„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“


9th August 2021

The months of June and July brought a bustle of activities in Brussels. Many meetings are held as activities slowly get back to normal and a lot of information is shared on new funding programmes, with a set of new rules and conditions to learn about.

The Brussels Office was in the middle of it, making sure to gather intelligence that can be shared to our members very soon.

Working Group on Migrant and Refugee Meeting

In June the Brussels Office participated and contributed to a meeting of the Working Group on Migrant and Refugee.

In particular the Office presented several possibilities in terms of fundraising opportunities for a European project on migration, looking at opportunities for a long term project focused on either inclusion or training needs.

COP26 Meetings (June and July)

The COP26 Task Force meet once in June and once in July to organise the participation of the YMCA delegation to the COP26 in Glasgow.

The Brussels Office contributed leading the draft of the policy framework which will inform the position our YMCA delegation will take in their role as observers during the COP26 negotiations and the press releases.

Public Policy COI Meeting

In June the Brussels Office was invited to the meeting of the World Alliance of YMCA Community of Interest on Public Policy.

The Brussels Office discussed our methods regarding advocacy drafting and representation, the main challenges and our best practices developed in the past 5 years. It was a very interesting way to share our European YMCA practices across the world, learning new ways to approach decision makers and national members.

Meeting JINT

June was also the month in which the Brussels Office organised a meeting with the Erasmus+ Flemish National Agency. We made sure to introduce ourselves, our goals and our activities, seeking guidance on how to best approach the new Erasmus+ programme and the increased possibilities for funding deriving from the new budget of the programme.

Youth Led Solution Summit: after the summit and area coordination

In June and July the Brussels Office coordinated the work on the European side for the participation of our young people to the Youth Led Solutions Summit on the Future of Work.

We sent the invitation to our members and supported team to register to compete for funding opportunities, developing project proposals which will make an impact in their communities regarding skills development, job seeking support and innovative employment pathways.

MO Coordination Meeting with YFJ

The Brussels office participated to the coordination meetings of the European Youth Forum regarding the development of common policy positions and advocacy strategies of the members.

We brainstormed priorities, types of actions and themes most close to our YMCAs, making sure they can all see the priorities developed in our Strategy reflected into the work of the European Youth Forum in the next few months.

YMCA Coordinating Advocacy with YFJ

July was also the month that gave us the opportunity to meet individually the European Youth Forum to discuss in depth our priorities, our main activities and get to meet the new YFJ staff that will be leading the Advocacy side of the work of the YFJ.

We got the chance to discuss new types of cooperation and actions we will be able to implement from now on thanks to our Strategy, and the YFJ shared many points to support our capacity development.

Funding Coordination Meeting

The Brussels Office also had the chance in July to coordinate with all YFJ members regarding our advocacy action for fundraising for youth.

We discussed in particular the first data we have regarding the implementation of the new Erasmus+ programmes, and how we might need to tweak the programme’s implementation tools to make it more friendly to us and our members.

Meeting with YMCA Italy

The Brussels Office, together with our Secretary General and our Executive Secretary for Movement Strengthening had the chance to meet the new Executive Secretary and project staff team from the Italian YMCA Foundation, to discuss how YMCA Europe can support the work of all YMCAs in Italy and offer opportunities to work jointly at a European level

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