Posted by: thebluemusicblog | January 18, 2012


Last year I shared with you my first day message from Geneva – hopes, dreams, visions on the first day on the job. I introduced to you the vision of a NEW WAY.

Today I want to send you a message again. This is a message about progress that we have jointly made in 2011 as a world movement, a kind of “State of the YMCA” update. It is also a message about future visions and priorities, a new change model for youth empowerment.I will come back to the future visions in my next blogpost.


YMCA Empowers Young People! This is the exciting focus in our NEW WAY Strategy. We want to take the position as the leading youth movement in the world. Romulo’s speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, speaking on behalf of the youth organisations of the world, underlined this ambition with a great success in New York in July. Later on we have been invited two times to participate in high level evaluations of the UN Youth Programmes. The task force for Youth Empowerment is working, extensive research into youth issues is being undertaken, the World Challenge October 13, 2012 is being developed. We will mobilize big numbers of young people.


The NEW WAY fundraising campaign to raise money for capacity building in the Areas and National Movements for better income generation on all levels of the YMCA is already a resounding success! Through 2011 NEW WAY raised US $ 1’002’200. We invested US $ 188’200 in Area projects and they raised US 1’027’604. This gives us a Return on Investment (ROI) of 5,46!


We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the World Urban Network and with Y’sMen International and the same is being created with the North America YMCA Development Organization, (NAYDO). They are all helping us to set up a scheme for coaching, training and evaluation of the Area projects for fundraising. We are setting up Think Tanks for Youth Empowerment, Resource Mobilization, Social Enterprise Projects, Global Citizenship, Environment and for the YMCA Student programme. This is just the beginning of the HUB-model, of having experienced resource people from around the global YMCA movement coming to assist NEW WAY for shorter and longer periods of times. “Professionals in Residence” is another programme we are initiating. The Global Staff Team is our closest partner and we thank all of you warmly for your partnership!


We conducted high quality research to further our efforts to define the YMCA youth empowerment change model, understand the impact of the work on the local, regional, national, and global level, and identify the challenges facing young people today. The research has gathered specific information on the critical areas of jobs/employment, health, and civic engagement and includes survey data from National Movements and targeted interviews with leaders in each of these fields of our work. The research also includes issue papers focused on the contemporary challenges facing young people today written by leaders from each region. We are expanding the scope of research in the months to come and a comprehensive report will be presented to the Executive Committee in Kenya in April.


A “Road Map” for the task force on Image and Impact is developed, a report on the Partners in Progress research, called “Our WAY Forward”, is produced, two issues of the “YMCA World” delivered, Annual Report, Peace day poster and Weak of Prayer leaflet developed, the website totally modernized and updated, use of Social Media increased both on Face Book, Twitter and Blog. Together with Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs we published a resource book on Global Citizenship. Papers have been issued on GOP III for Movement Strengthening, on Movement Dialogue on Global Citizenship as well as a WAY Capability Statement.


Under the leadership of our President, Ken Colloton, we see a continued renewal of our governance models and practices, very much building upon the good results reached by our previous volunteer leadership. Our Christian mission and Youth issues are both integrated in all that we are doing as an Executive Committee and leading to increased mission awareness and real youth influence. We have a new policy on Conduct and Ethics, and we have clear procedures for evaluation of both the Executive Committee and the Secretary General. We are in full process of preparing for the next World Council.
In my next blogpost I will outline a few of the main directions into the near future, like these beautiful ski slopes somewhere in the Swiss Alps!

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