Posted by: thebluemusicblog | February 26, 2014

NGS MEANS NATIONAL GENERAL SECRETARIES

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A VERY HEALTHY BREAD – LEARN HOW TO BAKE IT FROM THE YMCA COOK BOOK!

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THIS IS ONE ILLUSTRATION FROM THE NEW YMCA COOK BOOK WITH RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD – BUY IT AT WORLD COUNCIL!

Why do I put a bread and a delicious dinner dish up front here? Because the World YMCA will sell a fantastic cook book called “YMCA LOVES FOOD” where a lot of internationally known YMCA leaders will share their recipes. And there is even more to it. A number of the best YMCA hostels and hotels from around the world will present themselves with all booking details on one page each and on the next page a famous recipe from their restaurant. This very beautiful and very practical and useful book will be sold by the World YMCA at the World Council this summer, and all the income will support great development projects in the world wide YMCA. Ingunn, Jose and Helen are the three names behind this great idea, and the book is about to be printed in India these days. This is the ultimate Christmas gift and general YMCA gift this year. Buy it and support the YMCA!

IMG_2529FIRST HALF OF THE GLOBAL STAFF TEAM

The Global Staff Team consists of 4 Area Secretaries from Africa, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, plus one representative from each of the following; the Middle East Committee, USA and Canada. The Secretary General of the World YMCA leads the GST and has the privilege to invite any person he thinks can support or inform the agenda at any given time. This is described in the Governance Policy Agreement signed in 2002.

IMG_2530SECOND HALF OF THE GLOBAL STAFF TEAM

This time the GST met in Kassel, Germany, and the most important agenda items were the preparation for World Council, the OUR WAY strategy proposal 2014-18 and generally the Youth Empowerment Agenda including the Change Agents. We had a very good meeting for three days.

IMG_2568HERKULES MONUMENT IN THE HILLS ABOVE KASSEL

After that meeting was done, I had three hours to myself, which I used to exercise my body to walk uphill to the top of the famous Herkules Monument above Kassel, at Kassel- Wilhelmshöhe. It is built from 1706  onwards and is a crazy mix of gothic stone constructions and film-noir scary dark caves and stairs exposing one surprising marble statue after the other. To walk here a late afternoon or even in the evening, can scare the most courageous. In my young days I lived for a year in Germany and was co-leading a YMCA project consisting of 50 young Norwegian YMCA Ten Sing people. We were traveling up and down the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, West.Germany in those days, 1986-87, and gave as many as 50    evening concerts and weekend seminars  in one year to start up Ten Sing as a programme in the German YMCA. It was pretty successful, and at the final concert in an Ice hockey stadium in Frankfurt we had an audience of 10 000. And the Ten Sing is growing and flourishing in Germany today. Wonderful.  In those days I was jogging up and down the stairs to Herkules, so this walk was a real sentimental journey, bringing me back to some very happy memories from Kassel and Germany.

IMG_2576ONE OF THE MANY SCULPTURES INCORPORATED IN THE STONE WALL

This guy did not talk to me when I jogged past him back in 1986. Neither did he talk to me now. His animal is as scaring today as it was then!

IMG_2581SOME OF THE NATIONAL GENERAL SECRETARIES

Then on Monday last week we went in to the meeting of the National General Secretaries. we were 45 participants from all continents and it was a very motivated and positive group of key YMCA leaders. Together with this group the World YMCA can make a success of our strategy. Without these key leaders, we can not make any success of anything. This realization has made annual meeting of NGSs possible and wished for. It started last year with a meeting at Dunford House in England where YMCA England gave a weeks meeting for free. This time YMCA Germany did the same, and next year in February 2015 YMCA India will do the same. The first full day, on Tuesday, was devoted to the journey “From Hong Kong to Kassel” Many of the NGSs told us about their own experiences in those three years with the big vision about Youth Empowerment and Change Agents and One Million Voices Research. It was inspiring!  And in the afternoon we went into smaller groups to prepare very funny and engaging TV adverts to present the vision of Youth Empowerment for the outside world.

IMG_2584JOHN VARUGHESE FROM INDIA

John from India gave us an inspiring story about how YMCA India has scaled up the Change Agent programme, so that they have recruited and are training 500 local Change Agents to work together with the 4 Global Change Agents!


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CHRISTIAN KAMARA FROM SIERRA LEONE

Christian told us about the implementation of One Million Voices in Sierra Leone and how this huge youth research will impact his work in YMCA Sierra Leone.

