International YCS meets to discuss human rights and environment preservation

10 09 2012

Seoul, SOUTH KOREA – On the 6-15 August, the 12th International Young Christian/Catholic Students (IYCS) Asian Session and Council (ASC) was held at Sungshin Campus of Catholic University, Seoul. A total of 96 delegates from 13 different national movements from all over Asia attended the ten-day program, namely three from East Asia, five from South East Asia, and five from South Asia. The theme of the program is “Called to be the Light of Asia, Students Forge Ahead, with Faith, for a Renewed Asia” to enlighten youths today on realities of Asia and how we all can play our roles to act.

The representatives from Malaysia are Shearer Alan anak Jihill, student from St. Joseph’s Secondary School Kuching, accompanied by Kuching Young Christian Students (KYCS) Student Animators, Claudia Law, James Lai and Ralph Balan, and the chairperson of the Kuching Archdiocesan Commission for Youth, Mdm Stephanie Ng.

This triennial event consists of two parts: study session and council session. The study session was where delegates looked into the focus issues of human rights for the differently-abled (difabled) people, school violence, and environment preservation & development.

The input sessions were facilitated by invited experts from different organizations and church leaders, including an exposure trip to social institutions and facilities related to the study issues. The study session was done based on the YCS methodology of SEE – JUDGE – ACT to strengthen the students’ faith through the YCS spirituality and according to the teachings of the church. They included activities such as presentation of respective country reports to learn about the realities of the common issues in other countries, lectures and talks regarding the topics, games and animations, documentary film on environment, group discussions and presentations, and action plans for each national movement through which Catholic students in Asia can participate in changing the world according to Jesus’ will.

As for Kuching-Malaysia, the representatives have agreed to preserve the environment for a cleaner and greener home. Our objective is to encourage at least one parish for a better waste disposal and management within this one year. We vision to see the church to have rubbish bins, each divided into three compartments for disposal of plastic, paper and other wastes around the church compounds. The organizing team which comprises of YCS students from different schools will be working on the action plan in hope to instill this new initiative in the hearts of the public starting with the church-goers to practise and spread this lifestyle in their everyday lives so that everyone will learn to dispose wastes according to the 3R concept – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

After the study session, we had the council session. Students representing each national movement evaluated the work of the movement in the entire region, revisited the rules of YCS Asia and agreed on the new orientation of the movement for 2012-2015. This council was also a significant phase whereby the current Asian Team Coordinators handed over their responsibilities to Ralph Balan Langet from YCS Kuching-Malaysia and Pattamawan (Homme) Krongthong from YCS Thailand, who were voted by the 13 national movements to guide YCS Asia as the new Asian Team Coordinators for 2012-2015.

From left to right: Stephanie Ng, outgoing Lay Chaplain, Reyna Clemena, outgoing Asian Team Coordinator, Blaise Shehan, outgoing Asian Team Coordinator, Ralph Balan, incoming Asian Team Coordinator, Fr James Chako, outgoing Chaplain, Homme Krongthong, incoming Asian Team Coordinator, Devett O’Brien, International Team member

All in all, ASC 2012 has become a forum for sharing realities and YCS Spirituality. It guides us to launch into the deep, finding a common and major issue to act on. Though we chose to act together on the environment, it does not close doors for us to also care and take part with movements on human rights for the difabled and the action to stop school violence.

As the light of Asia, we students will always strive to make the Kingdom of God a reality here on earth, for the greater glory of God.

Shearer Alan

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