APAY e-News Sept 2014

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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 September 2014

1. Alternative Tourism gaining popularity

2. Basic Secretary Training (BST) for YMCA of Indonesia and Timor Leste

3. APAY and Climate Change Advocacy Initiatives

4. Cambodia SOP Alumni make "Youth and Social Understanding" their New Theme

5. SOP Alumni discuss holding Mini-SOP in Indonesia

6. Typhoon - Rehabilitation Projects Turn-over and beginning of a new phase

7.  Resource Mobilization in Progress with National Movements 

8. Youth Empowerment - Our direction for 2015 & 2016


Nov 3-28:  32nd Advanced Studies Programme, Wu Kwai Sha, Hong Kong


Alternative Tourism gaining popularity

Two national trainings on Alternative Tourism were held in the months of July and August. The national training for Myanmar was held at and hosted by the National Council of YMCAs in Myanmar from 21-24 July 2014. A total of 21 staff and youth members from 7 local YMCAs completed the basic training on developing Alternative Tourism programmes at their respective YMCAs.

The YMCA of Salatiga hosted the second basic training on Alternative Tourism from 14-16 August, immediately following their Basic Secretary Training. A total of 15 staff and youth members from 5 local YMCAs completed the basic training. This was the second basic training on Alternative Tourism to be organised by the YMCA in Indonesia.

With these two latest training programmes, a total of 30 local YMCAs from 7 countries have now participated in the Basic Alternative Tourism training. Besides the Basic Alternative Tourism training workshops, the Global Alternative Tourism Network also conducts annual trainings for programme managers of Alternative Tourism as well as roundtable meetings between sending and hosting YMCAs.

The Alternative Tourism being promoted by the GATN seeks to provide a more sustainable and responsible way for people to travel. We are interested to develop a tourism that is community based, ecologically friendly, non-exploitative especially in relation to women and children and economically beneficial for the local communities. Many YMCAs have also found this programme very relevant for their global citizenship education and movement strengthening work. Quite a few YMCAs have also been able to generate significant income from this programme.

Myanmar participants exposure visit Myanmar participants preparing alternative tourism sites
Evaluation skit by Myanmar participants Indonesia training at LP3K Training Center
Indonesian participants discussion before going for exposure Indonesian participants visit to demonstration organic farm


 ~ Chan Beng Seng, GATN Program Coordinator


Basic Secretary Training (BST) for YMCA of Indonesia and Timor Leste

The YMCA Basic Secretary Training for Indonesia and Timor Leste was scheduled on August 7-14, 2014 at Salatiga, Indonesia. This is not the first BST training in Indonesia YMCA’s history; however, it happened after so many years. The purpose of the training was to equip the YMCA secretaries with basic understanding of YMCA vision and mission. It was learnt that, many secretaries are potential secretaries and want to work for their YMCA . However, they are lack of basic skills, financial resources and knowledge about the YMCA. These caused obstacles to the development of YMCA in their communities.

This BST training provided the 8 participants from Medan, Yogyakarta, Makassar, Surabaya, Milang, Salatiga and YMCA of Timor Leste with understanding on YMCA’s history, philosophy, concept and strategic working plan to YMCA professional staff, volunteers. Some participants expressed that they have learnt many new things and skills for their YMCAs. Being aware of their roles and responsibilities, they can now go back with new perspectives to share with their respective boards and will work for the development of their local YMCA toward sustainability in the future.

The participants expressed their sincere gratitude and special thanks to APAY and the national council of YMCA of Indonesia, and all the resource persons for conducting this training and in giving them an opportunity to attend this BST.

 ~ Richard Kaing, Coordinator of Movement Strengthening

APAY and Climate Change Advocacy Initiatives

The human society has been involved in plundering the resources of the earth and destroying the environment in the name of development & modernity. With the advent of the industrial revolution in the eighteen century the rate of destruction of the earth’s resources multiplied drastically to an alarming state. Excessive use of fossil fuels has led to huge carbon emissions in the atmosphere, resulting in rapid global warming. This rapid global warming has been responsible for the climate change of our earth. It has created negative impacts in human lives. Concerted efforts of all quarters are required to reverse the situation in order to save the earth from the threat of imminent danger. Preservation of the nature & environment has become the biggest challenge for us in the post-modern era.

Concerned people, civic groups, governments and international bodies are relentlessly working to reduce carbon emissions through concerted efforts. APAY has been engaged in various environmental programs for quite a long time. Most of these efforts were focused on individual change of behavioral patterns and local action programs. Our Green Ambassadors Training program was one it’s noteworthy program. These action programs encourage the youths of our YMCAs to be more eco-sensitive and become conscious and instrumental in preserving the nature.

