For the opening plenary yesterday Andrew had written a short version of the history of the YMCA movement and as I read the text he made drawings to illustrate the history. The result was really inspiring!
The way ahead may look straight and easy, but there are plenty of challenges and tasks to complete. To help deliver OUR WAY Strategy we have assembled more than 50 YMCA practitioners from all corners of the world in beautiful Litomysl in Czech Republic, at the YMCA Europe Training Centre.
We came in yesterday and shall work together for three full working days until Friday morning. We need to have meetings of the Refugee Initiative, the Research Team, the Property Development Group, a team to work on the new strategy from 2018-22 and the Resource Groups and the International Secretaries. Why not holding all those meetings in one place at the same time so that we can have interesting plenaries together all of us when we are not in work group sessions?
Peter Burns, with new Job title as Chief Spacemake at Victoria YMCA in Melbourne, Australia, gave a superb key note speech this morning, mesmerizing us all with deep insight in the global YMCA movement and the need for us to become much more of a social movement.
“If we are not becoming more like a social movement we will loose the young people.
We need to be a little crazy in this movement to have things done!”
He said that his 6000 employees and 1200 volunteers all could say without doubt what Victoria YMCA stands for: Youth Empowerment!
In the afternoon all the workgroups met for two different sessions and now we are going for supper and then follows the evening plenary with reports from the Refugee Group and the Research Team. The atmosphere is great here!