MANILA, May 17, 2014—“We are not just sexual beings.”
This was a youth leader’s bold declaration Friday, May 16, during the Asian Conference of Families in Manila, in response to anti-family, anti-life ideas being espoused by many of today’s youth.
“We should make sure there’s education, there’s health, there’s livelihood opportunities, there’s the importance of the family for young people,” Renelyn Tan, regional director for Asia Pacific of World Youth Alliance (WYA) explained.
She pointed out that young people should “focus on things that really matter”.
Tan went on to relate how WYA, a group of “young people who promote the dignity of the [human] person”, was founded in 1999 as a “reaction of conscience” at the United Nations Conference on Population and Development in Manhattan, New York City when 32 “liberal” young people claimed to speak on behalf of the world’s youth.
These 32 believed that young people in the world only needed three things: abortion as an international human right, the removal of the rights of parents, and sexual rights for children as young as ten.
Tan said, “This was at the United Nations where they were talking to world leaders, and our founder Anna Halpine was 21 years old then … She was a music student and she had no dream whatsoever to start an organization, but when she heard that she knew that the young people there did not represent her views.”
Tan added that her group “tries to be the voice of young people in places where there seems to be no hope, where families are breaking down, where young kids are forced to have premarital sex with their boyfriends because they think that that is true love”.
Aside from the Asia-Pacific region, WYA now has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. (Raymond A. Sebastián)