World Council Well Attended by Our Region
150 delegates from our region including about 30 youth actively
participated and gave leadership in various discussions and activities
at the World Council of YMCAs Meeting. There were 626 delegates
from YMCAs around the world at the meeting.
in Oaxtepec, Mexico on 15-21 July 2002, the 15th World Council of
YMCAs has inspired and motivated the YMCAs from around the world
for the tremendous task of building community and transforming the
world. The highly creative morning worship, steeped in diverse cultural
richness, strengthened us in our spiritual journey.
Argentinian theologian, Dr. Jose Miguez Bonino, speaking on the
theme, "Building Community, Transforming the World", urged the participants
to reflect on the role and position of the YMCA amidst globalisation.
He drew attention to the need to understand the conditions in which
the YMCA has to fulfill its mission and to engage in actions that
demonstrate our faith in God. The Challenge 21 Festival highlighted
YMCA responses to crucial issues, and inspired and challenged delegates
to more concerted efforts on issues. The issues featured in the
tents included Suffering Planet - Protecting the Earth; Rights of
Children; Culture of Peace: Overcoming Violence; HIV/AIDS; Ethnic
and Racial Justice; Economic Justice, Trade and Development; and,
Gender Justice. Specific mandates were also agreed upon as the bases
for YMCA actions on these issues.
Caesar Molebatsi (South Africa) was elected President of the World
Alliance with Ms. Alice Pedersen (Denmark) as Deputy President.
Ms. Dorothy Chong Hon de Sing (Panama) was elected Treasurer. The
World Council also recognised the commitment and dedication of the
outgoing President, Mr. Martin Vogler (Switzerland), Deputy President
Ms. Betty Black (Canada) and Treasurer, Dr. Cecil S.O. Chan (Hong
Kong). Mr. Nick Nightingale, the out-going Secretary General was
more information on 15th World Council, please see www.ymca.int
Asia and Pacific Leaders Elected to the World Alliance Executive
Committee We are happy to announce the election of the following
leaders from the region as members of the Executive Committee of
the World Alliance of YMCAs for the period 2002-2006, at the 15th
World Council :
Toshiko Takeda (Japan), Mr. Jude Simion, (Sri Lanka), Dr. Park Jae
Chang (Korea), Mr. P. M. John (India) and Mr. Babu Markus Gomes
Congratulate them on their election and wish them God's blessings
in their new responsibilities.
New Secretary General of the World Alliance Appointed
current General Secretary of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs,
Mr. Bart Shaha, was unanimously confirmed as the new Secretary General
of the World Alliance of YMCAs at the 15th World Council in Mexico.
Bart will assume executive leadership of the World Alliance from
Mr. Nick Nightingale of England with effect from 1 October 2002.
He will move with his family from Hong Kong to Geneva, Switzerland,
in January 2003.
Search Process for New General Secretary for APAY Begins
Search Committee for the new General Secretary for the Asia and
Pacific Alliance of YMCAs comprises the Officers of the Alliance,
President - Mr. Kan Tanikawa, Vice Presidents - Dr. Cecil Chan,
Rev. Samuel Stephens, Mr. Patrick Loo Nee, Treasurer - Mr. David
Lua, and Youth/Woman representative - Ms. Nozomi Hirota.
announcing the position opening and inviting applications has been
sent to all YMCA National Movements on 6 August 2002. The closing
date for Applications is 30 December 2002. Short-listed candidates
will be invited for an Interview to be conducted by the Search Committee
from 11-12 March 2003 in Hong Kong. The appointment of the new General
Secretary will be made during the Executive Committee Meeting to
be held from 13-15 March 2003, in Hong Kong. The new General Secretary
is expected to assume duty preferably not later than 1 June 2003.
Youth Exchange Programme
people, in many programmes and deliberations, have affirmed the
need for youth exchanges that will facilitate cultural understanding
and provide hands-on experience of the YMCA work in another context.
Thus, a Youth Exchange Programme to provide practical exposures
on concrete actions and responses to the YMCA mission, and enable
young people to engage in youth issues and development work has
been planned for this year. Through this exchange, young people
are expected to acquire practical knowledge and skills to organise
YMCA action programmes that are relevant in their respective country
discussions with a few movements are in progress for possible exchanges
for engagement in civil society building, education, youth issues
and development work. National Movements interested in either hosting
or receiving a youth from another Movement are invited to contact
the Secretariat for implementing the exchanges.
Regional Programme on Youth Policy and Action
participants met in Cheonan, Korea on 7-12 August 2002 for the YMCA
Deliberation on Youth Policy and Action, organised to formulate
a collective mandate on student and youth work as one of the priorities
in the region and to develop strategies to facilitate practical
work to revive and strengthen the youth involvement in the region.
The participants in their deliberations urged the YMCAs to take
up the youth focus in Challenge 21 and to give priority to youth
and students' involvement in the YMCAs and in decision-making structures.
The National Council of YMCAs of Korea hosted the programme.
participants adopted a Statement titled "Living Challenge 21: Shaping
the YMCA Youth Policy and Action" which urges YMCAs to engage in
critical self-evaluation and to increase involvement in youth and
students' work. It also calls on YMCAs to look into their policies
in relation to the YMCA as a membership movement; implementing Challenge
21; youth participation in YMCA structures; and programme involvement.
Park Jong Wha, a theologian and an ecumenical leader in his keynote
presentation called for a search for alternative principles to address
the negative effects of globalisation that advances material greed
and consumerist lifestyle. He encouraged the YMCA to sustain its
self-renewing character in this search for alternative development.
