Towards the 16th General Assembly: Spirituality of Transformation
2. New Executive Secretary Appointed
3. Support for Mission Action Programmes(MAP)
4. Nominations Committee Meets in Hong Kong
5. "A Unique Learning Experience" - 21st Advanced Studies
6. Myanmar Youth and Migrant Workers Issues
7. National Council of YMCAs of Japan and Seoul YMCA, Korea
Celebrates Centenary "Healing and Wholeness: The Global Challenge
8. EASY Net National Coordinators' Meeting
9. Interfaith AIDS Conference
10. YMCA to be at World Social Forum
11. New National Executive Officer for New Zealand
12. Christmas Greetings
Towards the 16th General Assembly: Spirituality of Transformation
The number of registrations received for participation in the 16th
General Assembly in Singapore from 9-13 March 2004 have been encouraging,
coming from Movements across the region and from other parts of
the world. More registrations are expected by 30 December 2003,
especially from those Movements that have yet to respond. We thank
those Movements that have responded so far.
of the Assembly at the APAY Website www.asiapacificymca.org
and Assembly Website www.geocities.com/apay16ga/home by the
Host Committee in Singapore.)
Speaker: Rev. Caesar Molebatsi, President of the World Alliance
of YMCAs will deliver the Keynote Address on the Theme of the Assembly.
Dinner: A Welcome dinner will be held on 10 March 2004 with
H.E. S.R. Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore as the
The Host Movement, the Singapore YMCA, has been actively preparing
for the Assembly, as well as actively promoting the Assembly. Accompanying
spouses have a variety of interesting programmes to choose from.
Assembly Workbook will be sent to all registered delegates
prior to the Assembly. The Assembly Worship Guide for the
daily devotions will be available upon Registration at the Assembly.
for the Witness Rooms and Focus Rooms will be appointed to ensure
a meaningful experience for all. Key areas of concern and movements
involved have been identified for the Witness Rooms, to increase
participation and involvement of national/local movements in the
Evening: National Movements are invited to prepare cultural
presentations for the Assembly Cultural Evening - a creative space
to collectively celebrate the uniqueness of our diverse cultures
and traditions. This will be an expression of our unity amidst a
host of cultural settings, the "oneness" of our Movement.
Committee Meetings: Details for the Executive Committee have
been sent out for the Special Executive Committee Meeting on 8-9
March, and the 2004 Executive Committee Meeting on 13-14 March 2004.
These meetings will be held at the YMCA of Singapore at Orchard
and Women Participation: The number of young people who have
been registered so far for the Youth Forum from 7-9 March 2004 is
encouraging. We are looking forward to the increased participation
of young people and women in the Assembly. We can all make this
New Executive Secretary for Programmes
Lakshan Dias from Sri Lanka has been appointed to the position of
Executive Secretary for Programmes and he will assume the position
on 1 January 2004. His main responsibilities will be in the areas
of Contemporary Mission and Social Relevance, and Building Community
and Culture of Peace.
is currently the General Secretary of the Kandy YMCA, a position
to which he was appointed in 2002. He had joined the ranks of YMCA
professional staff in 1989, as General Secretary of Moratuwa YMCA.
He later served as General Secretary of the Dehiwala YMCA in 1994
before he left to complete his law studies. From 1996-1998, he served
in the Students' Christian Movement of Sri Lanka as its University
Coordinator. He was appointed Executive Secretary for Peace and
Human Rights in the National Council of YMCAs in 1999 and worked
extensively in the area of Peace, Reconciliation and Reconstruction
until his appointment in Kandy. He brings with him a wide range
of experiences in peace and reconciliation work, human rights, community
building/empowerment, and work with young people.
join us in welcoming Mr. Lakshan Dias as the new Executive Secretary
for Programmes. We trust that you will all give him your whole-hearted
support as he joins the Alliance Staff Team.
Mission Action Programmes (MAP)
year 2004 will bring the Movements in the region into a new era
of action programmes that seek to transform and to build community
with resources from the Golden Anniversary Trust Fund and financially
viable and strong YMCAs in the region to multilaterally support
Mission Action Programmes (MAP).
and Local Movements are invited to submit proposals of Mission Action
Programmes (MAP) for support by 20 January 2004. We will
continue to submit proposals to other partners as appropriate. A
Circular on this has been sent to all National General Secretaries.
Nominations Committee Meets in Hong Kong
Nominations Committee met on 10-12 October 2003 in Hong Kong to
consider the nominations received for election as Officers of the
Alliance in the next Quadrennium. Recommendation of candidates for
election will be presented to the Council of the Asia and Pacific
Alliance of YMCAs on 9 March 2004 during the 16th General Assembly.
