YMCA Europe stands as a regional cornerstone, serving as a dynamic network connecting YMCAs throughout the continent. It is not just a representative entity; rather, it passionately champions the interests of the YMCA movement in Europe. Its central mission revolves around fostering the development and enhancing the collaborative spirit of YMCAs across the region, embodying a collective commitment to positive impact and community empowerment.
As a working network to strengthen YMCAs in Europe, our Vision is a Europe where every person lives in harmony with self, with society and with creation.
Inspired by its Christian identity expressed in “Paris Basis”, YMCA Europe strengthens its members through
- Relevance: being relevant, coherent and agile organisation, to best serve National YMCAs to enable them to address contemporary challenges affecting young people.
- Representation: being recognised as a youth focused organisation that represents the voice of young people across Europe and its mission empowers young people.
- Relationship: building relationships, unifying the YMCA movement across Europe, maintaining open and transparent communication and promoting a spirit of collaboration and joint working.
- Resilience: building a resilient, transparent, financially sustainable and well-resourced organisation to best serve its members.
- Response: providing response in cooperation with its members and stakeholders, ensures adequate answer to any humanitarian crisis through recovery and reconciliation processes, guaranteeing the viability of the YMCAs in the countries affected.
YMCA Europe applies Movement Strengthening as the key approach for building capacity of National Movements in areas of governance, strategic planning, impact enhancement, human resources development and creation of new YMCAs in Europe.
YMCA Europe adheres to values of diversity, inclusion, respect, human rights and standing against all forms of discrimination.
Empowering young people and communities to build a just, sustainable and inclusive Europe, where every person can thrive in body, mind and spirit.
Guiding Principles of YMCA Europe
In working towards the fulfilment of this Mission, the YMCA Europe will
- Affirm that the Paris Basis, the Kampala Principles and Challenge 21 are the ongoing foundation statements of the mission of the YMCA
- Emphasise the Christian identity and mission of the YMCA as an ecumenical lay movement, working independent of, but in co-operation with the Churches and respecting confessional differences.
- Constantly analyse what our Christian identity and mission means in today’s European and global realities and translate it into action in these contexts.
- Will recognize and endorse the pre-eminence of volunteers in the governance of the movement at every level
- Ensure the active participation of young people at every level
- Aim towards gender balanced representation.
- Emphasise the YMCA’s wholeness concept of body, mind and spirit in community.
- Promote and work for sustainable development to strive for justice, peace and integrity of creation.
- Emphasise international thinking and solidarity within Europe and worldwide.
- Respect and support the multicultural nature of Europe and the European YMCAs.
- Respect the independence and self-determination of each National Movement, as well as its specific way of expressing the YMCA’s mission in the given cultural, religious and socio-economic context.
- Strive for unity among the European YMCA family, including fostering processes of mutual learning, exchange and mutual critical reflection about positions in the spirit of “Begleitung”.
- Be an inspiring, needs-orientated and effective organisation of high quality, applying the principles of subsidiarity and “Begleitung”, and using innovative, participatory and process orientated methods.