„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“

FIELD GROUP KOSOVO MEETING AND A Y’S MEN’S TREE

1st November 2017

Oct 19.-22. an annual meeting of Field Group Kosovo was held.

Now two national movements are represented in this FG: YMCA Finland and the YMCA of England and Wales. This time, except for the regular FG members two Finnish YMCA members were delegated as guest. The meeting was held in three places - George Williams Youth Association Branches: Gjakova, Peja and Junik.

George Williams Association is growing in both programme and institutional terms. The growth is visible every year, however, it's not too rapid. This is regarded by the FG as a good pace because it's is in accordance with the present capacity of the movement and supporting YMCAs. The growth is also a very good example of harmonious cooperation between the FG and the movement leadership. Every year a reasonable number of objectives are set. After a year it is assessed to what extent they have been met - nothing is forgotten or overseen. This year, for example, a question of membership in the association has been sorted out - GWYA has a 450 members, who pay membership fees, are aware of their rights and commitments, observe the association's mission and are those who really form the organisation.

In terms of a programme offer, the association meets the needs of the youth and community. In all 3 branches, in various activities take part around 700 young people weekly, which is a phenomenon in Kosovo. It's not wondering that the municipal and governmental bodies become more and more supportive to the organisation.

The movement can boast of a number of valuable partners in Kosovo and in abroad. They support the association in various activity fields. Often they focus on specific objectives and act independently from each other. For better coordination the efforts and increasing awareness of participating in a bigger process, it is planned to form a "Group of Partnerships" (not the same as Partner Group) with periodical meetings of all the partners. The process of making necessary arrangements will cover the time till the next FG meeting in 2018.

3 days before the FG meeting a Y's Men's Club was chartered in Gjakova - that's the sealing up of one stage of YMCA - Y's Men there common work in Kosovo. Y's Men International, especially Region Denmark has contributed a lot to the development of YMCA in Kosovo for several years. The results are a prominent example of benefits that a good cooperation and mutual respect can bring. During the FG meeting we visited a place where a YMCA Camp will be built. Y's Men Denmark helped in buying a piece of land and secured resources for building first facilities. All this is very encouraging for the governmental bodies in Kosovo and for the community - all they declared further support to this initiative.

Above all, however, it's a big motivation for the newly founded Y's Men Club. In the place of future camp was planted a tree. It's called a Y's Men's Tree, which will be growing together with the camp, YMCA and Y's Men in Kosovo - very symbolic.

Author/Source: Adam Rychlik, YMCA Europe executive secretary