Reflections by Ng Wee Leng, Senior Youth Executive on Change Agents Regional Training
I am honoured to be presented with an opportunity to represent MYMCA in the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCA (APAY) regional training in Japan as part of the Global Change Agent initiative, as a “Youth Rep”. This trip from 12th – 17th July, could be summarized as an eye opening growth opportunity at work, as well as a life changing experience in my perspective towards life.
Key deliverables were carried out through symbolic hands-on activities, lectures, group discussions, drawings, personal sharing, presentations and field trips. The training commenced with writing of our wishes for youths and folding them into paper cranes (a Japanese culture representing world peace). Lectures followed, with topics focused on understanding the visions and missions of World Alliance, APAY and various YMCAs from Asia Pacific in order to inspire change as a united global movement. Participants also discussed of our strengths, challenges, initiatives and programmes across various YMCAs. I also had a chance to express of my MYMCA journey through drawings.
To top the experience, I enjoyed myself immensely from the cultural immersion. The cultural visits included a village visit to understand the lives and difficulties of Koreans living in Japan, as well as a treacherous climb onto the iconic Mt Fuji in Japan. I have gained a firsthand experience in witnessing, living and appreciating another’s way of life.
A successful programme would definitely include great camaraderie, which APAY placed substantial emphasis on. The group discussions, suppers and recreation sessions, living and travelling together have impacted me deeply. There is no doubt that I have made interesting and pleasant friendships, which I will remember for life.
To sum up, this trip has left an immense impression in me. I am greatly inspired and deeply humbled by the entire noble conviction in the YMCA movement and youths across the region. There is innovation, efforts made to help one another, with endless possibilities for those with courage to dream and act. I have grown in appreciation for Singapore, our multi-cultural society, and our efforts to reach out and create changes.
Upon return to MYCMA with these firsthand experiences, I am much more exposed to the regional issues faced by our neighbouring countries. I have grown in my determination to serve the community and its people with humility, and in the process, learnt to become more opportunistic – so as to make greater CHANGE.
The Change Agents Regional Training was held at YMCA International Youth Centre Tozanso, Gotemba Shizuoka, Japan from 12 – 17 July 2017. It is a YMCA movement that bring youths from across the region to inspire change as a united global movement.