APAY have recently involved in promoting Alternative Tourism Programs. There too we have found out that tourism too has distinct relation with climate change. Today tourism accounts for 80% of total air travels and roughly five percent of total carbon emissions come from aviation sector. Similarly, shipping accounts for another five percent of total carbon emissions, this includes cruise shipping also. On the other hand we have observed that tourism leads to deforestation, plundering of farm land, excessive use of water, degradation of the environment, excessive use of energy, these too play a major role in climate change. It is quite surprising to note that, tourism has not been accepted in the climate change negotiations in the UNFCCC process. It has been felt that it is time now to do engage ourselves more proactively in the field of climate change mitigation programs, if we really want to bring about positive changes in this area. The YMCAs of our region are less involved the advocacy program. Influencing policy patterns of the governments can make huge differences and bring positive changes.

In such a situation, APAY have looking forward to be more involved in climate change lobby advocacy program. This also includes also encouraging the YMCAs of our region to be involved in climate change advocacy program and initiate various programs focusing this area. With a view to augment these efforts, APAY have recently formed the Resource Group on Climate Change.

The APAY Resource Group on Climate Change is comprised, of members who a have special interest in Climate Change and actively involve themselves in studying the aspect of Climate Change Lobby Advocacy, share resources and information in this aspect and support the APAY in taking possible steps in this area. The RGCC shall be engaged in monitoring the developments in Climate Change Negotiation process, follow the activities of the various UN and other international organizations working in this field. They shall organize workshops, seminars with a view to conscientize the YMCA members especially the youth in issues related to Climate Change, act as a resource group, sharing information and ideas on the recent trends of Climate Change and take effective steps to disseminate information to the various YMCAs involved in various programs to combat climate change and finally support YMCA initiatives at regional, national and local levels to mitigate the sufferings of climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

The APAY RGCC met for the first time at a climate change workshop organized by the APAY during 2-4 August, 2014 at Metropolitan YMCA in Singapore. Here the members of the group worked out the road map for the furtherance of the APAY climate change initiatives in the coming days.

The next task of RGCC is to organize the APAY Regional Workshop on Climate Change. This will be held in October in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. We expect delegates from the YMCAs who are interested in Climate Change to participate at the workshop. We hope that this workshop will initiate more YMCA action programs the field of climate change advocacy programs in the days to come.

After dinner and discussions hosted by the Y's Men of Singapore

~ Duncan Chowdhury, Executive Secretary

Cambodia SOP Alumni make "Youth and Social Understanding" Their New Theme

At a meeting of the School of Peace (SOP) alumni in Cambodia, members of the Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) network in the country chose “Youth and Social Understanding” as their theme for the next year. This new focus on their upcoming activities is based on the discussion of the SOP alumni at their two-day meeting beginning on Aug. 19 in Battambang Province that youth in Cambodia are largely still not aware of social, economic and political injustices in the country. Thus, within the next few months, the SOP alumni in Cambodia will devise a questionnaire and do a survey of the youth in the country to gauge their awareness of the important socio-economic and political issues that people are facing.

In addition to this work, the SOP alumni also discussed plans for a mini-SOP they would like to hold in March 2015 to expand their network with a follow-up workshop for these participants possibly being held in June next year.

SOP alumni in Cambodia meet with ICF coordinator Max Ediger (center),
in August in Battambang Province to plan activities for the upcoming year.

SOP Alumni discuss holding Mini-SOP in Indonesia

Eight School of Peace (SOP) alumni from Indonesia, plus two from East Timor, attended the Indonesia national forum meeting on July 17 and 18 in Poso in the province of Central Sulawesi. This annual gathering of members of the Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) network is to share about the work that each SOP alumni is doing and the issues of their community in Aceh, Jakarta and Papua as well as Central Sulawesi and to make plans about activities that the SOP alumni will organize together in the upcoming year.

A major outcome of the meeting is an agreement to jointly hold a mini-SOP for two weeks on the large Indonesian island of Kalimantan in November this year with the 21 participants equally selected by APAY and CCA as well as ICF. Among the topics that will be discussed are the tensions and conflict created by one’s identity, ways to address conflict, the differences between faith and religion, the rights of women and children and the transformation of oneself, one’s community and one’s society. A special emphasis of this mini-SOP will be on protecting the environment and the issues of justice related to environmental preservation that are found in Indonesia, especially on Kalimantan, such as the loss of land of indigenous people that affects their livelihood and spirituality and the forces of globalization that put profits over the rights of the local people.

SOP alumni in Indonesia and Timor Leste meet in Poso, Central Sulawesi,
in July to plan a mini-SOP and other programs to promote interfaith justpeace.

