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


17th April 2019

We live in a beautiful world with myriad of cultures, traditions, smell and colors – each and every one of them complementing the mosaic of life that we cherish and share...

And yet, there are some places that leave a deeper mark... And if there can ever be a list of them, I firmly believe that Toledo should be a part of it. The picturesque small town in the heartland of Spain has long been the meeting point of various cultures and ethnicities, a place welcoming for all to meet, create and thrive.

So it comes as no surprise when around 40 participants from 17 different European countries assembled in the medieval castle of San Servando (Now youth hostel run by the regional government of Castilla La Mancha) within YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation Peace Work Institute Alumni Reunion. From Portugal to Azerbaijan, from Armenia to Northern Ireland – stretching the continent from all sides they came together – to celebrate their common journey of Peace... 2012 – 2019 was the official timeframe, but this journey has no end once you embark on it...

Workshops run by recognized experts in Do No Harm Methodology; Legendary YMCA Figure – Pip Wilson keeping the energy level always high; Reports and accounts of projects done in the past together; Actions and campaigns to be undertaken in the future – all these were the highlights and duly appreciated, but if to sum it all up in one sentence:

“When you're lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime --
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight --
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight”.

Rarely had I heard something more powerful than these words... And I heard them in Toledo!


Check out the photo album in high definition. Click on the picture below to open.

Peace Work Institute Reunion, Toledo | Spain 2019

Author/Source: Revaz Shavladze, YMCA Europe

donate now