Category Archives: Life

Link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stations2014/sets/72157640798236574/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stations2014/sets/72157640798236574/

Please visit the Flickr page for this year’s Stations of the Cross: Mass Incarceration! The images, with accompanying captions, are finished. The devotional study guide is still in process, but we’re excited to announce some of the amazing folks contributing to the project: Butch Odom, Kyndra Frazier, Aquarius Deoun Gilmer, Mashaun D. SImon, Hannah Ingram, Anthony Coleman, and more! Between them they bring years of work in the fields of pastoral care, counseling and psychology, social work, and theology. Stay tuned for more on these amazing writers!

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation meets in Geneva

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation (L to R) Ms. Kleber, Ms. Rakoto and Mr. Guti

The core group of the LWF Youth delegation to the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met last week (1st-4thOctober 2012) at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, with the outgoing LWF Youth Secretary Rev. Roger Schmidt. The core group consists of the three co-leaders of the expected 10 LWF Youth delegates to the COP18: Ms. Tsiri Rakoto from Madagascar, who is now doing her internship at the LWF Human Rights and International Relations Office, Ms. Raquel Kleber from Brazil  who is about to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and me, Mr. Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea one of the LWF Council member as a youth.

It was a challenging task to brainstorm ideas on how to prepare the delegation before  COP18, and to think about our strategies and perspectives during the conference and what what is generally expected to be the output by mid 2013.

The core group’s meeting this week brought together ideas and we strategically set up four main goals this delegation is aimed to achieve by mid 2013. The four goals are:

  1. By mid 2013 the delegation members have mobilized 300 young people from at least 8 member church to be active on Climate Justice in their respective context
  2. By mid 2013 the leadership of at least 8 member church have heard about the urgent and continuing importance of Climate Change
  3. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully contributed to civil society and ecumenical coalition
  4. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully accompanied and advocated in the UNFCCC process

In order to prepare the whole group before attending the meeting in Doha we have planned to facilitate two webinars. The two webinar will be co-facilitated by the three of us with Roger. Basically the webinar will look into deepening the understanding of the delegates about Climate Change in general, UNFCC processes, the COP meeting itself and explore more into understanding respective delegate’s local context of how Climate Change is dealt with in the local church and the country.

COP18 and the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 26th November to the 7th December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. For the Conference we have we have strategies to facilitate our delegates to understand more into the process of discussion in the two major areas; MITIGATION and ADAPTATION. We are also expected to join ecumenical and civil society’s coalitions to advocate on specific issues that are in line with the values and visions of LWF. The time there in Doha will be hectic and we are also expecting last minute planning and strategies depending on what we see there on the ground.

And now after the meeting each one of the delegate is expected to develop a concept of what they will be doing back at their local churches in order for us to achieve our four main goals by mid 2013. As co-leaders we hope to facilitate with the rest of the delegates during the stay in Doha to develop ideas so delegates grasp what they can do effectively back at their respective context.

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation meets in Geneva

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation (L to R) Ms. Kleber, Ms. Rakoto and Mr. Guti

The core group of the LWF Youth delegation to the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met last week (1st-4th October 2012) at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, with the outgoing LWF Youth Secretary Rev. Roger Schmidt. The core group consists of the three co-leaders of the expected 10 LWF Youth delegates to the COP18: Ms. Tsiri Rakoto from Madagascar, who is now doing her internship at the LWF Human Rights and International Relations Office, Ms. Raquel Kleber from Brazil who is about to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and me, Mr. Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea one of the LWF Council member as a youth.

It was a challenging task to brainstorm ideas on how to prepare the delegation before COP18, and to think about our strategies and perspectives during the conference and what what is generally expected to be the output by mid 2013.
The core group’s meeting this week brought together ideas and we strategically set up four main goals this delegation is aimed to achieve by mid 2013. The four goals are:

  1. By mid 2013 the delegation members have mobilized 300 young people from at least 8 member church to be active on Climate Justice in their respective context
  2. By mid 2013 the leadership of at least 8 member church have heard about the urgent and continuing importance of Climate Change
  3. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully contributed to civil society and ecumenical coalition
  4. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully accompanied and advocated in the UNFCCC process

In order to prepare the whole group before attending the meeting in Doha we have planned to facilitate two webinars. The two webinar will be co-facilitated by the three of us with Roger. Basically the webinar will look into deepening the understanding of the delegates about Climate Change in general, UNFCC processes, the COP meeting itself and explore more into understanding respective delegate’s local context of how Climate Change is dealt with in the local church and the country.

COP18 and the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 26th November to the 7th December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. For the Conference we have we have strategies to facilitate our delegates to understand more into the process of discussion in the two major areas; MITIGATION and ADAPTATION. We are also expected to join ecumenical and civil society’s coalitions to advocate on specific issues that are in line with the values and visions of LWF. The time there in Doha will be hectic and we are also expecting last minute planning and strategies depending on what we see there on the ground.

And now after the meeting each one of the delegate is expected to develop a concept of what they will be doing back at their local churches in order for us to achieve our four main goals by mid 2013. As co-leaders we hope to facilitate with the rest of the delegates during the stay in Doha to develop ideas so delegates grasp what they can do effectively back at their respective context.

Peacemakers wanted!

German churches invite young people to a Peace Academy in Dresden, Germany, around Pentecost 2012 (25-28 May). This international gathering of young people from 16-27 years old explores themes of peace and reconciliation globally. They are also going to present approaches how peace can be achieved, like de-escalation classes.