"A Unique Learning Experience" - 21st Advanced Studies Programme
YMCA senior secretaries brought the total number of Advanced Studies
graduates since 1981 to 276 as the 35-day Studies closed on 5th
December 2003. The Advanced Studies Programme, an opportunity not
only for study but also for interaction, networking, and fellowship,
focuses on Leadership for Movement Building.
Cecil Chan, Vice President of Asia and Pacific Alliance, officiated
in the Graduation Ceremony/Dinner kindly hosted by the Chinese YMCA
of Hong Kong. The creativity, professionalism and excellence in
YMCA leadership, commitment and dedication of the participants were
demonstrated throughout the Studies and the Graduation Programme.
Describing their experiences, one participant said, "This is a unique
experience. My perspectives on Mission are widened." They also expressed
great hopes and expectations for their future work.
thank the National and local Movements for their support and participation
of their staff in the Studies.
graduates of the 21st Advanced Studies Programme are :
Sudip Arinda, Bangladesh; Mr. Lee Ming Kwan, Hong Kong; Mr. David
Gainneos (India); Mr. R. Richard Ezekiel (India); Mr. Tetsuya Sugawara
(Japan); Mr. HideoUozomi; Mr. Jung Hun (Korea); Ms. Ong Sooi Gaik
(Malaysia); Ms. Phyllis Tan (Singapore); Mr. Alan Tay (Singapore);
Mr. Lakshan Dias (Sri Lanka); Mr. Jack Lin (Taiwan) Ms. Wu Shu Mei
(Taiwan) and, Mr. Oyvin Sonnesyn (Norway).
Each Study day begins with devotions and reflection
Youth and Migrant Workers Issues - Myanmar
Myanmar, many young people due to the unavailability of opportunities
for employment in rural areas and cities have started seeking such
opportunities overseas, often as "undocumented" workers, vulnerable
to exploitation. The National Youth Committee of the YMCA of Myanmar
recognised that this was a fast growing trend, and becoming an issue
of concern. Supported by the Asia and Pacific Alliance's National/Local
Action Programme, it held a Workshop for youth on Migrant Workers'
Issues from 1-6 October 2003 in Myitkyina in the northern part of
Myanmar, an area of much youth migration for employment. Forty youth
and several Board Members of the Myitkyina YMCA and local church-leaders
and workers attended the Workshop. Issues dealt in plenary and workgroup
sessions included youth employment and migration in Myanmar, girls
trafficking, and how the YMCA could address these concerns. Interest
and participation among participants were high.
at the workshop as one of the facilitators together with Col. (Rtd.)
Aung Din, Acting President of the YMCA of Myanmar, and Mr. Saw Richard
Kaing, Co-chair of the National Youth Committee of Myanmar.
workshop also gave me an opportunity to visit with some of the National
Board Members of the YMCA of Myanmar, including Archbishop (Rtd.)
Dr. Andrew Mya Han who has taken leave of absence due to health
reasons. (Please pray with us for his full recovery.) I was also
able to make a half-day visit to the Mogaung YMCA, spending time
with Board Members and their children's literacy programme.
National Council of YMCAs of Japan and Seoul YMCA, Korea Celebrate
YMCAs in our region celebrated 100 Years service to the community
National Council of YMCAs of Japan, to celebrate its Centenary,
held a Thanksgiving Worship and a public lecture on "The Road to
Peace" by former High Commissioner of the UNHCR and currently President
of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Dr. Sadako Ogata, at
the Tokyo International Forum on 25 October 2003. The Centenary
Dinner was also held at the same venue that evening. An International
Symposium on "Facing Global Issues and Challenges" attended by over
200 participants from all over Japan and partners from many countries
was also held from 23-24 October 2003. Rev. Caesar Molebatsi, the
President of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Mr. Kan Tanikawa, our
President and I were present at the Celebrations in Japan and spoke
at the International Symposium.
Seoul YMCA celebrated its Centenary with a Thanksgiving Worship
on 28 October at the YMCA Auditorium and a grand Centenary Dinner
with H.E. Roh Moo Hyun, President of Korea as the Chief Guest at
the Hilton Hotel, Seoul. Guests included local dignitaries and representatives
from partner YMCAs from within the region and outside the region.
