APAY e-News March 2013

PDF Print

Monthly eNewsletter of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs

This email contains graphics, so if you don't see them, view it in your browser.

Monthly eNewsletter of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs March 2013

1. APAY ECM 2013

2. Greetings To the New Pope FRANCIS

3. GS ECM report

4. Farewell messages from two outgoing staffs

5. ICF Human Rights

6. Workshop

7. APAY soon welcomes new program officer

8. APAY Easter Greetings

17 - 22 April, 2013:
GATN Program Mangers Training, Philippines

8 - 14 May, 2013:
The Green Ambassador Training, Hong Kong

3 - 10 June, 2013:
Gender Advance Training, Bangkok, Thailand

Executive Committee Meeting 2013

The Annual APAY Executive Committee Meeting (ECM) took place on 6-8 March 2013 in Hong Kong. It was diligently attended by over 110 frontline YMCA leaders representing 22 National Movements of our region. Three young representatives from Christian Youth Association (CYA) Mongolia also participated in the meeting. CYA is working on to re-establish YMCA in Mongolia.

Prior to the ECM, Global Citizenship Education Consultation Meeting was held on 4th March. On 5th March, a Governance Training was conducted by Mr. Ron Mell, CEO of Australia YMCA.

Soon after the ECM, a Youth Empowerment Training for Change Agents was held in the Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village on 8-10 March. Mr. Romulo Dantas from World Alliance of YMCAs conducted the workshop for the Change Agents from Asia and Pacific region and gave an orientation of WAY agenda for the Change Agents and introduced WAY Change Model. Global Citizenship, Resource Mobilization and Global Alternative Tourism Network were also in the agenda of the Training. Twenty-eight change agents from our region attended the training.

Overall, the whole week was filled with many learning experience. We would like to acknowledge all the national movements who participated in the meetings. Also, we extend our sincere gratitude to the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and the YMCA of Hong Kong for supporting us to successfully host this year’s ECM.





Greetings To the New Pope FRANCIS

The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs takes this opportunity to greet the new Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis who has been elected recently as the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

The election of Cardinal Jorge M.Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires has a special meaning to the YMCA because of his special relations with the YMCAs, notably with the YMCA of Argentina. The pro-people Pontiff is well known for his relentless ecumenical endeavors, building relationship with people of other denominations and faith. As a sign of his recognition of the YMCA as an ecumenical organization, he had several audiences with our YMCA leaders in Buenos Aires, most recently with Johan Eltvik, Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs and with Juan Simoes, General Secretary of the European Alliance of YMCAs and also with Bart Shaha, when he was the Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs. The Argentina YMCA is blessed with his fellowship & support, and today we also share the joy with the Argentinian YMCAs.

We look forward to see the Church to be more responsive to the need of the people, work to preserve the environment and also work towards greater fellowship with the people of other faith, to bring peace and harmony in the world, under his holy stewardship.


Kohei Yamada
Genera Secretary


Report from APAY Executive Committee Meeting March 5-8, 2013 in Hong Kong

We at the APAY thank you sincerely for your full participation and meaningful contribution during our Executive Committee Meeting sessions. We are pleased to report that a total of 110 delegates from 21 YMCA movements in Asia & Pacific participated in the event.

First of all, I saw the strong bond and warm fellowship were among the members. While many of the participants might be attending the ECM for the first time, everyone seemed very relaxed and enjoyed the fellowship of one another. Some participants commented that this warm fellowship sprung out from the joy of being a part of the YMCA movement. Perhaps, each of our YMCAs might be facing different issues and concerns, but here they shared and encouraged each other with the best of their respective YMCA movement. I am glad to see such energy and warm sharing.

I warmly appreciate NCY Korea’s and the Daejeon YMCA’s hosting of our General Assembly and Youth Assembly in September 2015. Thanks to the Sri Lankan movement for giving way to the Korean movement to host the GA. Mr. Lakshan Dias said that when APAY decided the venue for the 17th GA in 2005, both Sri Lanka and Korea applied for hosting the GA (scheduled in 2007). Korea then gave way to Sri Lanka which was recovering from the 2004 Tsunami. This time, Sri Lanka returned the favor for Korea to do the hosting. I thank Sri Lanka YMCA for that.

