Posted by: thebluemusicblog | October 11, 2012


It has been a long standing goal for me to establish strong working relations with key partners involved in serious engagement for young people. But I have told my staff that we are not going to talk to ILO, The International Labour Organisation,  WHO, The World Health Organisation or the UN before we have real issues to discuss with them. First we needed to research our strengths and impact to get a clear overview of what we are doing around the world. This is in progress now, and two days ago we had a very constructive lunch meeting at the John R. Mott House with representatives from ILO to discuss Youth Empowerment, the crisis of youth unemployment and our 1 Million Voices Research project. The meeting went really well and we have plans for meetings on different levels of the organisations to continue to explore collaboration opportunities between ILO and YMCA. In the summer Romulo and our new Intern Samuel participated in the youth conference of ILO and this greatly helped establishing this high level contacts.

Young people meet all kinds of limitations and stop signs!

Early in our NEW WAY process we engaged in ICMYO, the global collaboration forum for youth organisations and that led to the famous speech of Romulo at the United Nations General Assembly last year. Last week we had a conference call with high level representatives for UN from different departments and working fields, but all of them involved in the process of reformulating the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. On our side of the table were our consultant, Bob Tobin, Selma, responsible for our research projects, Romulo, Samuel and myself. We got excellent feedback from UN and they underlined what we already knew, that research in this scale on this age group is almost never done, and this is an age group strongly underrepresented in similar  research projects. We are in a process together with UN to identify possible resources to support this very ambitious research project.

Sometimes it is difficult to understand why these signs are needed?

We are flying high! But we are also flying with our sisters in YWCA. Yesterday I was invited to speak to the world executive committee of YWCA on governance issues and common agendas. It was a very constructive conversation, and we agreed that we need to meet more often, maybe first of all to plan for a coming together of Officers and executive committee members from both organisations. As an aperitiff, I invited the staff of YWCA for a pre Christmas lunch at the John R. Mott House early December. Our building has been renovated and upgraded quite a lot the last months and we are eager to show it off to our friends!

We are shooting hoops all over the world! We are celebrating that we are the champions of basket ball, the inventors of basket ball.  We are supported officially by UNICEF and by FIBA, the International Basket Ball Federation. Again we are flying high!

This is an excellent idea that was given to us by our good friends in the Central YMCA in London, the founding YMCA association from 1844 and our friends from English YMCA. On Saturday it will be realized in more than 80 countries world wide, starting in New Zealand in the morning and ending on Hawai late night. We are inviting local YMCAs to present themselves to their local communities and use this event as a door opener and image creator locally and nationally, and we will count all people shooting hoops and trying to set a new world record! It is exciting and we have tons of enthusiastic feedback from National YMCAs and local leaders from all corners of the world.

 Feeling small? No need for that as long as you fly with us!

We are flying high and shooting hoops. All to fix our focus on young people of the world of 2012, focus on all their strengths and energy and all the gifts they have to share.

The hope of today is inside the energy of young people. The future we will deal with later.

Go and shoot hoops! Fly high with the YMCA!


  1. Our local YMCA/YWCA will also take part in the Basketball Challenge. Read more (in German only;-)):
    Newspaper article:
    On our own website:
    Very welcome in Uster/Canton Zürich/Switzerland;-)

  2. In Japan, more 15 YMCAs will join the World Challenge!
    Details are on our facebook page:
    Thank you!

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