The Seoul YMCA also signed a partnership agreement with the YMCA
of Beijing, China at the Chairperson's Welcome Dinner on 27 October
Asia and Pacific Alliance was given the privilege and honour to
offer congratulatory messages at both the Centenary Celebration
"Healing and Wholeness: the Global Challenge of HIV/AIDS"
YMCA-YWCA Week of Prayer and World Fellowship
world YMCA-YWCA movements again united in prayer during the celebration
of the YMCA-YWCA Week of Prayer and World Fellowship, under the
theme "Healing and Wholeness: the Global Challenge of HIV/AIDS".
The Week, observed on 9-15 November this year, brought the HIV/AIDS
crisis and its various dimensions to the fore of YMCA attention.
are happy to note that many YMCAs in the region have been actively
engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS, against stigmatization and
discrimination by society. These have been done through education
programmes and in some cases, providing care and support mechanisms
to the affected and infected. For example, the Bangkok YMCA, Thailand
through the YMCA Foundation runs a home for orphans of HIV-AIDS
victims and conducts community awareness building; the Gandhidham
YMCA, India, works on education with those most vulnerable to infection;
the Vietnam YMCA has embarked on a home for children with HIV-AIDS;
and the Philippines YMCA works with female migrant workers on awareness
building against HIV-AIDS.
|Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who have died
because of AIDS infection; for persons affected and living with
HIV/AIDS, their children and families. Let us pray for the care-givers
and those who work selflessly with them, supporting them and
seeking space for them that they may live their lives in fullness.
Training for EASY Net National Coordinators
Ecumenical Asia Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASY Net) will
hold a National Coordinators' Training on 6-12 January 2003 in Bangkok,
Thailand. The National Coordinators, the main facilitators of EASY
Net efforts and initiatives in their respective countries, will
consolidate EASY Net's work at the grassroots into a deeper level
of ecumenical cooperation, leading to a more effective and visible
network. Several critical issues of youth and students concern in
the region will be highlighted, such as peace and human security,
globalization and its impact on higher education, conflict transformation
and peace building.
Shella Quezada-Zagada, our Executive Secretary for Programmes will
be one of the facilitators in the training programme.
Interfaith AIDS Conference: For We are Neigbours
150 participants from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim faith
communities gathered in Bangkok, Thailand from 20-25 November 2003
to deliberate on HIV/AIDS. The Conference, with the theme, "For
We Are Neighbours", was organised by Christian Conference of Asia
(CCA). It was an opportunity to mobilise concern for the fullness
of life for the HIV/AIDS infected or affected. It celebrated and
nurtured four religious traditions - belief and respect for humanity
- its value, dignity and rights. The participants called upon the
religious communities to develop a new culture of interfaith cooperation
and openness, and to provide support and care to HIV/AIDS affected
and infected. It further called on leaders to transcend self-interests
to allow access to affordable medical provisions and eliminate the
stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.
Suwan Limsumphan of the Bangkok YMCA and Ms. Shella Quezada-Zagada
our Executive Secretary for Programmes participated in the meeting.
It was an opportunity to strengthen their network with the interfaith
communities, share and learn from the experiences of the participants
in working with people who are HIV/AIDS affected and infected. Shella
also visited the Bangkok YMCA Foundation's Happy Home for orphans
of HIV-AIDS victims, located at Nakhon Pathom, north-east of Bangkok.
YMCA to Participate in World Social Forum (WSF)
World Alliance of YMCAs will participate in the World Social Forum
(WSF) to be held in Mumbai, India from 16 to 21 January 2004m together
with the National Council of YMCAs of India, the Ecumenical Alliance
for Advocacy and other important ecumenical and civil society networks.
About 75,000 people are expected. Built around the slogan "Another
World Is Possible", the WSF, an open and democratic space for the
civil society movement, seeks to provide a space for discussing
alternatives, exchanging experiences, for strengthening alliances
and building coalitions between mass organisations, social movements
Ecumenical Asia Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASY Net) in
India will hold a pre-WSF ecumenical youth gathering to prepare
the youth participants through exposures followed by discussions,
for active engagement in the activities of WSF, and follow-up activities.
For details, please contact the National Council of YMCAs of India
New National Executive Officer for New Zealand
are pleased to welcome Mr. Ric Odom the new National Executive
Officer of the YMCAs of New Zealand, into our wider YMCA family.
Ric assumed his position on 29 September 2003. He has a background
in leadership and general management, most recently at the Museum
of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
the difficult, challenging times of 2003 The image of the Child
Jesus, asleep on hay Among the common people in Bethlehem Draws
us together in peace and gives us hope As we walk in the light of
thanksgiving and joy for His love and grace, May we generously share
His everlasting love Bring hope and peace Justice and fullness of
life to all In building community
thanks to you for your support in our work A Blessed Christmas to
you and your loved ones! Let there be Peace!
Executive Secretary for Programmes