~ Bruce Van Voorhis, Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF)

Typhoon - Rehabilitation Project Turn-over and beginning of a new phase

The inauguration and turn over ceremonies of the Tamabaliza educational facilities were held on July 23, at Barangay Tambaliza, Concepcion, Iloilo. The constructed and restored facilities that were turned-over included the following:

  1. High School roofing and provision of 350 arm chairs and school supplies and installation of Solar lights;
  2. Repair and improvement of Posadas Primary school 2-classroom facilities, tables and chairs;
  3. Construction of sanitary toilets and wash area;
  4. Brgy Day Care Center;
  5. Water pump ;
  6. Provision of Livelihood tools, equipment, inputs and seed capitalization to 176 household heads on fishing, farming, buy and sell , and other skills
  7. Provision of shelter materials for start-up construction of shelters to 150 families in Tambaliza
  8. Construction of a structure with two rooms of 25 sqms each as temporary office/center to coordinate local Y’s work in the area with another 60 sqms kindergarten room for children to resume classes and activities with YMCA.
  9. Purchase of 130 square meter-lot for the construction of two row houses with three units each for Ormoc, Leyte through the YMCA of Cebu.

The recovery and rehabilitation response aimed at organizing people into a more cohesive community that will work together for rebuilding and development of a peaceful and harmonious community in the area. It was a collective learning and acting approach to address their needs with support from the local, national and international YMCAs who contributed funds and resources and facilitated the process to help achieve their goals and objectives.

Also, following a series of dialogues with local community leaders, needs assessment through focus group discussion, business planning exercises and profiling of community members, and a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Pineda-YMCA Skills Development Training and Livelihood Center was held after a week-long process on the week of July 18-24 in Tapacon, Bingawan, still in Iloilo. The YMCA training center will be built at the donated lot through the Barangay unit of Tapacon. Further process to orient, clarify and prepare the prospective recipient community members for the initial group of livelihood project on hog-raising was conducted in a series of meetings on August 18-22, including selection of first batch of beneficiaries. Also discussed were guidelines and policies for capital build-up scheme, membership rules and regulations, take home assignments on the proposed name of organization, vision statement, and schedules of meetings which they will hopefully finalize in September. The people look forward to its implementation to coincide with the start of the construction projects as they have been waiting long enough to receive some help and for their long term economic and livelihood support to turn around a difficult situation caused by the typhoon. They also expect to enliven their community through their collective efforts before they mark the first anniversary of typhoon Yolanda. Some of the plans include high school ceiling repair and installation of electricity; repair and improvement of 2-classroom elementary school, reconstruction of the Guintapaguin Cooperative Production center and support to on-farm livelihood which is the people’s main source of income.

 ~ Eloisa Borreo, Executive Secretary 

Resource Mobilization in Progress with
National Movements

A Year 1 Resource Mobilization Workshop was conducted for Cambodia YMCA on 1-3 August 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This was attended by 13 staff and 3 board members including the President of YMCA Cambodia, Mr. Thano. Ron Coulombe and Jon Vance, the Volunteer Consultant assigned to this area, were given a community-based program exposure including the Global Alternative Tourism, Children’s Learning Center and program with aging people. After going through the full course of the learning session and practice, the first Annual Campaign was launched through a simulation activity on Sunday August 3. Ron, the chief volunteer consultant of APAY RM program, shared his observations saying that he was pleasantly surprised to see that the participants were very receptive of the concepts and principles that were shared and are moving forward to achieve their campaign goal through a plan that they completed at the workshop.

Immediately following this Cambodia workshop, Ron proceeded to Myanmar together with Renee Godinez, the volunteer consultant assigned both for Myanmar and Thailand. The workshop in Myanmar was attended by 26 participants from 9 local YMCAs including Myint Kyi, Yangon, Taungoo, Larshio, Monywa, Pyin Oo Lwin, Nay Pyi daw, Pathein, Maubin and one from Self Supporting Karen Baptist Mission.

On the Train the Trainers exercise, Sandra, Khon Mai and Saw Khu were coached and guided for their tasks during the Year 1 and Year 2 workshops. Saw Khu shared that it was good and important to receive the Top Down strategy and the ‘inside-out’ approach. It was also good for them to share in the groups their YMCA’s most successful case stories. Ron also shared that the local trainers showed confidence in delivering on their assigned tasks during the Year 1 workshop. Khon Mai was the only one who submitted an excellent plan, raising $900 USD by herself.

The Year 2 Workshop held on 9th and 10th August covered and focused on Identity of local annual campaign, leaders, campaign director (staff), campaign chair (Lay leader) and campaign trainers (staff or volunteer). It also refined their local case and campaign materials. They developed their local YMCA stewardship plan, five elements of success and learned about asking for major gifts.

