At its recent meeting in Tagaytay, Philippines, the UEM Council appointed Dr Fransina Yoteni from the GKI Tanah Papua member church in Indonesia as new Executive Secretary for the Asia region and successor of Rev. Sonia Parera-Hummel, who will retire in the course of the year 2018. Right after Yoteni's appointment Martina Pauly, leader of the communication & media team, spoke with the future UEM Management Team member.
Can you please give us some information on your personal background?
Yoteni: I am a theologian and a member of the GKI Tanah Papua church in West Papua, Indonesia. I am 49 years old and a mother of a 13 years old daughter, my husband passed away last year.
What is your history with UEM?
Yoteni: My first experience with UEM was in 2003 when I was a delegate of my church to the Asia Regional Assembly in Yogjakarta. One year later I attended a three-months English course program funded by UEM in Birmingham, UK, which was followed by a responding conflict course in the same city. In the same year I was elected as UEM Council member for the legislative period of four years at the General Assembly in Manila, Philippines. In 2008 I got a UEM scholarship for a PhD program on educational management at the Silliman University in Dumaguete, Philippines, until 2012.
As you see I had grown within the UEM family and I feel well equipped with the capacity building I experienced through UEM to fullfil the new task as a member of the Management Team.
Do you already have ideas for the future of the Asia region?
Yoteni: I would like to enable the people on how we do mission in the Asia region. To serve as an Executive Secretary means to manage variations as a kind of enrichment to the UEM family, i.e. the local wisdom from different countries can be a resource that we can bring to UEM. This way of thinking and working also brings back the dignity to the Asian people.
Besides, UEM can manage to equip theological education and schools of theology that need capacities to prepare more religious teachers for their work within the church and to better prepare them for the various situations in the field.
Moreover, I would like to share the resources among the churches within Asia but also with Africa.
I think we should learn from each other, also with regard to the women and youth programs. For example, the women and youth need space and facilitation which is of benefit for UEM. Here the women need accompaniment on their way, need to be equipped for their work.
What is your credo for UEM?
Yoteni: The foundation of UEM is the bible. I believe in this foundation. We do the work mentioned in the bible. The five pillars of UEM are one way to do the work that the bible says: diaconia, education, advocay, evangelism and partnerships.
Thank you very much!