Special appreciation was also expressed to a new movement from Mongolia for joining the ECM. Mr. G. Javkhlantugs, Mr. E. Purev-Erdene and Ms. P. Enkhtuya represented the youth movement, which had been very active and self-sustaining in Ulan Bator. APAY decided to recommend them as a new YMCA movement to the World Alliance.

On top of the above special news, we took up many items at committee level. I report below the approved matters in the 2013 ECM.

Mission and Response Committee

  1. The new initiatives on Alternative Tourism of 2013-2015 were introduced.
  2. A new initiative on Social Economy was introduced.
  3. A new proposal on Global Citizenship Action Plan 2013-2015 was introduced.
Committee on Constitutional Matters
  1. In order to maintain the continuity of the leadership of the APAY, the idea of a staggering tenure of the Board Members were actively considered, however, this issue would be further deliberated in the Committee before deciding on this matter at the next ECM.
  2. The Committee proposed a Code of Good Governance comprising seven principles to be included in the APAY By-Laws as an annexure.
Gender Equity Committee
  1. Recommended that every national YMCA movement should have a Gender Equity Committee
  2. Requested every movement to respond to the proposed Gender policy and also to the gender survey.
  3. Training of trainers is scheduled on June 3-10 in Bangkok for the Advanced level, and Dec 9-15 in Japan for those who did not attend the Basic Training.
Youth Participation and Leadership Development Committee
  1. YMCA Regional Youth Conference will be held in South India on August 23-28.
  2. Need to set up mechanism for selecting the hosting for 2014 youth events.
  3. Conduct qualitative survey about youth empowerment activities.
Golden Anniversary Trust Fund Committee
  1. Decided to support the Disaster Management Workshop in July 2014, Social Economy Workshop in June 2014, and Youth Empowerment Program in 2013, for a total of USD 34,500.
Finance and Administration Committee
  1. It was suggested that more YMCA movements voluntarily increase their fair share in the next year
  2. The e-store in Australia is promising future income generation for APAY. APAY will form a Task Force to develop a business plan.

Relationship Building with Y’s Men

I would like to add one more comment about the Y’s Men movement in our area. We usually have a breakfast gathering hosted by the Y’s Men in Hong Kong District. This year we had over 35 members from 12 movements. Some of them do not have Y’s Men in their countries and they were interested in such supportive movements for the YMCA. Mr. Yaz Okano, Asia Area President Elect of Y’s Men mentioned that they would like to financially support the Change Agent Program of APAY. Strong cooperation should be developed openly and strategically between YMCA and Y’s Men. We are going to hold more official meetings in the next ECM 2014.

Finally we would like to thank Mr. Romulo Dantas of the World Alliance, Ms. Ron Coulombe from Canada and Ms. Boon Chin Tan from YMCA of USA for attending and supporting this ECM.



After internship, what’s next?

Time flies so fast especially while we are working for what we are interested in and which we enjoy. My learning at Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs as a youth intern has come to accomplish. Is it the end of my missionary work in the YMCA? No, it’s the beginning. I feel myself empowered and more confident while working and learning at APAY. This is the starting point of my journey in the YMCA with new inspiration and dedication. YMCA has changed my mindset. Before I thought what YMCA could do for me and could change my life to be better. After this one year internship at APAY, my thinking has changed to what I can do for the YMCA and how I can make changes the community and people lives.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all APAY staffs and board members for offering me the greatest chance to be a youth intern for the term 2012-2013. Also, I would like to say thank you to all donors who support for the “Fellow for Youth” so that APAY could arrange my accommodation, travels and transportation, meal and daily needs during my one year staying in Hong Kong. Especially this is a valuable opportunity for me as a youth coming from developing country from South-East Asia. I will continue working for the YMCA as a staff at my local YMCA where I come from.




Farewell words from

I have visited Hong Kong several times since 1995. And, every visit to Hong Kong give me a new insight. During my last work at APAY, I also got new experiences. An experience that draws into an envisage:

  • Sometimes we found a good teacher in someone who we consider as a “not good” person.
  • There is goodness in badness, and badness in goodness.
  • There is no easy answer for this world. When we think we know something, actually we do not know about it. The world is beyond our limit to understand.
  • In conclusion, we could not find the answer in a way we want to. We just need to live in harmony between the adversity (the black and white, the bad and good, the happiness and sadness, and so forth). There is no answer about this world. There is no absolute balance.

