The Garo people of Bangladesh are among Asia's marginalized communities. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Catholic students in the Asia-Pacific region are taking part in a series of online workshops aimed at training participants to help marginalized communities.
The International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) Asia Pacific is holding five-day courses from now until February in the first phase of the project.
Students from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Vietnam took part in a session on human rights via Zoom from Aug. 17-21.
The 21 members shared their ideas on topics such as the history and discourse of human rights in different countries, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights and cultural relativism, human dignity, Catholic social teaching and the IMCS mission.
“We realized that we need to look at not just at the current situation but also a post-Covid world,” said IMCS Asia Pacific coordinator William Nokrek.
“Our virtual engagement will not be ad hoc but a long-term initiative. Therefore, we have decided to name it ‘IMCS Continued Learning and Action Program’ (CLAP). The first edition of the workshop on human rights was received with great enthusiasm.”
Other workshops will cover sex, sexuality and gender; social analysis; migrant rights; sustainable development goals; abuse — children and young people; and ecumenism and inclusiveness.
IMCS Asia Pacific, staying true to its vision and mission, aims to assist Catholic tertiary students with adequate contextual analysis, rights and legal education about marginalized communities, faith and spiritual formation and skill development.
The first seven-month phase of the program will cover IMCS national movements, ecumenical partners and solidarity groups in the Asia Pacific region.
It aims to build the capacities of key leaders in national movements and influence policies, programs and student actions.
IMCS is an international non-government organization that was formed in 1921 in Fribourg, Switzerland, under the name Pax Romana.