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


31st August 2018

Over 2500 delegate from all over the word gathered in Yeosu, South Korea, from August 9 to 12 for taking part in the 73rd Y's Men International Convention

Among the guest of Convention was an international group of YMCA representatives. They played a role of liaisons and were expected to develop a constructive dialogue and search for the ways to closer partnership between YMCA and Y’s Men in Areas, Regions or countries.

Yeosu welcomed Y’s Men in a great style: the streets, buildings and busses were decorated with the YMI banners and emblems of Convention. The venue was one of the most prominent places – Expo 2102 area, where all the facilities were put at the disposal of Convention. The program of the event was rich and attractive, and the Korean team of staff and volunteers did their utmost to implement the plans as smoothly as possible and please the participants.  

In YMCA Europe, we are aware of the need of strengthening the relationships between Y’s Men and YMCA on each level. Also we have remarkable experience in partnership with Y’s Men within common small and big projects. Our collaboration with Y’s Men goes on, however, we see that the relationships could be stronger and we need to work on better coordination of our common work. It was very important to learn and compare how the relationships look like beyond Europe. The Convention gave this opportunity: special sessions allowed to exchange the experience, form conclusions and propose solutions.

The YMCA – YMI meeting at the Conventions was the result of many previous talks and arrangements, with involvement of the key leaders of both organisations. In case of Europe, the ground was prepared by the Secretary General with active involvement of Executive Committee. This means that strengthening collaboration with Y’s Men is really important and will have continuation on the global level.

Now we have a YMCA liaison group, which can build a platform of cooperation with global range: the people are competent, endorsed by their home organisations, well coordinated (Koei Yamada, Japan) and all they are convinced that YMCA-YMI collaboration with win-win option is the objective. What we need is a good Strategic Plan with realistic goals, which would be developed into more detailed course of actions. In the follow-up process we are going to reach more people in the Areas, countries and local levels with the information on the outcome of meetings in Yeosu. We expect that intensive promotion of Y’s Men culture will encourage mature YMCA members to support their organisations as Y’s Men.

Next year is 175th anniversary of founding YMCA.  YMCA Europe is advanced in the preparatory process for YMCA175 Event, which is held in London Aug 4-8.  We expect several thousand of YMCA people from all over the world to celebrate the anniversary together. This means a great opportunity of reaching many young leaders with the promotion of YMI. This opportunity should be obviously used by the liaison group too.

For YMCA people Y’s Men International should be recognised as one of potential donors only. This is also an opportunity of being active in a different way after leaving youth activities – this means staying at the same “Y” home and family. We want the awareness of this to be common.

Author/Source: Adam Rychlik – YMCA Europe Executive Secretary

Follow-up images