- Movement Capacity Building and Communications
- Overcoming Violence in the Middle East Women’s Empowerment and Gender Justice
- Peace with Justice in Colombia
A key priority for the WSCF is to mobilise students and youth across all levels of the Federation to engage in eco-justice advocacy through critical reflection and action. Eco-justice challenges the intersection of environmental destruction with the dominant economic architecture as the suffering is present amongst the most disadvantaged populations.
ASC Strategic Meeting (Nairobi 2012)
Members of WSCF’s Advocacy and Solidarity Committee (ASC) met in Nairobi in February 2012 to undergo training, to further develop their protocols and principles as a Committee and to develop a two-year program to align the Federation’s work on ecological and economic justice into one eco-justice framework. The ASC functions as an advisory group to the Federation and facilitate the strategic planning and monitoring of global advocacy and solidarity programmes.
WSCF in Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil 2012)
A delegation of 21 students from the Latin America and Caribbean Region and 3 from other regions joined other youth networks at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. At the Rio+20 People’s Summit, students poured their energy and renewed vision for a better world into a statement declaring their opposition to the commodification and exploitation of natural resources and their support for spaces and processes that call governments to account.
(Indonesia 2012, South Korea 2013)
WSCF delegates from New York, Cuba, India, and Indonesia participated and presented a grassroots perspectives on eco-justice, contributing to the work of the wider ecumenical community of the World Council of Churches’ AGAPE Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology global forum in Indonesia, 18-22 June 2012. The reflection, which focused on how a rapid acceleration of globalisation today affects youth perspectives on economic structures and systems and the role of marginalized communities, contributed to a statement that was presented at the WCC’s 10th General Assembly in Busan, Korea in 2013.
Agape (Italy 2012, 2013)
In continuity with recent years, global delegation from WSCF took part in the Agape Centro Ecumenico Political, Theological, and Work Camps in 2012 and 2013 in Prali, Italy. WSCF staff contributed to the thematic focus for years 2012 and 2013 around the WSCF priority theme of Eco-Justice and in 2012 the group produced a Manifesto, which has also resourced WSCF students around the world.
Movement Capacity Building and Communications Programmes
As part of its youth leadership training, the WSCF is committed to developing communication skills in project management planning.
EAP training for staff and officers: The regional and general secretaries gathered in Cairo, Egypt in February 2013 to study the long-standing Ecumenical Assistance Programme (EAP) run by the Federation. This programme offers small project grants for member movements implementing development projects in their local communities. WSCF members examined how to develop, monitor, and communicate the programme in ways that will meet today’s funding requirements and demonstrate their value to the development of students and other stakeholders.
Advocacy training for local UN representatives: (Nairobi 2013, New York 2013, Paris 2013)
The WSCF partnered with the World Alliance of YMCAs and the Scouts to implement 3 trainings, funded by the European Youth Forum, in Nairobi (August 2013), New York (September 2013), and Paris (November 2013). The trainings were aimed at equipping members of the respective youth and student networks to represent their organization on an on-going basis at the UN and were a step toward the strategy of training volunteers in UN cities in order to have more capacity to follow different processes and advocate at the United Nations
Overcoming Violence in the Middle East Programme
The Federation, taking its guidance from the Middle East members, is committed to use our global platform for today’s critical Middle East issues.
(Jordan and State of Palestine, 2014)
In February 2014 a total of 30 students from the WSCF convened in a weeklong leadership development program in the Middle East entitled “Overcoming Violence in the Middle East”. The WSCF group traveled from Palestine to Amman, Jordan to meet participants from WSCF’s Middle East movements unable to travel to Palestine. Students and young adults from member Student Christian Movements (SCM) in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, North Sudan, Palestine, and Syria shared their stories and experiences as young Christians in the Middle East with students from other regions of the world.
Student presentations were followed by discussions with local ecumenical and church leaders such as Bishop Younan Mounib (Lutheran Bishop of Palestine), WSCF senior members, and other resource people with expertise on Middle East politics, to develop a comprehensive diagnostic of solidarity and advocacy measures that can be undertaken by the WSCF. (Videos and Documentation available)
WSCF encouraged the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations (ICMYO) to hold its annual meeting in Cairo in September 2012. As Task Force members of ICMYO, the WSCF facilitated learning and sharing between the international youth organisation high level representatives and the local SCMs and other NGO representatives in Egypt, in order to strengthen partnerships and call for more action and solidarity for youth in the region.
Staff and Officers solidarity visit to Egypt In February 2013, the WSCF leadership planned their annual Staff and Officers Meeting in Cairo, Egypt, to offer supportive presence to the movements there; the highlight was the exchanges with local Egyptian SCMers.
Women’s Empowerment & Gender Justice
Whether is it discussing women’s rights in Ghana, signing petitions to end violence against women in India, or discussing feminist biblical perspectives on “foreign brides” in Taiwan, students and youth in all corners of the Federation continue to prioritize the need for women’s empowerment and gender justice in their communities and to work to translate these priorities to action that will touch the students of today.
WSCF’s deepest point of engagement in the UN system until now is the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. The WSCF brought a small delegation in 2012 representing each of the 6 regions, and including a youth leader from the Council for World Mission, to take part in the 57th session (1–15 March 2013) as the representatives of non-governmental sector. They cooperated together with the Ecumenical Women network, of which WSCF is a member, in the advocacy process.
Promoting Peace with Justice in Colombia
As the global Advocacy and Solidarity Committee grew in its work to examine and respond to different situations and concerns of the member SCMs, they recommended giving focus to the situation in Colombia as a global Federation.
The Programme for Ecumenical Accompaniment in Colombia (PEAC) was created to become a permanent non-violent witness to the presence-in-solidarity of the churches and the national and international ecumenical community among communities and organisations who work for and support the return of displaced communities to their land, the defence of human rights, political advocacy, the pursuit of justice and the up-building of life and peace through dialogue in Colombia. The WSCF was among the first to send accompaniers to provide protective presence through international Ecumenical Accompaniers in 7 zones where the member churches have work with the communities experiencing a present threat from the armed conflict.
IDD Task Group Since the last Assembly in Montreal the WSCF has been engaged with the theme of “Identity, Diversity and Dialogue” (IDD) and in 2012 decided to begin a process to address the differences of theology, experience, culture, and opinion concerning human sexuality, especially around LGBTQ persons and issues, within the Federation.
Looking forward, the WSCF plans to gather the group for an intensive one-week process that will strengthen community and understanding while discussing sensitive and contentious issues concerning human sexuality, in the hopes that the Federation will find innovative, prophetic ways forward.