January 13-15, 2006
The Core Team Meeting of the Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Student & Youth Network (EASYNet) was held on 13-15 January 2006 in Manila, Philippines. 4 Core Team members from Asia-Pacific Alliance of Young Men Christian Association (APA-YMCA), International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS), International Young Catholic Students (IYCS), World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific (WSCF AP), sat in this meeting while there are apologies of absent from Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and Young Women Christian Association (YWCA). The Core Team members started the meeting with an evaluation of EASYNet programmes and activities in 2005. The Writing Workshop to celebrate the Asia-Pacific Student & Youth Week was a huge success that was produced was also very well received by the ecumenical partners.
The lesson learned was as the workshop was able to draw a large amount of creative inspiration and motivation from the participants, and the resource book the need to have an artist to facilitate the creative sessions to guide the participants' artisitc inputs. Thus it was duly noted that future Writing Workshops should invite artists for the creative sessions. The focus of the Writing Workshop in 2006 will be on the eco-system and environment, and the theme is Youth Protecting the Oikoumene. It will be held in Chiangmai, Thailand in the first week of April. In this workshop, the critique will be on the much touted Development Process devised by big businesses and the few main players in the current global system focusing on Tourism, Trade, Information Technology, and Industry. This process in turn results to "full maximization" of natural resources, eviction of indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands, and profit over protection of the eco-system. Natural resources are depleted to the extent that it could not naturally recover. The disaster happened in Leyte, Philippines in February this year was a good example of the excessive exploitation on the land. Hence, the workshop aims to identify the important role of the youth in sustaining and protecting the eco-system and environment which is the creation of God.
The Core Team also brainstormed on the different approaches for working with national EASYNet movements experiencing different problems. One of the approaches is to promote ecumenism at the grassroot level, especially for movements which have a weaker ecumenical emphasis. Thus, instead of organising the annual National Coordinators' Meeting, there are plans to focus EASYNet’s energy and funds in organising more National Training programmes where the spirit of ecumenism could be reached further into the grassroot levels, thereby building the foundation necessary for future ecumenical partnerships. Each Core Team member was also reminded to work closely with their own national movements to help resolve problems encountered in any EASYNet partnerships. The meeting concluded with the Core Team applauding the new moderator, IYCS, of EASYNet for 2006, and pledging continuous support to EASYNet plans and programmes that were discussed in this meeting.
For more information on EASYNet, surf to: www.easynet.n3.net.