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


2nd December 2016

November 25 – 28, 2016: representatives of 15 member, cooperating and partner organisations of YMCA Europe came together in the Training Centre Litomysl to give a final touch to the preparations of the new round of Roots for Reconciliation Peace Work Institute.

Majority of the event participants were the alumni of the previous phase Peace Work Institute. It's remarkable that their majority has had significant professional or volunteer career growth in their organisations, now representing them as general secretaries or board chairpersons, or promoted to serve in YMCA international structures. Moreover, now we have a town mayor and a parliament member amongst. Yet it is especially encouraging to observe that all of them remain committed Rooters - a definite evidence of the programme's impact in social relevance, youth empowerment and movement strengthening.

Following-up and best using this capacity, leveraging it with recruitment process of the new Peace Work Institute cohort was the overall aim of the session in Litomysl. And it did produce all the planned outcomes and outputs, namely:

  • The participants' profile and selection criteria were thoroughly discussed and agreed, followed by launching the call for applications now available online HERE;
  • The participants' mentorship system was elaborated, with securing personal commitment of Peace Work Institute alumni to stay involved in the process as mentors of the next generation.
  • The Peace Work Institute Tandem Grant Tool component (to be ongoing in 2018) was conceptualised, with accent on the backstopping of sending movements' to their participants.
  • The session was also used as a key focus group platform for drafting the YMCA Europe policy paper on 'Peace and Justice, with connecting it to the Roots for Reconciliation reflecting on peace practices process.

The Peace Work Institute Planning Team: Vardan Hambardzumyan, Rezi Shavladze, Rachel Dyne, Ivana Ilic, Christina Kyriakou, Marius Pop

The Peace Work Institute Planning Team: Vardan Hambardzumyan, Rezi Shavladze, Rachel Dyne, Ivana Ilic, Christina Kyriakou, Marius Pop

Prior to the sessions (November 24) the Peace Work Institute Planning Team held it preparatory meeting to fine-tune the outline of this session, was well as to start the planning of the consequent Peace Work Institute session, scheduled in 2017:

  • April 3 - 9 in Tbilisi, Georgia
  • November 12 - 18 in Berlin, Germany

We do believe that the new phase of the Peace Work Institute will become a crucial step in achieving the objectives set by the YMCA Europe Strategy 2020.

Special thanks to Bread for the World Germany for the core funding of this large-scale initiative.

Author/Source: Vardan Hambardzumyan – YMCA Europe Executive Secretary / Roots for Reconciliation project coordinator.

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