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


8th May 2017

More than 100 delegates from all European regions and beyond met in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK from April 27th until the 30th.

Under the title "Unity", YMCA Europe´s General Assembly 2017 focused on the first year of the implementation of its Strategy 2016-2020. The participants were exposed to 15 different examples of programs and best practices through panels, presentations and group work sessions in the frame of our three strategic pillars : "Creating Spaces", "Movement Strengthening" and "Representation & Advocacy".

Plenary sessions included reporting about the developments of the past year, updates about the Operational Plan for 2017 and governance issues in the frame of YMCA Europe´s Constitution. Over 30 reports from YMCA Europe´s working platforms and National Movements had been previously shared with all delegates as part of the working documents for this annual governance meeting. Guests from World YMCA (President Peter Posner), YMCA of the USA (Kent Johnson and Tom Valentine), YMCA Canada (Mary Beck and Mary Anne Roche), Y´s Men (Paul Thompson) provided valuable inputs with a focus on the cooperation with YMCA Europe and a Movement Strengthening approach. The inspiration and warm hospitality came from YMCA Scotland, our hosts this year at the GA. The play "Soul in the Machine" brought us back to 1844 and the life of George Williams, founder of the YMCA in London. The welcome and cultural evenings organized by YMCA Scotland connected all participants with traditions, music and atmosphere truly unforgettable. YMCA Scotland´s Chair Jamie Lockhart, President John Naylor, National General Secretary Kerry Reilly, volunteers and staff were thanked for hosting a very special GA in Edinburgh.

YMCA Europe´s President Mike Will chaired his first GA combining the governance agenda with very clear messages based on the mission of the YMCA, our call for unity across Europe and the leadership role within our communities of everyone involved in our movement in different levels with a focus on youth.

Secretary General Juan Simoes Iglesias reported about the year behind and shared about the main highlights included in the Operational Plan for this year. Beate Turck, Treasurer delivered her first report ending with an input about the 2018 budget before it was approved. Vice President Stepan Cerny led a panel on Movement Strengthening with best practices in this field. An update about the 2019 Event was presented by members of the Steering Group and soon further information about this pan European and global initiative will be shared.

Thank you YMCA Scotland, thank you to all delegates, thank you to our member YMCAs for a successful General Assembly! Looking forward to our next GA in Hintersee, Germany (May 10th - 13th 2018)

Full photo album

 General Assembly 2017