APAY e-News April & May 2013

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Monthly eNewsletter of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs

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Monthly eNewsletter of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs April~May 2013

1. Liew Mun Khai Passes Away

2. GS shares WAY's Executive Committee Meeting 2013

3. Resource Mobilization Meeting

4. GATN Program Managers Training Workshop

5. Movements' Updates


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

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

26 June – 1 July, 2013:
APAY Regional Workshop on Social Economy, Seoul, South Korea

Liew Mun Khai PassesAway

With deep sorrow, we convey the news of the sad demise of Liew Mun Khai, former Vice President of the Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, he had been suffering from ill health for a prolonged period and passed away on 7th April 2013 in Malaysia.

Late Liew Mun Khai was a retired banker, born on 7th Sept 1947. He had been the President of YMCA Kuala Lumpur since 2006. He had served as Board Member, Deputy Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Secretary of the YMCA Kuala Lumpur on various occasions since he joined in 1966. At the national level, he also served as Executive Committee Member, Vice President, Hon. Secretary and President of the National Council of YMCAs of Malaysia at different times. He had served in various committees at APAY since 1984 and held the position of Vice President of APAY during the quadrennial 2007-2011. His long years of leadership to the YMCA movement and the yeoman services to people are with great honour and distinction. His commitment to the YMCA movement was reflected in his continued service and participation in the YMCA activities. We have lost a dedicated professional leader of outstanding abilities.

You may send letter of condolence to YMCA Kuala Lumpur at ymcakl@ymcakl.com

We pray that he may find eternal rest in the Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God for his life of service to the community and the YMCA as we remember him and his dedicated work.

YMCAs in Palestine

It was a historical decision for the World Alliance to hold its Executive Committee meeting in Palestine, one of the most disputed regions with a lot of conflicts over the control of Jerusalem by three major religions.

The World Alliance Executive Committee Meetings and Global Staff Team Meetings took place in Jericho during April 2 – 7, 2013. Both East Jerusalem YMCA and Jerusalem International YMCA in two separate (political) regions have been working for peace in their own context. The East Jerusalem YMCA speaks out the rights of the Palestinians and the Jerusalem International Y speaks out peace in harmony with different religions and also between the Jewish and the Arabs.

We can say that the population in Palestine is very young. Sixty percent of the population is below 24 years old. However, due to the political difficulties, the local youth are facing challenges for a stable income or securing employment. Many of them need to get job at the age of 15-16 instead of going to school for further education. Another reality in Palestine I felt strongly was the sense of anger and frustration among the Palestinians. The Israelis have the political power. Under their political power, the Palestinians are gradually losing rights of staying in their land. The Palestinians have lived in their land for many generations, but suddenly now they are being forced to evacuate from their own land. While we drove from Jericho to Jerusalem, the staff person showed us many modern houses and buildings built on the top of the hills called “settlements”. Many settlers from Israel come to live in “Palestinian land”. These settlers have been increasing rapidly and forcing the Palestinians out of their own land. Big and tall walls are built to separate “their land” from “Palestine land”. To stop this kind of “settlement”, the YMCA and YWCA jointly plant Olive trees in those potential places with the names of their donors. But often those plants have been uprooted by settlement promoters.

In this kind of adverse political situation, the East Jerusalem YMCA started its activities to support many Palestinian Refugees who away from their own homes. The vocational training program in Jericho was the first activity by the YMCA of East Jerusalem. There are many marginalized young people all over the Palestine. The vocational training programs are available to 150 young males and females annually, of which 85% get employment after the graduation.

After the war over the border issues in Palestine in 1989, there were many victims, both physically and psychologically, due to the war and loss of the families, land and jobs. The YMCA Rehabilitation Center was started in Beit-Sahour for those disabled or handicapped Palestinians and their families. Later more focus had been given to the psychological care. During 2001-2010, over 8,000 children aged 12-18 were arrested by Israelis. On average, 700 to 800 children were arrested yearly and held for a period of 5 months in jails on a average. In the jail the children are treated as criminals and tortured physically and psychologically. Because of that trauma and being labeled as terrorists they are in need of professional support and rehabilitation. The YMCA created such services to young people as well as their families, so that they can go back to the society. They treat 370 children by many professional psychologists and social workers annually.

