Proposed Program of Activities
The beneficiaries for the ALL Forum will be approximately 50 participants annually from some 15 countries in the region. All the partners – IFF Asia, CAPS, JCIM, RTRC and IMCS AP – have a wide network in the region. These will include South Korea, China, Japan, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. All participants should be generally involved in social action fields for more than two years such as justice & peace, human rights, ecology, women, migrant workers, victims of human trafficking and many other areas. Some students of IFF Asia may lack this ground experience but would be allowed to participate as part their formation program.
As a first step towards our partnership, CAPS together with IFF Asia and IMCS AP have coordinated the Asian Youth Academy / Asian Theological Forum (AYA/ATF) program for 16th– 25th August, 2015. Some 20 students and staff from IFF Asia have joined this years’ event. In that, Mr. Charles Bertille, director of Fondacio Asia, delivered a speech titled “For 2015 Bishops’ Synod: Urgent Need for People’s Participation in It”. Also Fr. Niphot has sent two young participants from RTRC, Thailand, and he himself came to give a lecture on “Sustainable Way of Life of IPs in Chiang Mai”. Fr. Jojo, head of JCIM, also has arranged suitable speakers from his side and came to play a role as speaker and coordinator as well. All the participants and speakers alike felt much value through the event, and confirmed that such collaboration proved its synergy and efficiency.
2015: The Deadline of Millennium Development Goals and Ecological Sustainability with Focus on Women in Asia: Religions Contribution to Human Development for “Beyond” ‘Post-2015’
ALL wants to draw together lay Catholics to assess and enhance the United Nations human development goals. According to a UN 2014 report, although parts of the poverty reduction goal have been achieved, other targets are out of reach. In this sense, the Church in Asia, through the work of lay NGOs and other related Catholic organizations, must be encouraged to develop their ideas on (human) development, with a special focus on women.
2016: Spirituality-based Human Development and Ecological Sustainability in Asia with Focus on the Displaced and Refugees
The ALL Forum wants to examine what happens after the MDGs. How does humanity continue to go toward “the world we want” in the light of the displaced peoples and refugees, often displaced by religion-related conflicts or development by trans-national companies in rural area in Asia with special attention to ecological sustainability. In a special part of it would be an exploration of a possible contribution of the Pope Francis’ newly released encyclical “Laudato Si” (Be Praised) to the relation of a holistic human development and ecological sustainability along with a study session of the encyclical. It also follows FABC’s special pastoral attentions mentioned above. Its result will be published in a book form including follow-ups of participants’ action plans within the next year. ALL Forum will also provide the “Peace-building & Spirituality Pilgrimage” with Catholics. It will be done twice a year using summer and winter vacations..
2017: Exploring and Developing “Peace-Human development-Ecology” (PHE) Model:
This is in the same line with 2016 program. The key idea here is how to make the Church, including the institutional Church, more engaged in the societies in this world with specific models and cases. PHE model is basically based on the ideas of three popes: John XXIII for peace, Paul VI for human development and Francis for ecology. Indeed, those three key words which are gist of CSTs are integrated and culminated in Francis’ “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy of the Gospel) and Francis’ “Laudato Si” (Be Praised).
The PHE model could be an alternative to a model of MDGs or Post-2015 driven and pushed by powerful countries in “Global-north” based on western-centered worldviews in which those three remain separated and would hardly be integrated as one. It should be a real paradigm shift from material-centered idea of development to a holistic one well reflected in PHE model.
2018: Revisiting FABC’s “Triple Dialogue” in the Light of PHE Model:
Following the year 2017, the ALL Forum will explore the PHE Model further by applying it to dialogue with the poor, cultures and various religious traditions. A thematic approach would be possible, focusing more on “Integral Human Development-based Mission” (IHDM) as mentioned earlier. This is organically supported by the other two themes, namely, peace and ecological sustainability. It will also include an evaluation of FABC’s evangelizing mission activities for the past 40 years.
The mission activities are to be studied in three areas: One is a religion-involved conflict areas with focus on “Peace”; another will be the case of poor peasants in indigenous peoples’ (IPs) communities in many places in Asia with focus on a “Holistic Human Development”; and the other is the cases of mega-dam projects pushed by local governments in Sabha, Malaysia and in the countries along the Mekong river in the Indo-China Peninsular with focus on “Ecology” or “Ecological sustainability”.