Posted by: thebluemusicblog | March 8, 2012

Spring and Hope and Future!

It has been a fantastic winter! Geneva has been wonderfully cold, we had snow, and skiing was fine. Let me share some images from a winter weekend in Lillehammer, Norway, a few weeks ago. Taken with my I-phone the resolution is not as good as from my ordinary camera, but hopefully it still gives you the brilliant, crisp winter atmosphere, close to 20 degrees minus.

It was a fabulous winter from a work point of view. We have worked intensively on conceptualizing our YMCA focus on young people, and it has resulted in the Youth Empowerment in Action paper, that I shared with you in my last two blog posts. It really is a team achievement, first by the staff team in Geneva, popularly called the Dream Team, then in intense consultation with the Global Staff Team, the leaders of the Area Organisations around the globe. Now we are preparing to send it out to all the participants in the Stakeholders meeting and Executive Committee meeting in Nairobi Kenya, starting at the end of this month and going into Easter. Easter in Geneva means spring. In Kenya it means summer. Winter behind bars!

The excitement is high. We feel that we have found an excellent concept, a unifying message for this great world movement, a message to rally around, a message to lift up and share with the rest of the world. The YMCA is ambitious today, really ambitious. We want to walk in the footsteps of our predecessors, the great leaders of the YMCA before us. Every new generation of YMCA leaders have tried their best to change and renew the vision of the YMCA so that the YMCA is positioned to serve new generations, new times, new challenges in a modern and relevant way. We want to leave the prison of traditional perspectives and win the freedom of  new and creative ways, NEW WAYS!

This is our attempt now. Our attempt to invite the movement to walk to new heights and see new horizons and reach out for very ambitious goals. YMCA empowers young people. YMCA is a Space where Young people will find themselves and their values and their potential and their self esteem. A place of freedom and wide horizons. This YMCA Space, as it is materializing in all communities where the YMCA is present, and mind you, this Space is already there, has been for a long time, we only need to see that it is the same Space all around the world and we need to coordinate and facilitate for this impressive image to be seen by the world, a Space of freedom for young people all around the globe. This Space gives all the tools and training and resources needed for a young person to be transformed and grow. From this Space the young people will go united into the world and have an impact, become change agents, handle and tackle the challenges of the world and contribute positively to the solution of the old problems.

This is a revolutionary message. This is to take young people seriously, to cooperate with them on their own conditions. The majority of young people in this world feel that they are Subjects, not Citizens. Most of them feel entrapped, imprisoned, in situations where there is very little hope and almost no future perspectives. We are facing a generation of unemployed young people, a generation of young people loosing their hopes. This is not only dangerous. It is seriously unfair and unjust. Young people without a future is a horrific formulation. YMCA wants to change this radically. YMCA wants to see the fingerprints of young people everywhere, strong, colorful, creative and full of future energy!

YMCA worldwide can take the leadership of the youth agenda in the world by being the Space of Freedom, the Space of Transformation, the Space of Impact and Change. We call it our Theory of Change. The YMCA Theory of Change.

Read it again, please, and join us in our YMCA fight for the rights of young people to have hope and future.

We are a Christian, Ecumenical movement focused on Empowering Youth. Our value base forces us, inspires us, drives us to change and become the Space for young people to become empowered and find freedom. Sailing wind. Spring, summer and hopes for a colorful future.


  1. We believe with you and will act for that.

    • Excellent response! We need the whole world movement to join in this new energy. I believe it will happen. It has already started.

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