The academy invites people from Germany but this year especially from other countries. For participants from outside Germany, there is no attendance fee and even a travel subsidy may be paid.

For more information look at this flyer (pdf) and visit the homepage.

Day 2: UN High-Level Meeting on Youth

Yesterday unlike Day 1, Day 2 (26th July 2011) of the UN High-Level Meeting on youth, there wasn’t such a long queue to get through all the process of security check and issuing of entry pass to have access into the 4th balcony of the UN General Assembly Hall.

The Day 2 event consist of only Formal plenary meetings. The plenary was opened by the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Joseph Deiss at 10am. In his opening remarks, the Mr. Deiss acknowledged all the stakeholders who have contributed to the formation of this Draft Outcome Documents that is to be adopted by this General Assembly: 112th plenary meeting – High-level Meeting on Youth

After Mr. Deiss introduced the plenary, each country’s government delegates were given time to speak on the Draft outcome document. There were two sessions; from 10am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm. There were more than 100 country’s who were on the list to speak. By 6:30pm the meeting was suspended though there were many other who did not have their turn to speak.

It was quite interesting to hear all the government delegates speaking about their efforts to work with their youth’s respectively.
• There are some governments who have Youth Councils recognized formally by the government,
• while others have a youth department in the government
• while many have a good youth programs coordinated by the government.
• And even interestingly three government delegates to this meeting were youths; they were from Australia, Germany and Sweden and they get to speak representing their country.

In most of the government delegates speeches they either
• Present their effort to work with their youths
• the challenges and achievements of their efforts
• reaffirming the Draft outcome document
• and provide some recommendations for UN to consider in its effort to work with the youths.

Two recommendations from some of the speakers I can recall are:
• to set up a UN agency for youth and
• to respective government’s to include youth delegates to such meetings

You can see all the speeches from Day 1 and Day 2 on the UN Web cast site at:

HIV and Youth in the rural areas

The Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope(ILFE) held the first fair of HIV in the community of “El Bonete”, the municipality of Villanueva, in the department of Chinandega, a region that has the highest rates of HIV in Nicaragua.

The activity began with a video forum, on Friday, the first of July, which simply reflects the reality of HIV in rural areas, based on experiences and real situations. For lack of information in rural areas, HIV is something like from another universe, something that only can be concerned to homosexuals, sex workers or often they simply ignore the subject. Through the video participants could see a reality reflected in the context of their identify such as machism, migration, poverty, stigma, which are factors that make them vulnerable to disease. The video also show how some churches and its vision about the subject in the rural areas often becomes an obstacle because the disease is seen as a punishment from God, what makes very difficult for the Lutheran Church to convince the people of their comunities that’s it’s very important to inform about prevention and show a God of love.

On Saturday, the second of July, ILFE in collaboration with CISAS, the Health Center of “El Bonete”, offered to the people of the community making free HIV tests. Some youth from the church are certified to provide the counseling pre test and post test in wich they give some explanations about the basic concepts, the function and the expiration of the test before taking the blood sample. They gave clear and accurate information about HIV, while waiting on the result.

Delsis Lainez, 20, a young leader of the Lutheran Church’s community “El Bonete”, told us that during the week he was trying to promote the activity. They went from house to house to invite the people to participate in the program and the free HIV test, he hang up posters with information on HIV and went to the radio.

“This activity seems wonderful, we have never done anything like this before in the community. People don’t know yet anything about the subject, that’s why I think the contribution of the Church is great, especially for women and youth”, said Delsis.

The medical students of the Church realized a total of 55 tests, mostly young women and housewives. This latter group claimed that they were sent by their husbands to get tested because “if they went negative,” they also were. In a community like “El Bonete”, where there is a lot of stigma and fear of getting tested, the majority of the people is thinking that the disease is far away from themself. But they do not take into account that many times men are partakers of irresponsible sexual practices with multiple partners without using protection.

While the mothers got tested, the children enjoyed games, piñatas in charge of the youth ministry of the Church who also painted the faces of the children with fun designs.

During the fair they delivered materials and brochures containing information about the virus and the health center of “El Bonete” gave condoms to the participants.

There was also a performance of a soccer league in order to attract young people and inform them about the activity and encourage them to get tested.
Because in rural areas young people begin to have work responsibilities and families from an early age on, for example a lot of girls get married at the age of 15.

At the end of the two days Taira Paola Baenz, one of the community leaders, confirmed that she was very happy about the activity. He told that for the community it was a very important day because many people are unaware of the issue and this somehow awakens them. “Knowledge and information and most importantly, the test was being offered free of charge! So hopefully a lot of people today realized the importance of the sexual education”.

Become a eco-justice change maker!

If you are really concerned about injustices around climate change and the ecology world wide, this program might be exactly for you.

The Water Network in the World Council of Churches and the LWF youth desk organize together a multiplier training. Youth for Eco-Justice is a transformational leadership training program for change makers in churches and faith-based organizations worldwide. It starts with a two-week training and immersion in the context of the international climate change negotiations (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa (26 November – 10 December 2011). The participants will initiate and implement a project in their home context in the months following the seminar on a volunteer basis.

For us, this obviously directly connects with LWF together – the earth needs you and is meant for participants who want to bring their contribution to a global stage and dig deeper at the same time.

You can read more information here and apply online here.