In Thailand with YMCAs Bangkok, Chiangmai and Chiangrai participating, a total of 27 participants attended the Year 2 workshop. The participants learned the concepts on the Perfect Ask, how to properly ask the gift from a major donor and the Best Practices for the elements of success including Case, Volunteer Leadership, Prospective Donors, Infrastructure and Plan. Chularat shared that aside from gaining knowledge about Resource Mobilization, this event helped develop friendships among the Board Members and staff of Chiangmai and Bangkok. It was also wonderful to be updated on programs of both YMCAs so they can work and support each other.

From a Volunteer Consultant’s perspective, Ron shared some good developments including the train the trainers and the volunteers taking their tasks well including the case presentation to different religions in Thailand. He also thought that Chiangmai and Chiangrai will work with their Year 2 Annual Campaigns with better outcome. We wish them all success.

~ Eloisa Borreo, Executive Secretary

Youth Empowerment - Our direction for 2015 and 2016

The World Council was successfully completed in July 2014 in Estes Park, Colorado, USA. Why a success? One of the big changes they challenged was setting group sessions every morning for four times with 2 hours 30 minutes a day. We all belonged to groups (each group had 18-20 members). The group sessions were well prepared with common agenda and common goals. Finally we all expressed the experience through a group performance. Another point of uniqueness was that these groups were led by young people called “Change Agents”. 220 of them facilitated the group sessions. In our group four Change agents were facilitating our group sessions and they presented the concept of Youth empowerment, conducted games for ice breaking, and etc. Surprisingly our group members of 15 people on the first day had stayed up to the final performance day. Why it went so well? One thing I am sure was that those young facilitators had prepared well. From two months before the World Council, they met weekly with senior leaders. As the result, they handled the group sessions very well with confidence and pleasant attitudes. Many participants I talked mentioned that they felt the importance of youth empowerment.

I found that this is the way to really empower young people. The Change Agents really demonstrated the ability and interest in the YMCA agenda throughout the World Council.

APAY has decided to continue the same youth leadership (We call “Youth Reps” and some of them attended the World Council as change agents). The Youth Reps will be preparing for the coming General Assembly (GA) of APAY in September 2015 as follows;

  1. Their term as Youth Reps is from 2012 to the GA in Sept 2015.
  2. All existing Youth Reps (40 of them) upon completion of the assignments will be participating in the GA in Korea.
  3. With Youth Reps, APAY will conduct Webinar training (4 times) and five Sub-regional SKYPE discussions. Mentors will be arranged for this purpose.
  4. Youth Reps are asked to initiate some programs in December 2014 and also organize the “APAY Challenge” event in June 2015.
  5. Youth Reps will meet and hand over the roles with/to new batch of Change Agents and Youth Reps during the GA.
  6. APAY will recruit new batch of Change Agents (term 2 years from Jan 2015 to Dec 2016) and Youth Reps (term 2 years from March 2015 to March 2017) in the end of 2014. These new Change Agents and Youth Reps are also expected to attend the GA.

 APAY new batch of youth empowerment plan: 2015 - 2016: 

Title of youth leaders World Change Agents APAY Youth Reps
Total number recruited 60 young volunteers 40 staff or volunteers
Numbers per movement

Minimum 2 per movement.
Up to 8 from one movement

Minimum 1 per movement.
Up to 3 from one movement
Age range 20-25 years of age 22-35 years of age
Current Role in YMCA (Will be decided by WAY)
Minimum 2 years of active participation/commitment
Full time staff or minimum two years of participation /commitment

Recruitment process
(After receiving application, recommendation, and personal statements)

(decided by WAY)
Interviewed by local /national YMCAs during Oct-Dec 2014 or early 2015
Interviewed by local/national Y and APAY will approve upon an interview in Oct-Dec 2014
Conditions of nomination Understanding requirements & commit to the followings Understanding TOR (will share later), & commit to the followings
Participation required in General Assembly of APAY (September 2015), APAY Youth Conference 2016 if no WAY event is held in 2016 General Assembly of APAY (September 2015), Global Citizenship Institute (April/May 2015 or 2016), APAY Youth conference 2016
Expected to attend training WAY will organize training, and assign some activities Organize National level youth events and training
Assignments expected to complete

Webinars by WAY
Assignments by WAY
Partially assigned by APAY

Webinars by APAY
Assignments by APAY
Regional discussion groups

Mentoring system APAY assign mentors and former Change Agents will help APAY assign mentors (mainly by experienced YMCA leaders)
Partial subsidies on Participation/ Air Travel Depending on programs and countries, partial subsidies are available Depending on programs and countries, partial subsidies are available
Number of subsidies Up to two (2) persons per country Up to one (1) person per country

Registration Fees
Green Fees
Others: passport, visa, etc

No subsidies available on these costs, it is supported by youth themselves or sending YMCA No subsidies available on these costs, it is supported by youth themselves or sending YMCA

 ~ Kohei Yamada, General Secretary


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