March 4, 2022

In Thailand, Adventist Youth Movements Celebrate First Anniversary

SADFREE and Youth Alive are seeking ways to connect and empower young people.

Jun Amparo, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review

The SADFREE Movement and Asia-Pacific International University’s (AIU) Youth Alive chapter celebrated their first anniversary February 3, 2022. The hybrid event, which was themed “Stay Driven, Always Living,” took place during the university’s student assembly on the school campus, located in Muak Lek, Saraburi, Thailand. 

Pham Nguyen To Phuong, Publishing and Health Ministries director at the Southeastern Asia Union Mission, was the guest speaker at the event. During her presentation, Phuong emphasized the importance of students persevering and practicing healthy living. “[Make a point of] adopting healthy habits, because our body is God’s temple,” she told them.

During the ceremony, Aeron De Guzman reported on past activities and upcoming plans. Farrel Gara, youth director of the Malaysia Union Mission, offered a dedicatory prayer for all the officers and advisors. After some words of encouragement from regional youth leaders, Dan Storie, AIU vice president for Student Administration, gave his closing remarks. In the evening, the officers organized a social activity.

The SADFREE Movement and Youth Alive

The SADFREE Movement — which stands for Smoking, Alcohol, and Drug Free Movement — was founded by Ron Genebago, who currently serves as youth director for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD). The initiative seeks to save young people from the harmful effects of smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and using drugs, leaders said. It looks for ways to help young people quit unhealthy habits, as it drives them toward healthy living practices. 

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On February 3, 2022, the SADFREE Movement and Asia-Pacific International University’s Youth Alive chapter celebrated their first anniversary on the school campus, located in Muak Lek, Saraburi, Thailand. [Photo: screenshot by Southern Asia-Pacific Division News]

Youth Alive is a program for young people coordinated by SSD Health Ministries director Lalaine Alfanoso. The program is designed to foster resilience among young people by equipping them to make healthy choices. In addition, participants can make friends and connect with other students through the friendship groups led by Youth Alive facilitators. Youth Alive also provides healthy discussions about mental health, addiction, stress, pornography, and other related issues.

Leaders said they are looking forward to organizing leadership skills training and Youth Alive conferences, establishing more friendship group activities, and collaborating with other schools, universities, and communities. Organizers are also developing collaboration opportunities between youth leaders and health leaders at the union level. 

How the SADFREE Movement Started

The SADFREE Movement and Youth Alive were implemented after a meeting of SSD regional church leaders in October 2020. SADFREE was conceived as a platform or tool to assist young people with avoiding or overcoming addiction and making healthy choices. The initiative was voted and approved a month later.

The core team student members of the organization come from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Most are college sophomores and juniors, which enables them to serve for multiple years. Most of the Core Team members have also been endorsed or recommended by their professors.

Regional church leaders called on church members to pray for the initiatives. “Let’s continue to pray for this ministry, including our student leaders … at Asia-Pacific International University,” they said.

The original version of this story was posted by the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.

Jun Amparo, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review
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