27 July, 2023

Bangladesh hosted 2023 Asian Platform Meeting of SCI

Article by Dr Shobha, IEC Co-opted Member

The group of delegates posing with an SCI banner

SCI Bangladesh hosted the Asian Platform Meeting (APM) 2023 on July 14 and 15 at MATI, Huzuri Kanda Sherpur, Bangladesh. Delegates and observers from neighbouring branches in India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia participated in this grand event that not only included the APM meeting but also workshops followed by a regional workcamp. Seven participants attended in person and three online.

The following topics were discussed:

  • Report from Branches
  • Peace Education Workshop
  • SCI Activities Calendar
  • Implementation of APAD fund
  • Brainstorming for improvement of ADC
  • Strategic Planning
  • Orientation on SCI resources available on SCI website
  • Regional Cooperation
  • Action plan of Branches

Parag, SCI Bangladesh’s president, welcomed the group and shared the address note from the International president encouraging APM and wishing success to all participants.

Activation of Asian branches

Each participant proceeded to presented their branch report and action plan for the year 2023-2024.

In an effort to activate asian branches, a brainstorming session was taken up to analyse the branches on performance. A colour coding system was employed: Green = Well performing, Yellow = Moderately performing and Red = Not performing. Out of 11 Asian branches, only 5 branches where in the green zone, 4 where in the yellow zone and 2 in the red zone. The group felt that the challenge was to work constantly with red zone and to support the yellow zone branches with needs and identify factors necessary for their empowerment.

APAD (Asia Pacific Activists Development) Fund

Stephen from SCI Malaysia gave an account of the fund that was created in ICM 2014 and requested to expedite the activities in line with the purpose of empowering the leadership of our Asian branches and groups.

Peace Education Workshop

A brainstorming session was done to reflect on the following questions:

  • What is peace?
  • Peace can be achieved by…?
  • How can I contribute to peace?

Each participant had a task to write down and present. Points were compiled and the ADC came out with understanding of the list of peace programs in SCI, the administrative deficiencies which has led to non activation of few of the branches and also on peace programs which could uplift branches.

“Our Challenge…..and Strength”: the group could assess common factors such as financial instability, lack of communication, lack of motivation of members, decreasing strength of membership, whereas leadership, knowledge and talent still existed which could be used as our strength.

Our Financial Sustainability: the group discussed how to obtain funds for our peace-activities, which funds, which donors and how to approach them (human capacity to reach funds).

Human Resources Sustainability: the group discussed how to recruit and retain volunteers, how to avoid burn-outs, how to train activists, capacity building, passing on important knowledge to new activists (knowledge management).

The International President Alexandra joined the online meeting and congratulated the Asian members for having APM and also answered queries on functioning and support of IEC. Participants were overwhelmed with humbleness of our president taking keen interest in uplifting Asian branches and also on encouragement received to send the proposals to IEC. Alexandra also encouraged all branch delegates to attend ICM this year, finally happening in physical format after 4 years, to actively participate in discussions and bring great change in branches.

Bringing Asia and Europe together

Asia International Working group’s proposal to bring Asia Europe together:

  • To have an Asian regional office: SCI India volunteered
  • Request working groups in Asia to represent under one umbrella of AIWG
  • Each Asian branch to take turns to host APM every year
  • We at ADC, by working together improving our communication, supporting branches with online trainings, motivate each other and members and improve on membership, would make SCI a better world to live and a great PEACE organisation.

SCI Activity

Delegates volunteered at the village primary school, where children were taught about health and hand hygiene. Language was not a barrier as we used local music to teach the steps of hand hygiene which could be practised regularly and to protect from all infections and diseases. Children enjoyed and we could see lot of smiles on teachers and students.

volunteers and children dancing

The ADC meeting was concluded with Nelson Mandela’s quote:

Peace is not just the absence of conflict, peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish regardless of race, colour, creed, religion gender class caste or any other social markers of difference.

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