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


1st June 2021

May has come, spring has arrived and as we return to normal life, a lot gets done in Brussels. Many new EU programmes are launched a lot information has been gathered for you! Discover all about it in our Brussels newsletter!

The month of May brough a bustle of activities in Brussels. Many meetings are held as activities slowly get back to normal after the pandemic, and a lot of information is shared on new funding programmes, with a set of new rules and conditions to learn about.

The Brussels Office was in the middle of it, making sure to gather intelligence that can be shared to our members very soon.


European Solidarity Corps Info Day


The Brussels Office participated on May 4th to the European Solidarity Corps Info Day.

The Info Day was the opportunity to explain the technical details and features of the new programme, to learn how to apply and how to integrate international volunteering into the work of a youth NGO.

Many opportunities are available, but it is necessary to get a Quality Label first. Find out how here and for any questions feel free to contact the Brussels office at Ilenia[at}ymcaeurope.come.


'Road to Porto: Delivering Social Rights for Young People'


On May 6th the Brussels Office participated to the event organised by CESI Youth (European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions) to bring youth organisations to common positions ahead of the Porto Social Summit of the European Union, dedicated among other things to discussing the Action Plan stemming form the Pillar of Social Rights.

The Action Plan is still far from covering the needs of young people, especially considering the first fallout from the CoVid 19 crisis. The event brought together the European Commission, the European Youth Forum and its members, and members of the European Parliament, to bring youth at the center of the upcoming Social Summit.


Training webinars new YPG members


In May The YMCA Europe Youth Policy Group welcomed two new members! Adele Tondu and Claire Igersen.

Adele has been a Youth Ambassador and member of the Advisory Group for YMCA England and Wales, an active addition to the ‘Young and Black’ report and also winning the YMCA England and Wales 2019 Young Campaigner Award.

Claire is a Fine Art graduate from Staffordshire University and a youth worker for nearly 4 years for YMCA North Staffordshire.

Together they will join the current group and participate in all activities as YMCA Europe policy drafters and representatives.


Policy and Advocacy Meeting World YMCA

The Brussels Office participated on Monday the 10th of May to the meeting organised by the World Alliance of YMCA to coordinate Advocacy efforts among all the areas of the world.

The meeting was crucial to put us in the loop of all campaigns and themes the WAY works upon at a global level, to be able to support it in all its actions.


Workshops safeguarding civic spaces


The European Youth Forum organised on May 18, 2021 an Online Workshop on Safeguarding Youth Civic Space.

The purpose of the meeting was to build the capacity of the Member Organisations (MOs), by sharing how they have been affected by this phenomenon and to brainstorm ideas on how the Youth Forum and its MOs can contribute to safeguarding (youth) civic space.

YMCA Europe has been represented at this workshop by Eliza Vas, from the Youth Policy Group. Eliza presented the YMCA Europe's input on the topic and gave examples on how different member organisations were affected by restrictive policies or undemocratic actions.Learn more about the meeting and Eliza`s contribution.


Refugee Expert Group meeting on questionnaire for training needs

On the 18th of May the Brussels Office cooperated with the Working Group on Migrants and Refugees to draw conclusions from the questionnaire delivered by YMCA Europe to our members who work with migrants and refugees.

The questionnaire aimed at understanding what training YMCA staff and volunteers working with refugees and migrants get, and wat would they need to better deliver their services.

These results will also inform future projects stemming from the work of the Group.


CERV Info day


On May 26th the Brussels Office attended the Info Day relative to the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV).

This programme is dedicated to promoting equality and to fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination, and its goals and vision align quite a lot with YMCA Europe’s action.

The programme launches its first call for proposals this year, with a first deadline on the 25th of June, and a budget of EUR 9 900 00.


Erasmus Coalition Meeting


The YMCA Europe Brussels Office participated to the Erasmus Coalition Meeting organised on May 28 by the European Youth Forum and the Lifelong Learning Platform.

The meeting took stock of the last four years of joint advocacy towards the Erasmus programme and the European Solidarity Corps programme. The programmes are in its launching phase, thus the Coalition is now organising common feedback to give the European Commission on the implementation of the calls.

If you have started using the Erasmus + programme or the European Solidarity Corps programme and you have questions or feedback, please contact the Office at Ilenia[at]ymcaeurope.com for more information.


Info Day Capacity Building in the Field of Youth


The European Commission organised another Info Day, on May 27th, related to the new Key Action 2 centralised Call of the Erasmus + programme dedicated to capacity Building in the field of Youth.

The call covers cooperation projects between European youth NGOs and NGos in the Balkans and North Mediterranean, and is dedicated to funding the sharing of best practices or innovation projects building the capacity of youth NGOs in these regions. The first call for proposals will be closed on July 1st.


YMCA Leadership Academy 3rd session on advocacy


The Brussels Office was one of the leads in the first part of the third session of the YMCA Europe Leadership Academy, dedicated to Advocacy and Campaigning.

The group was introduced to the main elements of shaping a campaign, looking at target groups, narratives, campaigning tools and language. The group was then engaged into a couple of exercises and simulations to try their and at campaigning on some crucial themes. The Brussels Office will support again the Leadership Academy in the next session on Advocacy and Policy papers.

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