2016 Symposium

40th Anniversary of Human Needs and Global Resources

A Well-Watered Garden: Cultivating Hope and Transformation

This year’s 2016 Human Needs and Global Resources Symposium was entitled: “A Well-Watered Garden: Cultivating Hope and Transformation.” The Symposium celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Human Needs and Global Resources program by examining the social, economic and environmental impacts of Human Needs and Global Resources partner organizations working in diverse contexts across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. The 2016 Symposium built on the program’s long-standing commitment to listen to and learn from leaders from the Majority World. To this end the Symposium was kicked off with a chapel address on Wednesday, February 24, which was delivered by Dr. Melba Padilla Maggay.

MPM photoDr. Maggay’s timely teaching, entitled “Unequal Worlds at Our Doorstep,” drew on Luke 16 to invite the Wheaton community to respond obediently to God’s invitation to care for the orphan, the widow, the sojourner and the poor “at our doorstep.” On Thursday, February 25, the Symposium continued with a keynote lecture, entitled “A New Heaven and a New Earth: An Eschatological Vision for Transformation,” delivered by Dr. Melba Maggay to an audience of over 200 Wheaton students, alum, faculty and visitors from the wider community.

The Symposium continued on Friday, February 26, and included presentations and roundtable discussions with representatives from organizations that have partnered with Human Needs and Global Resources in hosting student interns during the past decade. Dr. Laura Montgomery, Dean of the Global and Experiential Learning, opened Friday’s activities with an address in which she recounted the founding of the Human Needs and Global Resources program and reflected on her own experience as a member of the first cohort of Human Needs and Global Resources interns in 1977. Following Dr. Montgomery’s presentation, participants enjoyed presentations by representatives from four different Human Needs and Global Resources partner organizations. These presentations were followed by “breakout” roundtable discussions that were led by our international guests and included the participation of Wheaton College faculty, current students and alum. Symposium guests were invited to attend one of four roundtable presentations, which included: “Working towards Healing, Health and Wholeness” (Dr. Savita Duomai), “Art as Creative Eyesight from the Margins” (Mr. John Hayes), “Healthy Spaces for New Rural Generations in South America (Dr. Apolos Landa) and “Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda” (Mr. Christophe Mbonyingabo). Each session was well-attended (approximately 40 guests per panel) and offered participants to learn more about the work of transformation that is being carried by organizations in Peru, Rwanda, India and elsewhere.

A highlight of Symposium events held on Friday was the “Human Needs and Global Resources Community and Arts Celebration” celebration.  Approximately 60 guests, including Human Needs and Global Resources alum, students and their parents, gathered to enjoy and participate in spoken word and musical performance that was facilitated by Celmali Jaime Okonji (the first John Stott International Visiting Scholar in Human Needs and Global Resources) and Leah Samuelson (Art Faculty, Wheaton College).  The Symposium concluded on Saturday morning with a brunch and presentations by three Human Needs and Global Resources alum.  The brunch was attended by some 125 guests, which included Human Needs and Global Resources alum and current Wheaton College students and their families, faculty and staff.

Speaker Biographies

  • Dr. Melba Maggay
    Accomplished social anthropologist, author and organizational leader
  • Dr. Savita Duomai
    Director and a medical doctor at the Shalom Clinic of the Emmanuel Hospital Association in India
  • John Hays
    General Director of InnerCHANGE
  • Dr. Apolos Landa
    South American Regional Coordinator for the Luke Society
  • Christophe Mbonyingabo
    Founding director of Christian Action for Reconciliation and Social Assistance (CARSA)