14 06 2009


KOTA PADAWAN – On the 4th to the 14th June, the Kuching Young Christian Students (KYCS) movement was given the honour to host the 11th International Young Christian Students (IYCS) Asian Session and Council (ASC) at the St Lukas Apostolic Centre. It was the first time KYCS has hosted such an event.

The IYCS ASC is a gathering of YCS leaders of various national movements across Asia. It is also the highest decision making body of YCS in Asia. The ASC is also an event where the national movement leaders sit down and decide the course and the focus of YCS in Asia for the next 3 years in addition to evaluating the situation of the movement.

The 11th IYCS ASC was organised by the IYCS Asian Team and the Local Organising committee comprising 80 members of the YCS movement in the Archdiocese of Kuching from various schools such as SMK St Joseph, SMK St Teresa, SMK Batu Lintang, SMK Green Road, SMK Sungai Maong, SMK Sungai Tapang and SMK Penrissen.


Preparation for the Asian Session and Council took place 6 months earlier in January when the local organising committee were told to raise funds to host the event. Admirably, the local YCS members managed to achieve their target through events, such as the KYCS Coffee Morning on the 8th March at St Joseph’s Parish and numerous sales and activities at the school level.

Archbishop John Ha going GREEN!

Archbishop John Ha going GREEN!


The 11th IYCS ASC saw 61 delegates from 14 Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Taiwan, South Korea, China and the host nation, Malaysia come together. The theme for the event is ‘Called to be steward of Creation, Students Strive for a Green and Just World’. The theme focuses on three main global issues of food crisis, climate change and human rights education. In a world where human rights are often violated, where climate change has affected the life of many, and food crisis gripping humankind in some parts of the world, the delegates to the 11th IYCS ASC are given a reality check in the world they live. Throughout the session, different speakers shared their perspectives on these issues to help the delegates better understand them.

By following and applying the methodology of YCS, ‘See-Judge-Act’, the delegates are invited to spend time to reflect critically and spiritually, through the lens of Christian faith, the 3 issues and the Christian response to them. From here, the different national movements present drafted out simple measure that a student can take to face these challenges. Among those measures proposed are to promote awareness among YCS members in their respective nations on these issues and take up steps like the 3-R, recycle, reduce and reuse to reduce the effects of climate change and food crisis.

Yeah! ASC!

Yeah! ASC!

Besides the sessions, the delegates were also given an opportunity to experience the culture of Sarawak during their exposure trip to different villagers. As it happens that ASC took place during the Gawai Harvest Festival, the delegates get to enjoy the festival first hand at the villages they visited. They delegates were also given a day out for outing around the city of Kuching.

ASC ends with a council where the leaders of the national movements present made an evaluation of the YCS in Asia as to identify the aspects to improve.

It is also during the council that the new IYCS Asian Secretariat, who coordinates all the YCS movements in Asia, is elected. The three new members of the Asian Secretariat team who will serve over a term of three years are Fr James Chako Molekunnel, a Don Bosco priest from India, currently pursuing a PhD in psychology in the Philippines, Reyna Clemena, a Filipina and Deepak Raj of India.

Fr James, Reyna & Deepak

Fr James, Reyna & Deepak

Throughout the 11 days of session and council, there were active interactions among the multinational delegates as well as with the local organising committee. It was a prime example of how through God, all mankind can live in unity and harmony.

All in all, the 11th IYCS Asian Session and Council was a platform for the local organising committee, consisting of the YCS members in Kuching to express and use their talents to host the delegates from various nations. It was also a time for the different people of Asia to bein solidarity with each other and enjoy the difference of cultures among them.

The Asia YCS family also spent a night in prayer in solidarity with YCS Nepal for their student who was due to attend the ASC but was killed in a bomb blast in Nepal on the 23rd May.



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