In response to the call of our Holy Father from his encyclical, Laudato Si and in caring for our common home, the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines, celebrating its 80th year anniversary (Oak Celebration) and the Diocese of Tagbilaran in their 75th year anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) organized the Earth Keepers summit (e-summit) for ME (Mother Earth) in Tagbilaran City of beautiful island of Bohol from 10th to 13th of November 2016 under the theme of “Taking a closer look at our Common Home with a Diamond and an Oak).
Three days programme was filled with awareness making exposures to the sites damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013, lectures by the environmentalists , activists and religious reflections about Mother Earth. Students representing all the regions of Philippines participated the event. Fabrice Seka and Vester Akpanza from the IMCS national movement of Ivory Coast participated the event with the international solidarity and IMCS Asia Pacific Coordinator Ravi Tissera, former IMCS international president Mehul Dhabi and former IMCS Asia Pacific Chaplain Fr. Jojo Fung SJ contributed to the summit as panelists and speakers.
Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. Habitat III offers Member States an opportunity to discuss a New Urban Agenda that will focus on policies and strategies that can result in effectively harnessing the power and forces behind urbanization. Preparatory Committee 3 for Habitat III was help in Surabaya, Indonesia on 25-27 July 2016.
Since IMCS had been involved with Habitat III process through the UN Major Group of Children and Youth since the beginning, IMCS members could contribute to the PrepCom 3 as well. IMCS UN Advocacy Team Coordinator, Christopher Dekki , IMCS Asia Pacific Coordinator Ravi Tissera and the members of Indonesian IMCS national movement, PMKRI participated the event contributing to side events as panelists and in advocacy. It was a good opportunity for local IMCS members to observe and learn about the United Nations system and the international advocacy.
Migration, over the past years has become an inevitable phenomenon. This is very true, particularly with Asian countries where many are labor sending countries, and interestingly, some of which are receiving countries. Asia is also a land in which diverse forms of migration can be seen- from climate refugees, labor migrants, marriage migrants, to cite a few. Due to this, ecumenical young people and students are concerned with the thought that the kind of migration we have now is forced, if not enforced. And so, we continue to become discerning Christians by studying this particular issue.
The International Movement of Catholic Students – Asia Pacific (IMCS-AP), Kalipunan ng Kristiyanong Kabataan sa Pilipinas (KKKP) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) held a Youth Café under the theme of “ The stories within and Outside Borders : Migration in Asia” on May 21, 2016, at the Church of the Risen Lord in University of Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. More than 50 Young people from different groups participated the programme and speakers from Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), Migrante shared their insights and some victims who faced violence and abuses as migrant workers shared their stories, opening the practical realities to the participants. Pastor Norma Dollaga from the NCCP shared her theological insights about the issue as a theologian and an activist who have closely worked with victims of migration related issues.