A solid education to operate in society in Asia
IFFAsia is called to develop the laity to be of service with a renewed heart – « a greater penetration of Christian values in the social, political and economic sectors » (Pope Francis, EG#102) through the formation of laity. The mission of IFFAsia as a community of disciples founded on the spirituality of Fondacio, is to call and nurture new vocations and missions through an integrated and holistic approach, for local communities and churches in Asia.
A project that from the beginning created a consensus
“It started with sharing the dream of IFFAsia; it found a resonance, it found an echo in the hearts of many. We consulted wide – our bishops in different countries of Asia, priests, directors of youth groups, community members, Fondacio International. And it seemed yes, everyone was saying yes. We developed the curriculum and we invited persons to critic it; the bishops, priests, community gave comments. And when we also presented it to persons, partners to fund it, we found a great generosity in their hearts, as if the Holy Spirit was telling us YES the time has come for Asia, for Fondacio to take this initiative in Asia.” Charles Bertille, President, Fondacio Asia Inc.
Results that reinforce the effectiveness of the training
Since its establishment in 2006, IFFAsia has formed 164 students and 24 interns, or a total of 188 young adults from about 40 dioceses, in 13 Asian countries; and this number is still growing. After completing the year of formation, participants are committed to serve a 2-year internship in local projects. A ground survey showed that 85% of IFFAsia alumni complete their 2 years of service with their sending organisations in the local projects, and 51% continue to serve more than 5 years in various missions.
Testimonies of hope
What do our alumni say of their experiences after IFFASIA ?
« This formation has helped me to believe that every human being is precious and has the capacity to enrich one another. I value my beauty and this helps me to also value the other as a beautiful human being. I envision that the other will also be able to see the beauty of life and to live the truth in their lives. » Imelda Soidi, Malaysia.
« I am inspired to empower the youth to discover themselves and to feel the beauty of God’s grace in their life even in their brokenness. My hope is that I will be able to journey with the youth in the path of their search for vocation and in serving God and others.» Sirimas Skulkan, Thailand.
« During my formation year I experienced an integrated approach to human development. The precious grace for me through the formation was to serve and lead Fondacio Myanmar community, to be a living witness, as a lay person for the Church and a social worker by sharing this goodness in me with others and by serving, loving, caring. » Roger Barelli, Myanmar.
« Currently, I am working as the Director of St. Paul Institute, a private Catholic university in Cambodia. In my list of people and organizations who have been part of my story in the last ten years, the first is Fondacio for my personal growth. In my mission with the youth, I am so excited and very happy to speak out with confidence to share my faith, my talents and my love for them. I really appreciate how Fondacio Asia set the tone for my life, bringing a special transformation to my life. » Phon Sophal, Cambodia.
In the words of the beneficiaries from the Church…
« IFFAsia is a wonderful source of formation for Asian potential leaders. It has provided in the past eleven years opportunities to young professionals and laity not only to discover themselves, appreciate and develop their skills, but also grow in their faith to discover their own capacity to be witnesses of the evangelization of the Church, and to be catalysts in the development and transformation of their communities. » Bishop Joel Baylon DD, Bishop of Legaspi, Youth Desk FABC Office of laity and Family.
« I appreciate the clear vision and mission of IFFAsia which follows the teaching of th Second Vatican Council and the recommendations of The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) especially on the role of the laity. I pray that God may continue to bless IFFAsia to be fruitful and succesful in the great mission of th Church in Asia. » Bishop Silvio Siripong Charatsri, Chairman of the Catholic Commission for Laity, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand.
« Thanks to IFFAsia, for the open collaboration, for coming this new generation of young Mongolian pastoral agents and especially for being our partners in working for the foundation and growth of our young Church in Mongolia. » Fr. Ernesto Viscardi, Apostolic Prefect Delegate, Apostolic Prefecture of Ulaanbaatat, Mongolia.
« All the persons who have gone through Fondacio are working hard both in the Church and outside with NGOs. They are committed. Before, they were nobody. Now, after the formation, the people recognize and trust them. We would like to send more young people for formation at IFFAsia.
Truly, it is crucial to provide the young people the opportunity to enhance their educational attainment especially those from developing countries or those who have no opportunity to further their education. It enables them to be rooted in spirituality, to have a voice in their mission and to be the voice for the marginalised communities around them. » Fr. Leo Gopal, Mitkyina, Myanmar.