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


17th February 2017

What do you do as a Pan-European organisation when you have to speak out about certain issues?

You form a new Youth Policy Group with people from across the continent to develop four strong policy papers that clearly state YMCA's position on certain key issues.

The group (check out YPG overview page) had its first meeting in Brussels from 10-12 February. We talked about youth empowerment, youth unemployment, migration and peace & justice. These are the four main priorities within YMCA Europe's towards 2020 strategy and thus the most important issues at the moment. Though, more themes are coming!

Because each of us comes from a different part of Europe we managed to get an integrated Pan-European perspective on each of these issues that would fit with each of the national movements within YMCA Europe. To get to this, we had long and intense conversations on certain issues due to the many differences in Europe. Especially this part makes the development of these policies great because so many different ideas and perspectives were heard. This ultimately led to a better understanding of each other as well as the many different national movements.

With this new step, YMCA Europe additionally has found itself new representatives to attend meetings at the several European institutions where YMCA is given a voice. This will help give the YMCA a stronger position in Europe as well as a stronger voice for young people all across Europe.

To sum up the weekend in numbers: 9 young people, 7 countries, 3 days, 4 policy papers and 20 hours of work. We worked extremely hard and I believe a good first step has been made in developing a strong position for YMCA Europe. Personally, I can't wait to see the final result and see what more this group can bring! Thank you Ilenia for guiding us through it all and empowering us. Let's take the next step together in building a stronger YMCA in Europe.

Author/Source: Janette Van Kalkeren, YMCA Europe Youth Policy Group