    In APAY, I work on GATN for a development of Alternative Tourism vis a vis Today Mass Tourism. A program as a continuation of community struggle towards tourism for their survival, when mass tourism causes more detriments than benefit. Therefore, in this Alternative Tourism program, we tried to build the sustainability of the local community as well the local YMCAs, and also to correct the current tourism from destructive way to caring way. To become a breakthrough tourism for the betterment of today world and for the future.

    I would like to thank APAY and all YMCAs that have given me a chance for me to work with and to understand more about this world and especially about the work within YMCA scope and beyond. Also, for the kind help and support. I hope GATN will strengthen the relationship between APAY and the local YMCA movement. My sincere thanks to all people.




    ICF Human Rights Workshop Held in City of Religious Conflict

    Pastor Paulus Hartono shares with the participants of the ICF human rights workshop in Solo in February about the ways in which human rights is rooted in christianity

    ICF held a human rights workshop in Indonesia from Feb. 17 to 23, 2013, in Solo, Central Java. SOP alumni from Cambodia and Sri Lanka attended the program as well as five other participants from Solo and the surrounding area. This was the second workshop that ICF has conducted to train some of its SOP alumni to be resource people in the area of human rights. The first workshop took place in September last year in Jakarta.

    Pastor Paulus Hartono, the local organizer, explained that Solo was a good choice to hold a human rights workshop as his city has periodically experienced violence over the years that has been perpetrated by radical Muslims against the Christian community. It is for this reason, he said, that he and Imam Nafi, the leader of a local pesantren, or Islamic boarding school, have worked together for more than 10 years to build relationships between the two faith communities in Solo and to defuse any violence when it occurs. Both religious leaders took part in a mini-SOP organized by APAY and ICF in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July 2011.

    During the first workshop in Jakarta, a major emphasis was put on discussing human rights from a legal perspective as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and several other U.N. human rights covenants and conventions.

    This emphasis continued in the Solo workshop with the participants examining the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As part of this segment of the workshop, each participant was asked to prepare a presentation about CEDAW for a specific audience that the participant chose.

    Another perspective on human rights, however, was also introduced during the Solo workshop: human rights from a moral or faith-based perspective. SOP alumni from Cambodia shared about the teachings of Buddhism related to human rights; Pastor Paulus, a SOP alumni from Sri Lanka and ICF staff person Bruce Van Voorhis presented the perspective of Christianity on the topic; and Imam Nafi offered the human rights principles contained in Islam along with a SOP alumni from Aceh who, although she could not attend the program, provided a PowerPoint presentation about Islam and human rights.

    After an input about the importance of accurate documentation, the workshop participants also practiced using documentation by writing an urgent appeal based on a specific human rights issue or case in their country.

    Field trips of the program included a visit to Imam Nafi’s pesantren, a local community in Solo where women shared about domestic violence and trafficking, a tour of a Buddhist temple at which the group planted several trees for peace and a meeting with the journalists of a major Solo newspaper, Solo Pos, that seeks to report on events in the city’s complex society objectively based on respect for all people’s human rights.




    APAY New Program Officer for Youth Development

    We welcome our new staff, Mr. Roger Anton Pradeep Peiris, Program Officer for Youth Development. He is the General Secretary of Negombo YMCA Sri Lanka. He has been in this position for 13 years since 2000 & was the Program assistant of Colombo YMCA for a period of 3 years from 1997-1999.

    Roger was educated at the Open University of Sri Lanka in Foundation Program in Social Sciences. He has acquired the Basic Training for YMCA Secretaries in 1998 and 26th Advanced Studies Program in 2008. Besides, he also participated as the youth delegate of 15th World Council Meeting in Mexico in 2002.

    Roger is married to Laxhika Mareen Seuwandi and have daughter Reshma Anne Saheli. Roger will soon be working with us effective in April 2013.


    Not interested any more?