“EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE”
It is a fantastic feeling – after years of preparations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean the 18th World Council of the World YMCA is ready to kick off in Estes Park, YMCA of the Rockies. We are about to welcome 1250 enthusiastic participants from almost 100 countries on all continents. 200 Change Agents from 63 countries will help us to lead and facilitate for a World Council focused on young people and Youth Empowerment.
Estes Park is showing itself in all its majestic splendor and beauty, surrounded by the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and eagerly watched by thousands of elks and a dozen brown bears. The bears are in the background, but they are there, eager to hear speeches and singing and laughter and discussions in all the languages of the world.
The staff of YMCA of the Rockies and of YMCA of the USA are eagerly putting up banners and welcome posters and we have volunteers at Denver International Airport to greet the arriving participants and up in the mountains, on the other side of a two hours bus ride, the staff of the World YMCA are waiting to register and organize all the oncoming YMCA leaders.
The programme starts Sunday the 29th of June with a splendid Opening Ceremony and the speech of the President, Ken Colloton. There will be welcoming words from the leadership of YMCA of the USA, the Governor of Colorado and a fascinating key note speech by a young lady from the First Nation of Canada.
Kohei Yamada, Kent Meyer, me, Ingunn, Bob Cabeza
The nature is breath taking and so impressive, and the altitude makes you feel a bit out of breath anyway!
Selma Zaidi enjoying the fantastic view from the top cabin in Estes Park.
Now I need to turn to the task at hand and welcoming hundreds and hundreds of friends from all around the world – what a privilege!
YMCA EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE!