International Program

Asian Young Women’s Leadership Development Seminar in Indonesia 2018

Report by the Wesley Staff:
Asian Young Women’s Leadership Development Seminar in Indonesia 2018
Theme: Be a Peacemaker
Period: January 31 to February 7, 2018

Asian Young Women’s Leadership Development Seminar was held in Jakarta, Indonesia this year. 36 members who were from college-aged youth to their thirties and from 10 Asian countries (i.e. Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam) participated in the seminar, aiming at becoming peace makers, which were the theme of the seminar. Six out of 36 members, including an intern, were from Japan.

The seminar is held in different Asian countries every year to let participants learn the host countries’ culture, history and social issues. They share the cultural and historical features which are common or distinct among Asian countries as well as issues that women face in each country. This year, they richly experienced the multiethnic culture of Indonesia.

The attendees are expected to actively engage in the seminar so as to become leaders in their own places after the program. Therefore, the program is structured to offer many opportunities for them to voluntarily work, consider what they can commit to and actively try it out.

This time, the program started with an opening prayer by an Indonesian participant, which was followed by the introduction of culture including dance and songs, the lectures on Indonesian history, culture, society and the social issue of migrant labors, and Bible study.

The participants also gave presentations on the findings from their preliminary assignments about the current status and situations of women in their own countries and social issues they face. So they could deepen their learning about the common/different issues that women confront among their countries.

With the aim of understanding Indonesian culture from various aspects, Site Visit was included in the program. The activity offered to the attendees the opportunities to visit an institution in which a variety of architecture and traditional culture were introduced, facilities for the challenged people, and a church for a Sunday service. The relationship among the participants got more intimate through the Site Visit time.

In the final activity, they considered the leadership taught by a female lecturer from the perspectives of women and the Bible. Throughout the six days of the seminar including the workshops and debrief, they shared their own ideas and opinions about what they can do as women and how they view the world as women.

The six-day seminar starts and ends with worship. Praising and praying to the same God together enables the participants to spiritually and physically break down the linguistic and cultural barriers and to be united. Only those who join the program are allowed to have this touching experience. We believe that it is youths who can easily overcome the differences and make friends, which becomes the beginning of peace.

Without the Indonesian female leaders’ cooperation and passion, the seminar in Indonesia could not have been realized. In particular, the participants of the previous seminar did many services as the hosts, which was great encouragement to confirm the value of our seminar.

The Wesley Foundation keeps working through seminars for the development of youths who will play a key role in building a peaceful world.

Reflections from Participants
On the final day of the seminar, we reflected the whole program, enjoying the amazingness of praying for one another beyond across borders. (20-year-old university student)

I have been transformed to be able to focus more on what I can do than what I cannot do, and to recognize countless grace from God. (21-year-old university student)

“Have confidence. Be proud of yourself.” I was encouraged by my fellows.
(22-year-old university student)

Six-day seminar schedule