The Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASYNet) was formally established in January 2001. It was a fruit of more than 10 years of ecumenical cooperation and activities between Asia-Pacific Alliance of YMCA’s, Christian Conference of Asia, International Movement of Catholic Students, International Young Christian Students, World Student Christian Federation and World Young Women’s Christian Association. It is EASYNet’s vision to build grassroots ecumenical sharing and partnerships.
ASYG 2000 was a follow up to ASYG 1993.These two ecumenical regional gathering demonstrated the potential of having a more active and visible ecumenical cooperation. To realize, such potential the 6 organizations agreed to build EASYNet with the following objectives:
The ASYG is a major regional ecumenical gathering of students and youth. It is a culmination of a process starting from ecumenical cooperation’s and activities at the national and grassroots. The ASYG 2000 played a critical role in the formation of EASYNet.
As future leaders and present day social actors, it is imperative for young people to grasp the spirit of ecumenism built upon a vision of a just and peaceful society. EASYNet is a venue for youth and students coming from different faith backgrounds to study the current social realities and face the challenges of their church and society. Particularly in an era of globalization, ecumenical cooperation will help empower the youth and students to articulate their alternative visions and perspectives of new society where no one is marginalized, oppressed and excluded.
Since EASYNet’s formation, ASYG is considered as one of its major activity. ASYG is regional gathering of youth and students and serves as a regional culmination process of local and national participatory research and study of current national, regional and global issues by grassroots ecumenical teams and network.
As it is, ASYG is an extremely important event to strengthen ecumenical partnerships and further the involvement of Asian and Pacific student and youth in regional and global developments. It hopes to accomplish these by initiating a process of participatory research and study related to present social realities. This year’s ASYG main focus is on Issues of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
The world is currently witnessing a grave period of chaos and violence. Wars, armed conflict are rampant in every corner of the world which poses uncertainty and a bleak future. Millions of people are suffering from the political maneuverings and unholy alliances of global super powers. A sense of distrust and apprehension between countries heightens as acts of fighting terrorism by some governments prompts retaliation from groups of people whose existence are threatened.
This situation, poses a great challenge to Christian youth to have its prophetic voice to be heard. Youth and student play a crucial role in reclaiming peace and justice to the world. Therefore youth and student must realize that their actions today will make a difference to their future and to the lives of the next generation.
ASYG 2004 endeavours a consolidated effort to raise awareness and education on current Regional Peace Situation i.e. terrorism, religious and armed conflict, militarization and others through publication of ASYG resource book, exposures to places affected by conflicts, national consultation and other forms of study sessions. These activities will then be capped on a regional consultation and gathering which will bring together over 110 youth and students from Asia-Pacific to share, study, analyze and synthesize the results of their participatory research and activities and develop a common thrust, action and programme for future work.
The theme of ASYG 2004 hopes to empower the youth and students to become peace builders and become active actors in peace building and healing process. It is further hoped that ASYG and the local/national gathering will enhanced local ecumenical cooperation and partnerships
The last National Coordinator’s Training provided a space for the EASYNet Regional Core team members and National Coordinators to draft a plan for ASYG. Steps to initially popularized the ASYG 2004 is currently underway both at the local and regional level. An ASYG Working Group composed of 2 representative from Core team, EASYNet Coordinator, representative from Host Committee and 6 youth and student from each regional organization is going to meet this coming April 2004 to finalize the plans for ASYG.
The National Student and Youth Gathering (NSYG) is a major component of Asia-Pacific Student and Youth Gathering (ASYG).It serves as a national and local preparatory activity to ASYG. More importantly it is a manifestation of grassroots ecumenical cooperation which is the main vision of EASYNet. In short its acts as the muscle of the regional gathering.
This year’s NSYG will carry the ASYG’s theme “Together in Action for Peace and Reconciliation” which reflects the deep aspiration of the Christian Youth for Peace amidst the chaos and violence in the world.
Prior to the 2nd ASYG in 2000, 13 countries from Asia-Pacific organized a national gathering, participated by national movements of YMCA, WSCF, IYCS, IMCS and CCA. The gathering revolved around the Impact and Challenges of Globalization to the youth. These gatherings were very helpful in terms of preparing the participants from the national movement for the regional gathering. Likewise; it is very fruitful as it opened up the lines of communication and future collaborative efforts amongst the national organizations.
NSYG is a space for the Christian Youth to collectively identify and respond to the burning local and national peace issue in their respective country. These issues can range from religious armed conflict, militarization, terrorism, forward deployment of foreign military troops in your country, poverty and other related Peace and Justice issue.
The NSYG could be celebrated creatively and reflective of our different traditions and rituals yet celebrating our common aspiration for Peace and Reconciliation
NSYG can be in organized in the following form:
The Regional Ecumenical Gathering is the coming together of more than 100 youth and students all over from Asia and Pacific taking place in Indonesia on December 2004 is the culmination of all
The following will be the main topics for thematic discussions: Peace and Human Security, Ecumenism and Inter-faith Dialogue, Globalisation and Economic Justice, Culture and Education. (Human rights and gender will be cross-cutting issues. The discussion on vision and alternatives will be an integral component of each theme.)