The Singapore chapter of the worldwide Choice programme was recently elected to head Choice Asia, a challenge that the local team finds exciting.
“We are most honoured. We are most happy to take on this role,” said Mr David Cheong, a member of the coordinating team. “We want to continue to galvanise the Choice Asian countries and plant the seeds in non-Choice countries.”
Mr Cheong, his wife Gillian, together with Felicia, a single adult, and Fr Adrian Yeo, form the Choice Asia coordinating team.
Singapore was elected to head the Church programme for young adults in Asia for the next three years, taking over the helm from Malaysia, during the 13th Choice Asian Conference, held Oct 7-10 in Singapore.
Plans are already in the pipeline, although more work still needs to be done on them, says the team.
Participants of the 13th Choice Asian Conference held in Singapore.
Members say they are interested to share their experience running the programme with countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines who have yet to start it. However, they stress the success of the programme requires “the support of the diocese and priest … endorsed top-down”.
The team is also willing to travel overseas to help new teams do a run through of the programme before the Choice weekend begins, said Mr Cheong.
There are plans to build closer ties among the Choice Asia teams through bilateral exchanges between neighbouring countries and territories such as Macau-Taiwan-Hong Kong, Malaysia-Brunei, and Singapore-Malaysia-Indonesia, and to have a regular internal newsletter disseminated to all Choice Asia teams.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has expressed an interest in introducing the Choice programme in their country. The Choice Asia team has invited Sri Lanka to send a team of representatives to participate in and experience a Choice weekend in Singapore or in any other countries which host the weekend.
Singapore, on behalf of Choice Asia, will also play host to a group of Thai delegates end November, who are studying how a Choice weekend is conducted.
The Choice programme aims to help young adults strengthen their relationship with God and others. A stay-in weekend helps participants to review relationships with significant people in their lives.
Fr Yeo says that the programme remains relevant in Asia today as participants are transformed during the weekend, from feeling anger, resentment, unloved and misunderstood, to having a broader perspective of their relationships with others.
The Choice programme is currently running in Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
Singapore was elected to head Choice Asia before – from 1985-1992 and from 1998-2000.
By Darren Boon