On the other hand, the Jerusalem International YMCA located in the Israel side, was first built in 1933 with a view to for creating religious harmony in the Holy Land, in the most central part of Jerusalem. Jerusalem continuously goes through conflicts among religious communities of Jewish (Jews), Muslims (Arabs) and Christians (Arabs and immigrants from other areas). The big and tall tower with symbolic messages was built 80 years ago. The YMCA programs have been respected and it was once nominated as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate in the 1990s. The YMCA conducts physical activities, an international kindergarten and runs an international hotel. All programs are open to Jews, Muslims and Christians. The same openness has been applied in membership, staff and board members. The monument in the YMCA building says, “Here is a place whose atmosphere is peace, where political and religious jealousies can be forgotten and international unity fostered and developed” (April 18, 1933).

Kohei Yamada
Genera Secretary


Resource Mobilization Meeting / Retreat Report

On a personal note, I must say that this year’s NAYDO experience offered different opportunities as we have been invited to report and share what the APAY had accomplished with the NAYDO Council. As the World Urban Network and the WAY Investors Circle supported the Resource Mobilization Program of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, we represented the APAY at the Council meeting on April 10. It was also a good opportunity to represent the APAY during a meeting with the Minister of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), where we briefly shared the youths’ situation in the Asia and Pacific and what the YMCAs are doing to help respond to their challenges. Also, there was an opportunity to share what the APAY had achieved on Resource Mobilization and Fund development during the Philanthropy forum with international attendees on Friday afternoon.

It was also a good time to thank all the volunteer consultants who have worked with the APAY Resource Mobilization Program in 2012 for its Year 1. Coinciding with the NAYDO Conference in Vancouver on 9-13 April 2013, this meeting and planning was a timely move to strategize for the next steps for the APAY Resource Mobilization Program since many of the volunteer consultants attended this year’s Conference. The meeting on 13 April, 12:00 noon to 6:00pm, was held at the Robert Lee YMCA, Vancouver, Canada.

It was attended by the following:

  1. Mr. Ron Coulombe, Edmonton, Canada ---Overall Coordination of all APAY RM workshops
  2. Ms. Brenda Blakovich, Kentucky YMCA, USA – helped RM workshop in North India
  3. Ms. Jamie Inman, YMCA Greenville, USA -- helped RM workshop in South India
  4. Ms. Jessica Rawn, Simcoe/Muskoka YMCA, Canada -- helped RM workshop in Sri Lanka
  5. Mr. Paul Andresen, Anaheim YMCA, USA -- helped RM workshop in the Philippines
  6. Mr. Jose Varghese, National Council of YMCAs of India -- National Coordinator of India RM
  7. Mr. Pablito Tabucol, National of YMCAs of Philippines – National coordinator of the Philippines RM
  8. Mr. Charith de Silva, National Council of Sri Lanka -- National coordinator of the Sri Lanka RM
  9. Mr. Jon Vance, Volunteer Consultant for Bangladesh (tentative)--plan RM workshop in Bangladesh
  10. Mr. Jim Pacey, Volunteer Consultant for Japan (tentatively) –Plan RM workshop in Japan
  11. Elsie Borreo, Executive Secretary for Programmes,--APAY Regional coordinator on RM workshops

As attendees, participants and or resource persons at this NAYDO, the above list made a significant mark in this conference which was participated in by more than a thousand attendees including seventy (70) international guests. Besides the full-packed workshops and related learning events and meetings, special arrangements were made for face to face meetings among volunteers and coordinators for the first time. The agenda for this special meeting/retreat included the following:

Welcoming and thanking the volunteer consultants for their volunteer services to the Resource Mobilization Program of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs. A dinner was specifically arranged on April 12 for all of them and the national coordinators. Reports and sharing of learning from APAY and each of the national movement were made including discussion on best practices, outcomes for Year 2 Workshops, outcomes for the training the trainer workshops and suggestions for planning the respective movements for the Year 2 and ideas and planning for the Year 3 tag as ‘RM Summit for the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs’. The day ended with a celebration for all the achievements and the volunteers’ dedication and commitment to the APAY RM Program.

Eloisa Borreo

The GATN Program Managers Training Workshop

The GATN Program Managers Training Workshop was successfully held during 17-21 April 2013 at Pagasinan YMCA in Dagupan City in Philippines. Fifteen Program Managers of the YMCAs of our region who were offering alternative tourism programs in their respective YMCAs and those who are planning to host such alternative tourism programs participated at the Training Workshop.

