World Student Christian Federation - Asia-Pacific Region (WSCF-AP)
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News from the Inter-Regional Office:

Strategic Planning Meeting of Officers and Staff

January 19 to 21, 2005
Le Cénacle, Geneva

WSCF had an extremely fruitful Strategic Planning Meeting of Officers and Staff in Le Cénacle, Geneva, on 19-21 January 2005. This meeting was attended by 5 regional secretaries of WSCF Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, Middle-East and Latin America & Caribbean as well as Ken Guest (chairperson), Udan Fernando, Adéle Djomo Ngomedje, Eilidh Whiteford (vice-chairs) and Youhanna Kamal (treasurer). Michael Wallace, the new Secretary-General and Out-going Secretary-General, Lawrence Nana Brew were also present.

The key issues discussed in this meeting were reaffirming the vision and mission of WSCF, and envisioning the thrust and direction of WSCF in the next 4 years. The focus of WSCF will be concerns on:

Biblical and Theological Reflection

A yearly theme will be selected to focus on biblical and theological reflection, and to encourage WSCF/SCM to engage in dialogue of interfaith, with people of no faith and with people outside the movement. There is a need to reclaim the Christian identity in the NGO world.

Encouraging the Movement Character/SCM spirit and the student focus of WSCF

There is an urgency to re-work the General Assembly to re-balance institutional and movement needs and for the SCMs to reconnect with the grassroots and vice-versa. There is a need to do careful analysis of movements to help students feel a part of a global network and building institutions to support the movement character.

Organisational and Financial Viability

Considerations will be given on ways to expand the financial resources and networks. A database of Senior Friends is needed to be established and maintained. There is a need to share financial information, accountability and transparency among the regions. There should be also a review of personnel policy with a serious consideration on professional development. The re-location of the IRO will need to be finalised as well, and a strategy for the re-establishment of the North American region has to be made.

Exploring how to be a global community and expanding global programmes

Inter-regional programmes should be held annually and these programmes should be a focus for a celebration of togetherness and community building for the students of all regions. Inter-regional exchanges will also facilitate a cross-fertilisation of information and resources.

Gender Equality and Justice and Women’s concerns

There is an urgent need to empower women to participate and speak during meetings. Employing a women’s coordinator/staff in every region is encouraged, and there was also an idea to employ an inter-regional women’s staff to oversee the women’s programmes for WSCF. Meantime, there is also a need to address men’s concerns and to encourage men’s involvement in women’s empowerment.

Fullness of Life Social Justice/Action

WSCF should continuously provide training, resources and analysis skills and conscientisation for social action and with emphasis on higher education and recognising the changing role of students in the university. Connecting social and spiritual components of life, this leads to exploring the Christian response to all the injustices in the world. Based on this connection, WSCF is challenged to choose an annual theme or programme on Social Justice and to strengthen WSCF’s work with the UN/UNESCO and NGO community to work towards realising the fullness of life for all.

Visibility

The system of communication at all levels needs to be strengthened and to make more uses of the media e.g. Website, list-serve, Federation News, Student World and Press releases. A call is also made to hold regular meetings with ecumenical leaders and to participate in key ecumenical gatherings. An idea surfaced on developing a creative communication strategy that is unique of WSCF, and definitely, a new WSCF logo has to be designed.

Ecumenical Leadership Formation

There is a need to revive global ecumenical leadership formation (training with exposure) and develop/redevelop our own WSCF identity while maintaining strategic relationships with WCC Youth, Syndesmos, IMCS, YMCA, YWCA etc. There is a target of having 10 FIM interns for WSCF this quadrennium, and a target on programmes for: 1. Young students/Emerging leadership; 2. Senior students/Intermediate leadership; 3. Staff/Established leadership.

Theme

WSCF will have 4 annual themes from 2005 onwards leading to the next General Assembly in 2008. This annual theme serves as an encouragement for SCMs all over the world to recognise and work on so that the vision and mission of WSCF will be realised in fullness.

Theme for:

WSCF vision

WSCF Women’s Programme

“Violence Against Women” –
Challenging Gender Roles and Power Relations between Women and Men

July 24 to 31, 2005
Philippines

In conjunction to the vision and mission devised during the Strategic Planning Meeting for Staff & Officers, IRO is organising a Women’s Programme, co-host and co-organised by WSCF AP, with the sub-theme “Violence Against Women” – Challenging Gender Roles and Power Relations between Women and Men, on 24-31 July 2005 in the Philippines. This 8-day programme will see a participation of 16 international student participants, 2 resource persons from Asia, and the Preparatory Committee that comprises of Michael Wallace, Eilidh Whiteford (vice-chairperson), Hanna Tervanotko (regional secretary WSCF Europe), Gabriela Miranda Garcia (ExCo WSCF Latin America & Caribbean) and Yock Leng (Women’s Coordinator WSCF AP).

The Objectives of the workshop are:
The Components of the workshop: