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

It’s mY story - Roots for Reconciliation Programme Festival

10th September 2012

August 23 – 29, in Shushi (Nagorno Karabagh) the first programme festival – ProFest - was held within the YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation project. ‘It’s mY story’ was the motto of this ProFest with an overall aim to promote stronger youth activism towards peaceful transformation of conflicts in Europe, the region of South Caucasus especially considered.

RfR ProFest - group photo

You can find more about the event and its impact on the participants visiting the YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation Facebook page.

Yet here we would like to post one of the testimonials.

It was the year 2007 when I first traveled to Nagorno Karabakh, but the memories of very long, tiring journey are still vivid, just like are the feelings I had on the way there – going to the unknown place that is linked with so many turbulent news, rumors and stereotypes...

We arrived and at the first glance the place itself lived up to my expectations – the traces of the war were still visible and the rainy weather added up to the somewhat sad environment, but there was one thing that impressed from the very start of my acquaintance with Karabakh and still continues to have big impact on me – the people of there! This year it was my fourth visit to Karabakh and I just cannot help admiring the commitment, motivation and positive attitude of young people from YMCA Arstsakh (that’s how locals call their homeland)... Their desire to move forward, to learn and to create...

RfR ProFest 2012 - visit to the parliament

This time they were hosts of 55 young people representing YMCA movements of Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Karabakh itself, along with YMCA Europe multinational team of facilitators... The event was organized within the frameworks of YMCA Europe “Roots for Reconciliation” project that is going through the second stage of implementation and during 2012 – 2015 period will involve in various activities the young people ranging from South Caucasus to Balkans; Turkey to Russia... Promoting peace and dialogue among those whose countries were and still are in conflict with one another, with particular focus on focusing and involving young people.

It’s mY Story... everyone has a story... but we all need someone to tell it... And that’s what we want this project to be about – to let young people tell and share their stories, their life stories, their Y stories...

RfR ProFest 2012 - Rezi

During this one week in old town of Shushi, there were many stories born and told; stories of friendship, personal growth, professional skills and human relationships...

This particular one is one of them...

Revaz Shavladze

Author/Source: Revaz Shavladze, YMCA Europe RfR Project Assistant