ASIA Women’s Conference

ASIA Women’s Conference

The strength, love and power of sisterhood was evident at the ASIA (Associated Sisters in Asia) Women’s Conference held in Hong Kong, 10-12 March 2016. Organised by women, for women, the event aims to uplift, strengthen and support sisters in a conference setting. Conference presenters this year included four women from Singapore, with others hailing from mainland China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Japan, Panama, Chile, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and South Korea.

Approximately 240 women gathered, from 19 different countries. This event is organized annually by a committee of sisters throughout Asia. This is not a church sponsored event but is held with the full support of the Asia Area Presidency.

The event is always well organized with a formal service project, time for temple attendance, an instant-choir, key note speakers including general authorities plus a couple of meals to keep everyone nourished physically as well as spiritually.

The theme this year was taken from D&C 81:5 ‘Wherefore be faithful… succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.’ All who attended were indeed succored, strengthened and encouraged through the wonderful spirit that accompanied the speakers, the music, the temple, the service project, or through the love and friendship of other sisters in attendance.

Acquaintances and friendships are renewed and born every year.

As well as inspiring or educational presentations, the conference always includes a service project. This year, ASIA Women’s Conference joined hands with Days for Girls International. Days for Girls was founded by Sister Celeste Mergens in 2008 and has helped over 200,000 girls and women with sustainable feminine hygiene, education and advocacy since then.

This is turns allows girls and women to live with dignity and continue attending schools when historically or culturally, they had to leave school, sit at home or even apart from their village during menstruation because there was no way to be with other people during this time.

The organisation continues to grow from strength to strength. Conference attendees were privileged to hear and learn from Celeste directly as she flew in from the USA, turning down a speaking invitation at a United Nations event, to be with the women of ASIA.

Attendees at conference volunteered time to cut, sew, stitch and create kits which will be distributed to girls and women throughout the world. Some sisters in Singapore gathered in Singapore the weekend before to get a head start on this service project. They worked on parts of the kits and took them to conference to finish. Many sisters left the conference with a desire to continue to support this important work and be ambassadors for the organization in their countries.

This year, the Conference Choir (fondly nicknamed the ‘insta-choir) sang Created in His Image and My Sister’s Hands. Anyone is welcome to register for the Conference Choir when they register online for the conference. Further musical numbers were provided by other sisters during the Conference devotionals.

Keynote speakers this year were Sister Celeste Mergens (founder of Days for Girls) Sister Amie Heap (Senior Nutrition Advisor for the Bureau of Global Health, USAID), Elder Siu Hong Pon, 2nd Counselor Asia Area Presidency, Sister Carol Wong and Elder Sam Wong, 1st Counselor Asia Area Presidency.

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