The exposure to the Hong Seong community provided an example of
this alternative lifestyle that promotes community life rather than
individualistic trends through the eco-village concept, alternative
education, community cooperatives, etc, and upholds cultural identity,
and the building of a life-sharing community that nourishes young
Networking Exchange to Enhance Work With Migrant Workers in Sri
Eloisa Borreo, Special Projects Secretary of the YMCA of Philippines,
and pioneer coordinator of the Resource/Coordinating Centre for
Migrant Workers in Manila, is in Sri Lanka from 8 - 21 September
to facilitate planning and implementation of Migrant Workers empowerment
programmes. While in Sri Lanka, she will conduct workshops and training
programmes in Colombo and Batticaloa for the YMCAs' Migrant Workers'
Centres and foster closer partnerships with other NGOs working on
the same issues. She will also have discussions with relevant Government
Departments for information sharing. Mr. Aruna Shanta Nonis, Executive
Secretary in the National Council of Sri Lanka is coordinating the
Regional Programme on Building Community and a Culture Of Peace
programme is timely in view of the current situation within our
region and beyond. The continuing conflict situations between peoples,
between religions, between nations, call us to serious reflection
of our faith and to action. The Programme will be held in New Delhi
YMCA from 10-14 October 2002. More than 50 participants from various
YMCAs in the region are expected for the programme that will include
key presentations on the theme and multi-faith panel discussions
on working together to build sustainable communities of justice
and peace. Case studies from YMCAs will also be featured. Rev. Dr.
Prakash Louis, Executive Director of the Indian Social Institute,
New Delhi, will be the Keynote Speaker. The National Council of
YMCAs of India is hosting the programme with the New Delhi YMCA
that will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary, as the local host.
Regional Programme on Violence Against Women: Trends, Issues and
reach a common understanding on the issue of violence against women,
and identify the YMCA's roles and tasks in eliminating such violence
and in advocating for gender justice within and outside the YMCAs,
the Regional Workshop on Violence Against Women will be held on
6-11 November 2002 in Mumbai (Bombay), India. The National Council
of YMCAs of India and the Bombay YMCA are the hosts of this Programme.
violence against women is not only a women's issue, but also a gender
issue concerning both men and women, all YMCA leaders who are involved
in women's empowerment, social education and advocacy work and who
are willing to initiate action programmes to eliminate violence
against women are invited to participate in the programme. Application
forms should reach the Alliance Secretariat by 10 October 2002.
Writing Team Prepares for 16th General Assembly
16th General Assembly Writing Team that met on 4-7 September in
Hong Kong discussed about the present reality of a world threatened
by on-going global conflicts, impacts of globalisation, marginalisation,
and rise of religious fundamentalism. Following much sharing and
discussions, the following theme emerged : "Seeking A Spirituality
of Transformation, Acting Together for Just-Peace". Just-Peace
is understood as a peace resulting from the establishment of justice
in the social, economic, cultural and political sectors for all
people in the community. A spirituality of transformation is envisioning
a transformation of the global forces of injustice into Just-Peace
catalysts. To express our hopes and emphasise our transformational
role as a movement, the following sub-themes have been chosen: Building
Just and Participatory Civil Society; Eradicating Poverty, Working
towards Sustainable Communities; and, Action in Solidarity with
then focussed on the Workbook and resources for the Assembly, including
speakers and presenters. The Assembly will be held from 2-6 September
2003 in Singapore, preceded by the Youth Forum from 31 August to
2 September 2003.
Writing Team is composed of Rev. Ng Ee Lin (Chairperson of the Committee
on Culture, Religion and Spirituality), Mr. Chim Hou Yan (Immediate
Past President), Mr. Song Jin Ho (Korea), Mr. Max Ediger (Documentation
for Action Groups in Asia), and the Executive Staff of the Alliance.
Planning for Inter-religious Cooperation Programme, 2003
growing concern about the frequent incidence of religious conflicts
in our region, and especially in certain sub-regions, the idea of
a joint Inter-religious Cooperation Programme was raised among Executives
of the APAY, the CCA and the German Church Development Organisation,
EED. A Preparatory Committee Meeting comprising representatives
from the APAY, CCA and EED, was held at our Secretariat from 26-28
August 2002. The Prep-com Meeting has planned for the programme
to be held from 6-10 April 2003 in Prapat, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
The programme, with the theme "Living our Faiths - Seeking Justice,
Peace and Sustainable Alternatives Together", hopes to bring together
representatives from different religions of our region. It will
be an interfaith endeavour to learn from each other's wisdom to
live together. Participants will include those presently working
on interfaith understanding in local communities. Further information
on the programme will be circulated soon.
20th Advanced Studies Programme
another six weeks, the 20th Advanced Studies Programme will bring
together around 16 participants from the region, including one from
Africa and one from Latin America. The Programme is for 35 days
of intensive study and reflection on Globalisation, Civil Society,
Contemporary Theological Perspectives and the Mission of the YMCA.
Specific workshops on Youth and Gender Concerns, Strategic Planning
in Today's Information Technology Era, Information Technology in
Movement Building and Networking, and Resource Generation will also
be conducted. The Studies will be from 26 October to 29 November
2002 at the Wu Kwai Sha YMCA Youth Village in Hong Kong.
Committee and Related Meetings - 2003
Executive Committee and Standing Committees/Task Group meetings
will be from 13-15 March 2003 in Hong Kong. The National
General Secretaries' Meeting will take place on 16 March
2003 in Hong Kong.
Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs