I can’t believe it has been two months since World Youth Alliance’s International Solidarity Forum (ISF). As a first time participant, I remember fondly my experience of meeting WYA members from different regions and representing the Asia-Pacific Region in the event. Finally, I was able to visit the WYA house that I only saw in pictures and met with the people who made the organization possible.
With the theme “Family: The Backbone of Development,” WYA brought in some of the most esteemed speakers who knew well of the idea and the situation of the family in the world. From the different speakers, I observed that the family, regardless of social and cultural differences, is still the cornerstone of society. In his talk on Family and Development, Bradford Wilcox discussed how a strong and stable family contributes to the physical and social health of a child. Another speaker whom I also loved was David Lapp who talked about the idea of marriage and relationships. From him, I learned that people (most especially the youth) focus their attention to a subjective type of love. Rather, what we should focus one is on the objective aspects of love, which are faithfulness, exclusive love, permanence, friendship and happiness.
At the end of the event, other delegates and I were able to draft the Declaration of Family and Economic Development. We saw how the family paves the way for the youth to utilize their abilities not just their own growth but more importantly to the development of the society.
My experience as a delegate of this International Solidarity Forum is definitely something I will never forget. Not only was I able to travel to New York and explore the different sites of the city. But on the more important side, I was able to take a stand and contribute to the promotion and protection of the family.
If you would like an opportunity to participate in the discussion covered by the WYA International Solidarity Forum, you can attend the WYA Asia Pacific Post ISF Discussion on June 13 at the WYA Asia Pacific office.
By Monique Bugnosen, an Asia Pacific delegate to the 10th WYA International Solidarity Forum