A Reflection of the 39th Advanced Studies Course ASC

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Last Updated (Friday, 03 March 2023 16:00)

Looking back to our 10 years journey with YMCA is a blessing and opportunity for us to grow and be equipped individually and collectively to continue our mission as we are called to be the salt and light of the world to ignite the change!

One of these opportunities was the ASC program. I was privileged to attend the 39th Advanced Studies program organized by the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs(APAY) with the theme “Leadership and Mission – Towards YMCA Vision 2030”.

This course was designed for the executive staff of the national movement. However, attending as a National President was an honour and an excellent opportunity to re-ignite and get re-fueled to strengthen our national YMCA in the best possible ways.

The 39th ASC was a huge learning space for me with a virtual experience. I gained deep insights and understanding about the Mission and Vision of the YMCA and explored more about Ecumenism & Ecumenical Movements; Movement Strengthening & Relevancy; Good Governance; Interfaith cooperation for justice and peace in a multi-religious context; Gender Justice; Climate Change; YMCA Vision 2030; Economy of Life; SDG, contextual theology; youth leadership and more with the help of our professional leaders and classmates of YMCAs.

Highlights of the Advanced Studies Course for us were as participants from diverse YMCAs to explore and develop a comprehensive understanding of the common challenges facing the Asia Pacific Region while also being equipped to seek and implement solutions through the YMCA. All these gave us a great challenge on how we as a movement need to respond to these in our unique context.

What stood out to me the most was the root “Why” aka the Paris Basis that acknowledges that we are a global organization based on Christian values and the matter of how we can contextualize and live our core values and demonstrate the DNA of our YMCA identity into practice in tangible ways to help the Spirit, Mind and Body.

I’m incredibly thankful to see that APAY is doing more and working to include women and girls at all levels of the YMCA, recognizing that Challenge 21 intended to include all young people, irrespective of gender, to ensure that gender equality in our communities is achieved with the active participation of the YMCA.

I reckon this course was super helpful in boosting the recharger that I really needed at the point in time for me to work on the challenges and conflicts of the existing form of the YMCA and leaders for the strengthening and growth of our national YMCA.

The program ended with a re-entry plan made by each participant related to the knowledge and understandings from sessions and perspectives given during the Studies and further proposals for movement strengthening; it helped me to see the bigger picture and inspired me to get on with it.

I genuinely feel that this was a great empowering event, with lots of “How-s”, as YMCA professionals, we have to be aware of those basics, to understand the context we are living in for creating meaningful programs that address to those realities and fulfill needs and most importantly, to develop and offer impactful programs to our communities.

I realised that we need to be supported by a strong and self-sufficient institution based on good governance, principles, and values to continue the Movement strengthening.

I want to express my deep gratitude to APAY fellow members, for all their trust, support and empowerment given to me during these years, especially for appointing me to attend this Program.

My great appreciation goes to Mr. Nam Boo Won - General Secretary of Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, to Ms Sunita Suna, executive secretary of APAY, Ms. Cristina Miranda, executive secretary of APAY, to all APAY staff, for offering this excellent learning opportunity, for all the valuable knowledge , support, care and encouragement given to me.

I am particularly grateful to my classmates and fellow YMCA friends for all the sharing, inclusiveness, care, friendship and cooperation built during this 39th Advanced Studies Program. 

By Bolortuya Dondovsambuu
National President, YMCA Mongolia
Online participant of the 39th ASC