World Student Christian Federation - Asia-Pacific Region (WSCF-AP)
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WSCF scores success in raising its visibility
at the WCC General Assembly

February 14-24, 2006
Porto Alegre, Brazil
WSCF scores success in raising its visibility at the WCC General Assembly

Immediately after the ExCo meeting, the group attended in full force the World Council of Churches' General Assembly from 14-24 February 2006 at the Pontificia Univesidade Catolica (PUC), Porto Alegre, Brazil. With the theme, "God in your Grace, Transform the World!", the Assembly was attended by almost 4,000 delegates, of which 3,000 were participants of the Mutirao Workshops—small parallel events organised on varied themes and topics. Touted as a "Youth Assembly" by WCC leaders, a pre-youth Assembly and various youth activities were organised outside the official business sessions to promote youth presence throughout the Assembly.

With the slogan, "Ecumenism Guaranteed", WSCF did its share by promoting and raising the issues and concerns of the youth as well as its visibility through various forms, venues and opportunities. A colourful booth display was set-up where WSCF and SCM materials, publications, books, pictures were displayed. Assembly participants, senior friends and students gathered at the booth to learn more about the federation, share stories and rekindle friendships. T-shirts and stickers became effective means to establish identity and affinity with WSCF, where almost all the youth delegates, participants and a significant number of senior friends displaying proudly the red WSCF stickers on their name badges.

WSCF organised 4 Mutirao Workshops on four thematic issues during the Assembly. These were on Migration (16 Feb), Christians and Empire (17 Feb), Students in the 21st Century (20 Feb), Gender Justice (22 Feb). All these workshops were well attended by participants of the Assembly, mainly from the churches. The workshops also served as an opportunity to network and relate with church groups and individuals working on similar issues.

The theme of this year's Universal Day of Prayer for Students (UDPS) was on the "Empire" and the preceding reception on 18 February held at the University Chapel was overwhelmingly attended by more than 400 senior friends, students and guests. Three SCM young women gave their reflections on the role of the Empire in migration of young people in Eastern Europe (Alessia Passarelli, Italy), religious violence in the Middle East (Carla Khijo, Lebanon), and impact of economic neo-liberal agenda on poverty in Latin America (Gabriela Miranda Garcia, Mexico). While senior friends Kang Moon Kyu from Korea, Akuila Yabaki from Fiji, and Ofelia Ortega from Cuba, took turns in leading the other parts of the worship.