Asian Youth Academy/ Asian Theological Forum 2015
Notre Dame De Vie Retreat House
Quezon City Philippines
16 Aug-25 Aug, 2015
Asian youth Academy/Asian Theological Forum is empowering youth of Asia from 2005. All the participants from 11 countries: Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Korea gathered on one platform and showing their concerns for the development and empowerment of youth. The theme of this year was empowerment of youth, women, and ecological sustainability as a church’s top priority in Asia.
We were obliged by the presence of Bishop Kikuchi President Caritas Asia, Bishop Teodoro Cruz Bacani of Novaliches in Manila priests and nuns and many Lay people around the globe. Having morning mass is a wonderful experience of God. A large number of participation has been seen in the morning prayers.
AYA includes an immersion Trip to get better understanding of the Poverty and the suffering of the poor people of Philippines. Participants were divided into groups and were supposed to go to neglected people of the society. i.e. Indigenous poor people who struggles throughout their lives for basic households.
We went to Payatas for immersion trip. There was a huge dumpsite of trash where people find their livelihood on daily basis. The other groups went to indigenous people to get better understanding of the suffering of the people. How they struggles to meet their livelihoods.
Payatas is Located northeast of Quezon City, Barangay Payatas occupies a little less than twenty percent (20%) of the city’s land area and has about fifteen percent (15%) of the city’s total population. Until today, about a third of the land in various parts of Payatas is being claimed in disputes between the municipalities of Montalban and San Mateo, as well as the barangays of Commonwealth and Fairview.
A distinguishing feature of Payatas is the that Payatas Dumpsite, A landslide of junk on July 10, 2000, killed 218 people living on the dumpsite and caused 300 missing persons, Payatas dumpsite is still the largest open dumpsite in the Philippines and was reopened only months after the 2000 disaster at the request of scavengers and other residents of the area who depend on it for their livelihood. There has been some good progress at the dumpsite since the landslide of 2000, as the dumpsite has been re-sloped to a 40 degree angle from its original 70 degree angle while children under the age of 14 have been banned from the dumpsite. Payatas remains a very poor area, though, and several foundations operate in Payatas to help improve the opportunities of residents.
The main purpose of this immersion trip was to get better understanding of the suffering of how they are spending their life with great difficulties. Their basic house-holds is recycling i.e.
• Rags making (Recycling of T-Shirts)
• Mattress making (Recycling of Mattresses)
Usually women made rags out of the used clothes. She first cuts the long strips of the shirts and then weaves it.
People went to dump site to collect the useless mattress out of the trash. They kept these mattresses for 3-4 days under the sun shine after wards cut them in pieces and make a new mattress out of it. These matters will be sold out in the market for 1 dollar (50 P). A person can make 3-4 mattresses per day only which indicates 3-4 dollars (150-200 P) per day.
In both the cases their households depend upon recycling of the goods. It was also noticed that Phillipino women is contributing a great role in earning the livelihood for their families.
On the next day we went to Brangay community where there was an organic farm. We the AYA participants helped them in making pots out of the useless bottles as Philipino’s mostly have one room house and is difficult for them to keep large pots inside their house.
Social Background & Analysis:
People don’t have their own homes mostly they are living in one room house = POVERTY. All house has 5-12 members in their homes = over population. People do not have enough resources to earn basic house hold = un-hygienic and sanitation situation. Over-night stay was the great challenge for the Participant to stay with them in their home and share the problems they are facing on daily basis. On the other hand a great learning and understanding, about the suffering and feeling of the FILIPINO people. Next day AYA youth went to AN Organic garden where certain techniques were shared by AYA participants for the sustainability of Ecology. AYA team planted trees for the promotion of kitchen and organic farming among the community.
After the immersion trips every group has presented his report among other participants of AYA youth.
I got one day out for refreshment and we all together got a chance to see Manila Cathedral, Black NAZRENE Church, (QUIAPO) and Rizal Park.
LEARNINGS and observation:
• Millennium development Goal
• Gender Equality
• Synod ON family
• Ecological challenges
• LGBT Rights
• Church commitments towards ecology
• Laudato si
• Dalits movement in India
• Human rights abuse with indigenous and minorities peoples
• Land grabbing from minorities especially indigenous.
• Promotion of agriculture farming
- 2. Indonesia
Poor Women in ASEAN
- 3. Vietnam
- 4. Pakistan
Religious discrimination in Pakistan
Women as the third minority in Pakistan
- 6. India
Importance of gender studies in school
• Role of lay people in strengthening spiritual development
• Initiative program agriculture program for ecological sustainability
- 7. Sri Lanka
Poverty is the main problem
• Issues concerned with the gender.
• Recycling garbage.Cultural Night:
At the end of the AYA Asian Youth Academy Youth get a chance to show their culture to other participants of the AYA. All participants participated enthusiastically in this event. Making it more colorful through their cultural dance and singing performance.Conclusion
While listening and sharing all; I came to know that the whole Asia is suffering all together: poverty, un-education, un-employment, migrants and Ecology are altogether problem of Asia. The first world is grabbing all the money in the form of capitalism from the third world (Asian Countries) and then returning a small amount in the form of aid. We Asian must stand together and enjoy the ethnicity of the cultures within us. Not only for the one region of Pakistan. We ASIANS, all are suffering and TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD• Become agent of peace.
• AVOID Negligence of Throw Away Culture.
• Enjoy the purity of life.
• Love and respect for every creation of God.
Let’s celebrate the Freedom; God has granted US!
Coordinator Livelihood Food & Security Program
Caritas Pakistan Lahore.