A scary opening photo does not mean that we will go in any negative direction. On the contrary, I am in the middle of YMCA heaven, surrounded by wonderful, inspiring young leaders from around the globe! Change Agents full of strength, faith and dedication to change in this great YMCA movement.
Tanzania, Hong Kong, Ghana, USA, Dominican Republic, Scotland, Australia, Zambia, Costa Rica…..I stop there, because the number of countries was just continuing to grow. It is like the United Nations, all corners of the world are together in this hall in Chiang Mai YMCA.
I have the opening words this morning, welcoming all of us to a week of important mutual learning, living, growing, reaching new horizons. I am genuinely thrilled looking into eyes full of energy and commitment.
I interview Emely from Australia and Stewart from Scotland. What is it that you really look forward to this week? Going to a world event like this; one thing you are afraid of? A gift you are bringing to the event? A need? What do you really want to learn intellectually?
What are your expectations for the spiritual and Christian dimension of this event? What will happen to your self esteem this week? Having functioned as Change Agents in your local and national YMCAs over the last months, what has strengthened your motivation to stay on as Change Agents and what has challenged your motivation?
The big group of young people are listening attentatively, these questions are reflecting what goes around in their own heads. What amazes me and fills me with inspiration, is their deeply rooted faith in what we have set out to do – to continue to unite and focus this great movement on Youth Empowerment.
Andrew divides us in groups from same areas so that we can discuss and compare research results between neighboring and comparable countries. Here African countries in eager discussion about youth unemployment and health issues in Africa.
We have already Change Agents as National General Secretaries of Kosovo and Serbia, and here the latest arrival to our event, Andrew, who is the newly appointed CEO of the Sioux Indian YMCA in the USA and Change Agent at the same time.