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


18th December 2017

From the 21st to the 30th of November, a group of Russian, German and French YMCA volunteers got together in Russia for the project "Integrate Yourself in Society through Civic Engagement"

For German and French it was an occasion to discover the country they didn't really know before and had stereotypes of, and for Russians - to show how it is in reality.

For the first five days, participants of the project stayed together at the YMCA Dacha (Nekrasovskoe town, Yaroslavl region), where they could not just have an experience of Russian cuisine, see beautiful landscapes, enjoy special atmosphere of Russian Dacha, but also discuss different topics of civic engagement and their experience of being volunteers of YMCA.

Young people shared their opinions on such questions as what it means to be a volunteer, what I like and what I do not, what challenges we face to, what spheres are covered by volunteers in our countries.

Also, it is important to mention, linguistic activities were organized every day, what allowed participants to learn different words, phrases and sentences in three languages and what helped to participants to get to know countries and their cultures even better.

On the 26th of November young people left the Dacha and went to Ivanovo, also known as "the Red Manchester" or "City of brides" with one stop in beautiful town of Plyos. Next day was dedicated to exploring Ivanovo, sightseeing, visiting textile museum, center of technical art "Novation", and getting to know few more YMCA Ivanovo volunteers.


On the 28th of November, young people all together went to Moscow. The road to the capital of Russia goes through another beautiful and historically important town - Suzdal. There participants had a chance to visit one of the oldest monasteries, which is included into the list of UNESCO world heritage, to listen to singing of two monks, to watch the ceremony of ringing the bells. The rest of the trip was spent in Moscow, exploring it and getting to know more of history of Russia.

This was an unforgettable experience. It was the occasion for us, French and German, to debunk most of our visions and/or stereotypes on Russia. This is the kind of enriching experience that we can get. Thanks to YMCA! We are looking forward for the next project between France, Germane and Russia in April 2018 in France".






Author/Source: Cédric Graser, International project Manager - YMCA France