Posted by: thebluemusicblog | April 11, 2012


Easter Sunday was celebrated in the local church in Samanga outside Moshi in Tanzania. The gospel of the risen Christ was proclaimed in Swahili, the singing  from the congregation lifted the roof and the cool breeze filled the church and made the hymns fly around for a while. These young boys followed the service in silence for more than two hours!

After the service we auctioned three hen, a cock and a goat and three sugar canes, all for the good of the church and its work in Samanga.

The goat waited in excitement to find out who would be the new owner!

And the sugar cane was bought by Tanzania YMCA and given to some youth in the congregation.


We are back in Nairobi, Kenya, where Karen Blixen had her coffee farm and where the famous movie with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, Out of Africa, was filmed in 1985.

The days before Easter  we had invited to a Stakeholders’ meeting in Kenya. We do that only when we come to really important road crossings and we need to ask the wider leadership of the YMCA for advise and direction. More than 80 YMCA leaders from around the globe came together in Nairobi to talk about NEW WAY and Youth Empowerment. Included in this number were the 30 members of the Executive Committee of the World Alliance of YMCAs.

We started slowly by going back in history and looking at milestones from recent years of development, the Stakeholders’ meeting in 2008 in Geneva where Resource Mobilization was discussed, the World Council in Hong Kong with a strong focus on young people. And the need for a higher visibility in the world.

We moved to a presentation of the results from a new research done by the World Alliance. One of the questions was: What do you understand by Youth Empowerment in the YMCA?

Then a presentation of the new vision Youth Empowerment in Action with the Change Model in  three phases: 1. Space, 2. Transformation, 3. Impact.

After that we discussed in smaller groups for a long time. What did our YMCA Mission tell us about young people and the future focus?

We went into details of a possible Implementation Plan, we talked about the need for 200 young Change Agents to help us implement our vision on our way to the next World Council in Estes Park in 2014.

Enthusiasm started to grow, voices sounded louder, clearer, smiles on many faces. We discussed resourcing of the vision, how to find the money needed to train 200 young people to be Change Agents for Youth Empowerment in Action?

Next day we worked in groups with people from our own Area to discuss how we could implement this vision in our local situations, how we would adjust the vision to our own realities in the different parts of the world. Mid day we were ready to test our common understanding of the vision. We all raised our hands in support of the focus for the world movement, for all of us, YMCA Empowering Young People. It was unanimous! 80 arms raised in support of NEW WAY and Youth Empowerment.

Handshakes, applaud, congratulations. This is unifying our movement!

In the afternoon we went to a local YMCA in Nairobi to experience Youth Empowerment in Africa, Subjects to Citizens, S2C.

The Stakeholders meeting in Kenya became a resounding success, excellently organised by Kenya YMCA and Africa Alliance of YMCAs.

Thank you to all the Stakeholders for joining us at a historical junction!  The Nairobi Agreement will join the Kampala Principles in our YMCA history as one of the most crucial statements ever.


  1. We look forward to read the next: Out of Africa 2

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