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

Volunteers for Europe Seminar

28th March 2010

Friends, in case you have 3 extra minutes time, here is a small sample from the contact making seminar organized by Volunteers for Europe...

Volunteers for Europe Seminar

Ivan and I attended a contact making seminar by Volunteers for Europe. This is a network of YMCAs, which are working with volunteers and are full energy with the idea of volunteering... Network, network. Since I am on Facebook, the word is starting to lose its strength, "social network".

During this seminar I started to understand what does it mean to be a part of the "network" of YMCA Europe. It means that there are neither 15 local YMCAs like in Slovakia, nor 40 (like Slovakia and Czech Republic together), but many many more (here I have to admit I don't know the exact number .... However, these are not just abstract organizations... these are people... like we are. That means that when we meet together, we enjoy it... just like when we meet at the Slovak YMCA weekend or teambuilding. It's always really nice to get to know people, who care for the same thing as we do.

For example :) ...because all the time I write about "network", "organization", "belong to YMCA"...still, what was important for me, were the actual people - Mark that works in YMCA Bandon in Ireland in the information center and sends to young people text messages with important information. He also wants to start a youth journal in his county. And when we played charades, he was able to show the word "ambition" in less than 2 minutes.

Or Rod - he works in YMCA Greenhill, he loves his volunteers (if he should chose between having paid staff or volunteers working in his YMCA, he would go for volunteers, because they bring a lot of enthusiasm and energy to everything they are doing for Greenhill YMCA) and there is something like... goodness shining from him... I would say. One of his friends founded a children village in Uganda, Afrika and Rod goes to help him, so he comes to Afrika as volunteer himself. And thanks to his enthusiasm maybe we will be able to help a bit this beautiful project. Besides, Rod managed to guess, when playing charades, the word "ambition" that Mark was showing! :)

Or Maruska... or Mirek.., Birgir, Sibylle, Stefan, Csaba.. There were so many amazing people, that I am still a bit dizzy from the meeting. Imagine the feeling when there are 22 people, meeting at one place and each one of them cares about changing the world around him at least a little bit! Each one of them... It was amazing. And we have the luck to belong to the alliance that connects people like this within the whole Europe... even the whole world. And together we can have such a big impact.

I wish you good luck my friends.. because you also belong to the net of people, who would like to create a better world around them. I am grateful I am in it with you...

YMCA Slovakia