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

AN OVERVIEW OF YMCA EUROPE CAMPAIGNS IN 2020

6th November 2020

At the beginning of the year, YMCA Europe launched a series of campaigns aimed mainly at young people and their situation in the current context and beyond.

3 campaigns

Because a campaign is not complete until further evaluation of impact is made, we now provide an overview of our initiatives through analytics.

We only treasure what we measure...

YMCA CONNECTS: STAY SAFE, STAY CONNECTED (#YMCAConnects)

ymca connects

The campaign was launched in April and the main goal was to provide mental health support to young people and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as millions are being isolated at home.

We set up the YMCA CONNECTS Facebook group where young people around the world were able to interact with peers from other countries, to distribute materials online, make suggestions for spending your free time at home, posting videos, sharing thoughts, etc...

As YMCA, it is our duty to lead the way with civic responsibility: it was not something we had to as a part of our regular activities, we did it because it was the right thing to do. We feel close to our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable ones.

YMCA Europe staff took part in the group and guided it, offering webinars and links to information that could be useful to group members to navigate Covid times personally, professionally and as a part of their YMCA activities. YMCA Europe staff took the lead to consult the members on their needs and to fix a schedule of requested activities.

  • No. of posts in the group until Oct. 1st: 783
  • No. of comments in the group until Oct. 1st: 1,101
  • No. of reactions in the group until Oct. 1st: 10,680
  • No. of members: 1,701
  • No. of # mentions (unique users): 126 
  • Social media reach: 84,425
  • Interactions: 1,754
  • Likes: 1,605
  • Shares: 104

Full report available here.

YOUNG PEOPLE MATTER CAMPAIGN (#YOUTHMATTERS)

youth matters

YMCA Europe took the initiative to target European Institutions with a campaign to remind them to invest in youth during and after the CoVid19 emergency.

We created a draft of a statement, contacted our Big 6 partners and coordinated with them to reach a consensus on a common statement. Once we finalised the position, we made a plan of dissemination on all our social media platforms (and our Big 6 partners).

We chose 19th of May as a launch day because on this day the Council of Ministers of Youth had a meeting planned, and we could launch the campaign at a moment where European institutions were more receptive to youth action.

Read the statement in full.

In May, we embedded our message on direct emails to the most important EU institutions:

  • The current Presidency of the Council of the EU (Croatia)
  • The next Presidency (Germany)
  • The President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen
  • The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel
  • The President of the European Council Jean Michel
  • The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
  • The Chair of the CULT Committee Ms Sabine Verheyen MEP

We also sent our email to our members (NMs, Communication departments of the NMs, Areas SGs) to engage them in our campaign, and the campaign was published on all our Facebook pages and groups.

To be able to independently engage in disseminating our message, we have prepared and sent a social media toolkit pack to all the partners, and all the comms departments of our national member movements. The European Youth Forum has also published the toolkit on its platform, allowing all its members to use it too.

Replies by email:

  • Nicole Dewandre - Cabinet of the President Dr Ursula von der Leyen
  • Monica Rawlinson - European Parliament, President`s Cabinet
  • Sylvie Glandier - Cabinet of President of European Council
  • Vladimir Somen - Croatia Presidency of the Council of the European Union
  • Sabine Verheyen - Chairwomen of the Committee for Culture and Education
  • Mariya Gabriel - EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Mariya Gabriel

They all have agreed to meet with us, and we will do so as soon as the lifting of Covid restrictions will allow us to do so. This is a very important result for our visibility and credibility on the EU stage.

Some stats on the visibility on social media:

  • No. of # mentions (unique users): 164 
  • Social media reach: 121,000
  • Interactions: 2,987
  • Likes: 2,750
  • Shares: 120

Full report available here.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE #YMCAPEACEDAY

peace day

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st.

It should be within the paramount interest of the global community to contribute towards building peace, as it represents the basis of prosperity and progress. And it is essential to address the issue at grassroots level, since it is impossible to achieve real peace until society is prepared and ready for it.

That is why it is important to sustain and expand peace-building activities to the maximum level possible – ensuring wider outreach and impact. It is crucial to give young people with as many opportunities as possible to be involved in dialogues, peace-building and conflict resolution initiatives and actions. And our Roots for Peace signature project has been doing this since 2007!

In this period when social distancing is more and more present, when face-to-face meetings are almost impossible at the international level, there are still ways to collaborate and together promote the ideals of the International Day of Peace.

This is exactly what we wanted to do on September 21 through messages of peace and solidarity published by young people from YMCA organizations.

Some stats on the visibility on social media:

  • No. of # mentions (unique users): 123 
  • Social media reach: 73,000
  • Interactions: 1,530
  • Likes: 1,361
  • Shares: 99

Full report available here.


These campaigns mark a new era in YMCA Europe engagement in communication and advocacy.

For the first time we confidently stepped up to the role of campaigner, and we can be satisfied of the first results and the engagement produced. We will continue on this path, making the views and plight of our young people more and more visible to decision makers and the public alike.

We will continue on this path, making the views and input of young people more visible to decision makers and civil society.


If you'd like to help us making our campaigns even stronger and louder, please consider to donate here. Because young people matter!

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Author/Source: Ilenia Ventroni, Marius Pop

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