The Human Resources Development Programme, the annual leadership building programme of the WSCF AP was held from 24th July to 17th August 1989, in South Korea. During the first week the programme was conducted at the Centennial Memorial Building of the Presbyterian Church of Korea in Seoul. The Human Resources Development ‘89 was notable in that it was the first leadership formation programme of the WSCF AP, which implemented the new HRD format produced by the 1988 Taiwan Consultation on HRD/Leadership Formation and Movement Building. Several new procedures and activities proposed by the Taiwan Consultation were implemented for the first time. However, HRD ‘89 saw a reduced participation due to the difficulties faced by some national SCMs in sending representatives: Burma, Bangladesh, India, Fiji, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Singapore.
The last assessment and evaluation of the leadership programme was a conducted in 1981. At that time it was decided that the future leadership programme would change in name as well as in emphasis. The Asia Secretaries Formation programme would be known as the Human Resources Development Programme and the emphasis shifted to the ongoing ministry of Churches, Student Movements and the aspirations of the people. In 1987 the need was once again felt to assess and evaluate the current leadership programme in order to keep up with the growing needs, changes and emerging situations that the Churches, SCMS and People Movements were called upon to face. The 1988 Consultation on Leadership Development and Movement Building was held to:
- Make a critical review of the leadership formation programmes in the region and to project future programmes/thrust/activities with relevance to SCMs.
- Facilitate the process of enabling national movements to re-examine its self-understanding and relevance in one’s national context.
- Bring the evaluation process, recommendations and the final report to the next Regional Committee Meeting in January ‘89 for discussion and projection of future plans.
- Give constructive and specific suggestions to the future HRD programmes.
The theme of the HRD ‘87 Programme conducted at the Student Christian Centre, Bangkok, Thailand from 25th April to 21st May ‘87 was Race Issues and Struggles of Minorities in Asia-Pacific. The programme lasting for four weeks was part of the WSCF learning/orientation and awareness building. It dealt with race issues and ethnic minorities’ rights in the region. The participants shared the struggle of the religious/ethnic minorities in their respective countries. The resource persons input enabled the participants to understand the issues from the wider perspectives of the unjust and dominant structures that are a part of our Asian societies. While discussing the various aspects of the minority issues, the group came to realise, and respond to the sensitivity of the women in their group, as well as to the difficulties of those not able to express themselves fluently in the English language.
In response to the ongoing ministry of the churches and student Christian movements in the academic and learning community, the CCA-WSCF jointly sponsors national and regional consultations for SCMers, church leaders, faculty members and grassroots workers from people’s movements and organisations. The purpose of this consultation is to make a critical analysis of the role of universities and students in Asia and Pacific in the context of the present realities in our region. The theme of the third Consultation was “A New Ecumenical Vision for the Church and University in Asian Society”. The Join Consultation called upon 20 participants from the CCA-WSCF constituencies not only to review but also to define their respective roles in relation to the training of young people working towards the transformation of society.
The HRD ‘86 an ongoing programme of the Asia-Pacific Region of the World Student Christian Federation in Leadership Development was hosted by the Medan SCMers (GMKI) in the quiet and peaceful surroundings of Parapat. The speakers oriented the participants on the theme: “Witnessing to Life in the Asian Pacific Region”. They spoke on the Asian realities and the witnessing to life by fulfilling our prophetic role, by living and spreading God’s good news to human kind. The programme was created in the time span of four weeks, which included lectures, worship, bible studies, exposure, inter-regional sharing, workshops, sharing movement reports, and fellowship. There were input programmes concerning Militarisation, Human Rights and Asian Issues, People’s Movements in Asia, Peace Movement, Minority Movement, Bible Studies, Exposure, Socio-politics, Church and other Religions, Student and People’s Movement, Federation Input, National Report, Inter-regional sharing, Women’s caucus….
This book is the based on the findings and development of the Fact-Finding Team visit to Korea in 1985. The World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific and the Christian Conference of Asia-Youth, organised an Ecumenical Fact-Finding Team (EFFT) visit to Korea. The team originally comprised of 5 people, 2 each from WSCF AP and CCA and one from the Asian Human Rights Commission, unfortunately the Japanese member, High Court Judge Kenkichi Kanakaira, was refused a Korean visa. The team were to meet with students, organisations, representatives from workers, farmers, lawyers, journalists, professors, writers, politicians including members from the New Korea Democratic Party, church leaders, families of detainees, cultural groups and human right activist.
The decision of the Regional Committee to dedicate and organise a HRD programme on Women’ Struggle for change is in itself a concrete act and solid expression of the deep concern and solidarity with women’ struggle in Asia and Pacific (and indeed the whole world). The point was never more forcefully carried through and in such a concentrated manner than at HRD ‘85 held from 17th May to 7th June at Fifth College of University Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The whole programme was structured according to a conscious and intentional bias for fuller women’s participation and greater opportunity for them to self determine the course of their own development. Thus there were more women participants at this programme. The theme lectures and discussions were: Geo-politics in Asia/Pacific, Militarisation in Asia/Pacific, Patriarchal Society in Asia/Pacific, SCM’s Response to Women’s Struggles for Change and Men’s response to Women’s Struggle for Change.
The 1985 Joint Consultation by WSCF and CCA aims were to rebuild and network in a closer atmosphere among Asian scholars, teachers and students within the Universities of Asia. There had already been attitudes that the students, teachers and administrators of the universities were controlled by the more elitist and political systems in their respective countries. This also gave off certain attitudes to those who were more fortunate enough to get a good education created a more superior attitude. This also had very Western Colonialist connotations this was the only thing that Asia adapted and aptly accepted as a means of being more superior to the less educated or those who could not get a University Education. This book addresses the declining relationships that Universities have with the Students, SCMs, and other movements within academic institutions.
This assembly was designed to gather Christian Students and other interested people who associated themselves in working with peasants and workers in the struggle for liberation. The purpose was to promote a sense of mutual sharing from each of the students’ context in areas of political, social, and religious injustices within the Asian and Pacific Regions. At the time this assembly was held it had been the first time a project of this capacity was held together with WSCF and IMCS, therefore their coming together as an alliance to work with the dispossessed, poor, oppressed and exploited members of millions of Asia. ‘The Struggle for Self-reliance in Asia Today’ was the opening of the assembly with notes from the keynote speaker Dr. Mathew Kurein, former MP of India, and presented by Bishop Leo Nanayakkara from Sri Lanka. The opening presentation discusses the disparity between the rich and poor, as well as the Churches blind eye to the realities of many of Asian Countries. P. Perera comments that we should be reminded that it is within the attitudes and minds that we need to make changes, because it is in most cases that we cannot make changes within the political, social and religious infrastructures that harbour the injustices of the Asian and Pacific peoples.