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Religious Youth Service

Service Project Coordinators Attend Training in Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand - Fourteen Religious Youth Service (RYS) coordinators from ten nations in Asia participated in the third UPF Asian Leaders Conference on “Peace, Development, and Transformational Leadership for Building Nations of Peace,” held in Bangkok Sept 12-16, 2013. They joined a high-level delegation of 120 leaders from 17 nations around the world.

The Opening Session was held in the main hall of the UN ESCAP Building in Bangkok with the participation of the Hon. Pavena Honsakula, Minister of Social Development and Human Security. The panel discussion focused on family-based solutions to the research findings about men’s use of violence against women presented by Ms. Anna-Karin Jatfors from the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. After this thought-provoking beginning, the RYS coordinators had the opportunity to study the UPF Founder’s vision and principles of peace, development and good leadership in depth. It helped them to understand more deeply the vision and mission of RYS as a practical model for peacebuilding in the community and nation as well as an effective way of training young people to become peacemakers and responsible leaders in the future.

The exclusive RYS Coordinators meeting in the evening of September 13 provided everyone with a opportunity to introduce themselves and their programs to the other national coordinators. They discussed how nations with a long RYS tradition can help other nations to start their own projects, how to follow the international RYS guidelines, and ideas for networking with each other to have good international participation in each project. Veteran RYS organizers reminisced on the invaluable training given to RYS staff in the early years of RYS, which continues to guide their educational focus, and they expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this educational program in Bangkok. It was also decided to hold an annual get-together among the Asian RYS coordinators on to facilitate the development of RYS in Asia.

To spread the enthusiasm of the RYS coordinators to the other conference participants, Gayan Kahawala and Dinesha Liyanasuriya from Sri Lanka used the activity time after lunch the following day to share their experiences working for RYS in Sri Lanka. Bringing these young and enthusiastic RYS coordinators together with senior Ambassadors for Peace and distinguished participants from the region gave everyone the feeling of belonging to one family under God.

Read compilations of reports of RYS projects in Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

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