asia Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASY Net) met on 6-12 January
2004 in Bangkok, Thailand. To stimulate the participants' thinking
on Peace, Mr. Francis Lee, a peace advocate from Korea shared his
thoughts on the Peace Initiatives as well as Networking for Peace
in Asia-Pacific. Detailed plans were made also for the upcoming
Asia Pacific Students and Youth Gathering (ASYG) to be held on 8-16
December 2004 in Indonesia, the theme of which will be "Together
in Action for Peace and Reconciliation". National Ecumenical Teams
are expected to hold Student and Youth Gatherings in their own countries
as a preparation for participation in the ASYG 2004.
National Coordinators, the main facilitators of EASY Net efforts
and initiatives are expected to consolidate EASY Net's work at the
grassroots in their respective countries into a deeper and more
effective level of ecumenical cooperation and networking. Shella
Quezada-Zagada, Executive Secretary for Programmes, attended the
meeting as a member of the EASY Net Core Team.
YMCA Leaders Meet At World Social Forum
IV World Social Forum (WSF) was held on 16 - 21 January 2004, at
the NESCO Ground, Goregaon, Mumbai, India under the theme "Another
World Is Possible". The WSF, with more than 100,000 participants
and more than 250 seminars/workshops per day, was a meeting place
for reflective thinking, debate and exchange of experiences, formulation
of proposals, and networking for action by social action groups
and civil society movements committed to building "Another World"
centred around the human person.
YMCAs representing the World Alliance were at the WSF. Mr. P.M.
John, President of the YMCA of India and a member of the Executive
Committee of World Alliance of YMCAs, colleagues from the Bombay
YMCA, the New Delhi YMCA and the Indian YMCA Training and Leadership
Department in Bangalore participated. They shared experiences and
exchanged ideas, and expressed solidarity and concern on issues,
including advocacy for human rights. Mr. Solomon Benjamin, Director
YMCA Training & Leadership Department, National Council Of YMCAs
Of India coordinated the YMCA's participation at the WSF.
IMPORTANT NOTICE : Change
of Work Schedule at the APAY Secretariat
note that effective from 1st February 2004,
the APAY Secretariat will be opened MONDAYS
TO FRIDAYS from 09:00 to 18:00. The Secretariat will
be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. This schedule is to allow for
a more flexible and effective communications with Movements, especially
those in the western part of our region. Please be guided accordingly.
extend to Seasons Greetings for the New Year/Lunar New Year/Tet/Spring
Festival and all Special Days celebrated in January ...
to the end of the 1990s, with all its conflicts and troubles, and
with the coming of the new Millennium, there were many initiatives
for how the coming of the year 2000 should be celebrated. Of course,
we remember the expensive fireworks displays and celebrations that
took place around the world. But the low-key events and actions
of ordinary people working for world peace were overshadowed by
these celebrations. Recognising the significance that the new Millennium
could bring to the world, in November 1999, the United Nations adopted
a resolution calling for the entire world to celebrate "One Day
in Peace, January 1 2000".
on the 31st day of January 2004 we pause to reflect on the past
and to reflect anew the call for "One Day in Peace"
that perhaps escaped our attention with the excitement of the new
Millennium, not forgetting the anxiety of Y2K!
are busy in the midst of completing preparations for the 16th General
Assembly and Youth Forum, the Executive Committee Meeting 2004 and
the Quadrennial Council Meetings. The theme that focuses on "transformation"
"spirituality" and "Justpeace" reminds us of our Vision and our
Mission in the Asia and Pacific region.
as we reflect on the past two months, and the festivities that accompanied
them, we also remember the charge to us by Jesus when he said to
the disciples "You are the Light". Light drives away the darkness.
Jesus Christ himself is the Light of the World. Christmas candles
were lit in December to welcome the Son. The Chinese and those with
Chinese ancestral links all over the world are celebrating the Lunar
New Year. A new moon brings light to brighten up the night.
are reminded that as Jesus' disciples, we "are the light",
and not we "will be the light". We are called to be a visible community
of believers bringing light where there is darkness, to lighten
the load of those who are burdened, to salve the wounds of the suffering
and lift up the fallen. As light, we are to shine. Light
cannot be hid. As we move closer to the General Assembly, we are
to be faithful as lights, to shine, to bring about renewal and transformation
in our community.
look forward to meeting you soon at the Youth Forum and General
Lord bless you and keep you
Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious unto you
Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.
best wishes and kind regards,