The Training Workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Kohei Yamada, General Secretary of APAY in the kind presence of Mr. Felix Eliral R. Refuerzo, National President, YMCA of Philippines. Earlier the participants were accorded a welcome dinner hosted the YMCA of Philippines in Manila.

Mr. Ranjan Solomon, former Director of ECOT and Ms. Sabine Minninger, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate & Energy, Bread for the World - Protestant Development Service, together with Mr. Duncan Chowdhury, Mr. Chan Beng Seng conducted the Training Workshop.

The sessions dealt at the workshop, included the rationale of Alternative Tourism, the involvement of the YMCA in Alternative Tourism, the necessity and procedures of certification of Alternative Tourism sites, the code of conduct of the hosting YMCAs, the sending YMCAs and the visitors, and the nitty-gritties of operating alternative tourism programs. The participants had the opportunity to learn more about the relationship between Climate Change and Tourism and the global initiatives on Climate Change Advocacy.

One of the interesting parts of the program was the day-long exposure trip, through which the participants had the opportunity to have a glimpse of what Pangasinan YMCA was offering in their Alternative Tourism Program. The rich cultural traditions, the tantalizing local cuisines, visit to salt farms and a rendezvous at a serene, natural and beautiful small island with snorkeling experiences made the trip worthwhile.

It was felt that more of such similar training workshops need to be organized at national and regional levels in order for our local YMCAs to effectively respond to the negative impacts of mass tourism with alternative tourism programs that are Community centered, Holistic in approach, Advocating global citizenship and networking, Nature conserving, Gender and child sensitive, and Economically viable.

The APAY gratefully acknowledges the painstaking endeavors of Pangasinan YMCA and the YMCA of Philippines for hosting this Training Program.

Duncan Chowdhury

APAY Regional Workshop on Social Economy

The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs is organizing the first “APAY Regional Workshop on Social Economy” scheduled to be held in Seoul, Korea from 26th June to 1st July 2013.

Programs details of the Workshop has been sent to the National Movements and also posted in our website under the section of ‘Upcoming Events’. The deadline for registration for participation is on 31st May 2013.

Lay and Professional Leaders who are involved in social entrepreneurship activities in their own YMCAs or do have special interest to initiate such programs in their YMCAs are requested to participate in the Workshop.


Raymond Areng elected as President
of the National Council of YMCAs of Bangladesh

Mr. Areng has just been elected as National President of NCY of Bangladesh in the 36th Annual General Meeting held on 15th March, 2013. Mr. Raymond Areng got involved in Y movement with Youth Club of Dhaka YMCA, when he was a student of University of Dhaka. Soon after he returned to his own village and started his career as a teacher, he started his service for Birisiri YMCA as one of the associate members in 1998. He attended the World Council of World Alliance of YMCAs held in Oaxtepec, Mexico in 2002 and successfully conducted a session at a tent. Mr. Areng served Birisiri YMCA as the President for consecutively three terms and as a Vice President and as board member for several terms. Mr. Areng previously served the National Council of YMCAs of Bangladesh as a Vice President and Treasurer.


Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong

University YMCA (The University of Hong Kong) Signing Ceremony

The ninth University YMCA was set up in The University of Hong Kong, with Dr. Cecil S.O. Chan, President of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and Professor Roland T. Chin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of The University of Hong Kong, officiated the Signing Ceremony on 21st March, 2013. The event symbolized the establishment of the University YMCA partnership project between CYMCA and HKU. The students of HKU who have recently participated in the Nepal YMCA service trip also shared their memorable experience and reflections with the guests during the ceremony.

University & College YMCA Joint Student Executive Committees Inauguration Ceremony cum the 10th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Eight current Student Executive Committees of University YMCA and College YMCA held their Joint Inauguration Ceremony on 22nd March 2013. They took an oath together on stage to commit themselves to the University YMCA and College YMCA, to serve the community in the coming year.

This year also marks the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of University & College YMCA, more than 350 guests, students and alumni from different universities joint the celebration dinner. Famous singer Mr. Peter Cheung composed the 10th Anniversary theme song, and led all the student committee members to sing together at the event. Also during the evening, different games and performances were prepared by the students, to share the many memorable and joyful moments with all the guests.



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