IMG_2591ANDRE BATARSEH FROM EAST JERUSALEM

Andre talked about the plans for the impact of the research and how East Jerusalem YMCA plan to benefit from the improved strategic positioning of the National YMCAs because of this research and the report to follow. East Jerusalem was the first YMCA to organise their own national training in implementing the research, using the new instruction video produced here in our office.

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COFFEE BREAK IN THE GERMAN YMCA GUEST HOUSE

IMG_2592DENISE HATTON FROM ENGLAND

Keynote: Bringing the Movement Together through Meaningful Processes – YMCA England. Denise gave us a fascinating key note on the different processes used over the last few years to build the movement, to focus the movement, to brand the movement in England. It was enormously fruitful for all of us, and she ended talking about the emotional intelligence needed to understand the different reactions to change and opposition to different processes. Lots of stuff to learn!

IMG_2605TOM AND SAMUEL HAVE ENDED UP IN A SAD SITUATION, BUT THE YMCA IS ALWAYS READY TO HELP, HERE REPRESENTED BY NORBERTO FROM ARGENTINA AND KOHEI FROM JAPAN AND APAY

This very dramatic situation was played out for us with such engagement and artistic brilliance that an Oscar would be a modest recognition of such an artistic performance. It had such a profound impact that not an eye was dry afterwards.

IMG_2606INTENSE CONCENTRATION IN THE AUDIENCE AS THE DRAMA IS DEVELOPING IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES

Just observe here how intense the attention is from all in the audience. This human drama can have any conclusion, and we were not sure that the YMCA would be capable of solving this problem.

IMG_2608AN APPEAL FROM SOUTH KOREA

The second chapter of the drama included some high level political analysis and appeals, where the problems were seen in context with the UN Millennium Development Goals and the famous OUR WAY Strategy.

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MORE SAD SITUATIONS, HERE A CARRIBEAN VICTIM ASSISTED BY JAPAN YMCA

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GLOBAL COVERAGE OF PALESTINE, SPAIN, UK AND CANADA

This group went away from the social tragedies as well as political analysis and went straight into the world of sports and especially the YMCA invented sports. For the audience this was quite a relief. The suspension after the intense social dramas needed to be released, and this sports reportage did the trick!

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AFRICAN DEVOTION IN A GERMAN CHAPPEL

IMG_2641GERMAN YMCA PRESIDENT, KARL-HEINZ STENGEL

In the background you see half of the German National Secretary, Werner Roland, as he is translating his Board Chair in the deep forests of the German UHRWALD, where we met for a very nice dinner in the evening. Speeches and good food and drinks were mixed to a very pleasant evening experience and below you can study the relaxed enjoyment in some details.

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GERMAN DINNER IN THE DEEP FOREST WITH MIXED JAPANESE/AMERICAN ENJOYMENT!

IMG_2638RON LIKE A SITTING JJ FROM AUSTRALIA AS ROMULO LOOKS IN DESPERATION TO SEE IF THERE IS MORE FOOD

IMG_2662CONCERT IN A NEARBY CHUCH, ALSO A NICE GIFT FROM OUR GERMAN HOSTS

IMG_2673A  SELFIE OF A HORRIBLY LONG LINE WAITING FOR SERVICE AT A CLOSED AIRPORT IN FRANKFURT

For most of  us the departure from Kassel/Frankfurt was a testing experience, where our patience and general peace of mind were severely tested. The Security Control was on strike, and police were closing all gates to departure. For those of us flying with airlines being represented by Lufthansa, we shared the line with half of Germany and it took me from 10.00 in the morning till 18.00 in the afternoon to reach the counter. When I reached it, Lufthansa gave me a voucher for taxi, a nice dinner, a good hotel bed, another voucher for breakfast and taxi back to the airport and a new ticket for next morning. Danke schön und auf wiedersehen! Good service after all. (My local airline, when I called them, punished me by telling me that I should have got past the police control somehow, and since I was such a weak person without any personal initiative or civil courage, I would have to cover all cost myself related to rebooking. Looser!)

1922000_792881124075226_1203708538_nTHE WHOLE GROUP OF NATIONAL GENERAL  SECRETARIES – A GREAT GROUP OF YMCA LEADERS

It was a fantastic meeting and we are all looking forward to meet again for two days after the World Council in Estes Park. (We have now close to 1100 registered participants for the World Council already. If you want a place in Estes Park from June 29, HURRY UP AND REGISTER TODAY!)  Next year, February 16-20, 2015  all National General Secretaries will meet in India. Welcome to the Future!

AND THANK YOU YMCA GERMANY!

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