Ecumenical Youth Leadership Development Training in Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Programme Review and Programme Direction

Two key deliberative sessions during the 15th CCA General Assembly are the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions.

The Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions will both be conducted in three groups relating to the CCA’s programme areas, namely, (i) General Secretariat (GS), (ii) Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF); and (iii) Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia (PD).

Assembly participants will have the option to join one of three groups for both the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions. For the sake of coherence, the assigned group will remain the same for both sessions.

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat oversees the coordination of programmatic, administrative, and financial activities of the organization. The GS comprises various departments such as church and ecumenical relations, relations with ecumenical partners, finance, administration, and communications, which provide crucial support and services for the implementation of programs and contribute to the overall functioning of the CCA.

Programmes: Relations with member churches and councils, ecumenical partners; advocacy at the United Nations; ecumenical responses to emerging issues in solidarity; income development and finance; and communications.

Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF)

Under the MU programme area, the CCA accompanies Asian churches to strengthen their mission and witness in multi-religious contexts, revitalise and nurture church unity and the Asian ecumenical movement, and develop contextual theological foundations.

Programmes: Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian women doing theology in the context of wider ecumenism; contextualisation of theology in Asia and ecumenical theological education.

The EF programme area focuses on nurturing and developing ecumenical leaders in Asia. The programme aims to enhance spiritual formation and theological understanding, enabling people to actively engage in ecumenical dialogue and collaboration.

Programmes: Ecumenical Enablers’ Training in Asia (EETA); Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI); Youth and Women Leadership Development; Ecumenical Spirituality and Nurturing of Contextual Liturgical Traditions; Asia Sunday

Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD)

The BP programme area is dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and reconciliation in Asia’s diverse contexts. Through training, advocacy, and dialogue, the programme addresses the root causes of conflicts, empowers communities, and fosters sustainable peacebuilding initiatives.

Programmes: Pastoral Solidarity Visits; Churches in Action for Moving Beyond Conflict and Resolution; Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA); Ecumenical Women’s Action Against Violence (EWAAV); Eco-Justice for Sustainable Peace in the Oikos.

The PD programme area focuses on promoting justice, human rights, and social transformation in Asia. Through advocacy, capacity-building, and raising awareness, the programme addresses systemic injustice, empowers marginalised communities, and advocates for prophetic actions and meaningful change.

Programmes: Human Rights advocacy; Migration, Statelessness, and Trafficking in Persons; Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network; Asian Advocacy Network on the Dignity and Rights of Children (AANDRoC); Ecumenical Solidarity Accompaniment and Diakonia in Asia (ESADA); Health and Healing; Good Governance; Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA).

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     Participants of Ecumenical Youth Leadership Development Training in Laos

    The ecumenical youth leadership development training programme organised by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), together with the Lao Evangelical Church, in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) facilitated the human potential enhancement training of forty young Christians across the nation.

    The training focused on the theme "Empowering Youth to Transform” was held in the capital city Vientiane from 16 to18 May 2024. The training aimed at helping the participants to develop their potentials for ecumenical formation of those in the leadership roles within churches and ecumenical organizations.

    Ecumenism requires a renewal as we pursue unity. The goal of the ecumenical movement, and the focus of ecumenical formation, is to fulfil the hope embodied in Jesus' prayer, “that they all may be one.” The training sessions marked a significant step towards fostering leadership development of young Laotian Christians, achieving unity within Christian community, fostering collaboration, and equipping the future generation with the knowledge and leadership skills needed to excel in their ministries and communities.

    Participants from various provinces who attended the training were engaged in discussions on various aspects of transformation of leadership. Various sessions highlighting  the specific social issues included the growing number of orphans in the country, the  need for extending support to ensure the survival of orphaned children, youth engagement in social development, the importance of active participation of the  young Christians,  the witness and mission among youth and children, addressing the risks of drug addiction among youth, and prevention strategies, empowering women in youth ministry, challenges faced by vulnerable young women affected by human trafficking , reinforcing the commitment to fostering youth leadership and community engagement, discipleship and channelling  of youth energy effectively  into church ministry,  and Christian stewardship .

    Youth pastors from various provinces shared their experiences, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. The concept of "Diakonia" and the vital role of Asian churches in God's mission was discussed in other sessions. 

    This training programme provided valuable insights and knowledge but also underscored the importance of ongoing support and collaboration to address the pressing issues facing the youth in in the country. 

    Laos, officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or LPDR), is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. 

    For more photos, please click here: Photo Gallery (Ecumenical Youth Leadership Development Training in Lao People’s Democratic Republic)