There was a touching moment in Hong Kong recently. Each and every one of the two cohorts of YMCA Change Agents and Youth Representatives from YMCA of Hong Kong gathered at the Salisbury for a special purpose – farewell the outgoing APAY General Secretary, Mr. Kohei Yamada, and welcome the incoming APAY GS, Mr. Nam Boo Won.
Young people were invited to share experience with the President, Board members and General Secretary of YMCA of Hong Kong, while paying tribute to the APAY leaders. This was an example of youth empowerment embraced by the YMCA. Alvin KAN, one of the first cohort of YMCA Change Agents, sent the gratitude on behalf of YMCA of Hong Kong to Yamada san and described that “If Youth Empowerment was a soccer match, Yamada san plays at the forefront—he organises and takes part in programmes and services.
He is also the midfield player—he motivates young people and creates chance for young people to pursue dream. Nevertheless, he is the goalkeeper who safeguards the core value.”
Yamada san shared his first-hand story in South Asia where he met a teenager following his family’s footsteps and becoming a drug addict. Yamada san challenged the young people and the YMCA to break the chain and bring hope to these communities. The “Change” we are looking for is happening inside and outside the YMCA.
Another highlight of the evening was the welcoming for the incoming APAY GS Mr Nam. Mr Nam shared the vision and challenge in the Asia and Pacific Area — diversity in terms of economic development, language and culture among the Asia and Pacific countries and regions. He requested YMCA in the Area to join hands in facing diversified social issues. The YMCA works to bring social justice and peace to young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture.
As we see the group of senior leaders and young people together with the outgoing and incoming APAY General Secretary in the same room, we can feel the succession of YMCA commitment and continuous effort in striving for spiritual, intellectual and physical well-being of individuals and communities; as well as empowering all, especially young people and women towards an equitable society.
Mr. NAM Boo Won and Mrs. NAM, Mr. Peter HO (General Secretary of YMCA of Hong Kong) and Mrs. HO with YMCA Change Agents & Youth Representatives
Group photo of YMCA of Hong Kong Board members and Alvin KAN, Fiona LEE (World YMCA Change Agents 2013 – 2014, Asia Pacific YMCA Youth Reps 2012 – 2015), Wendy CHOW, Mandy YU (World YMCA Change Agents 2015 – 2017), Tina NGAI and Isabella LAW (Asia Pacific YMCA Youth Reps 2015 – 2017)