On the 2nd of February the Brussels Office took part in a focus group organised by the European Parliament, to understand the impact of CoVid 19 on the youth and education sector.
Thanks to the research work done by YMCA Europe during the pandemic (through surveys and testimonies of the membership), we presented our data and our response to the crisis, underlining the needs of our youth organisations and our young people.
The Brussels Office took part on February 11th to an important webinar featuring the European Environmental Bureau, ActionAid, Oxfam and a group of other NGOs and universities.
The webinar focused on the future of work and sustainability, examining how technological change and new work paradigms will change how societies and citizenship will be organised, and how this will interact with environmental sustainability.
The Brussels Office brough the perspective of YMCAs across Europe and the world about climate, sustainability and youth employment, taking form our work on youth unemployment, the work of the WAY on the environment and the results of surveys such as One Million Voices.
February 11th was also the day the Brussels Office participated to a meeting organised by the Greens MEP Niklas Nienass about the future of international exchanges with young people in the UK after Brexit.
The meeting was also attended by the President of the European Youth Forum Silja Makkula, the Secretary General of EFIL Davide Capecchi, and Hywel Ceri Jones, first-ever Head of the European Commission’s department for education and youth policies.
We received information on the new Turing programme and on the situation of UK youth organisations who would like to access international funding for youth exchanges.
The Youth Policy Group met on the 15th of February to assess progress on the new strategy, and to plan for the activities in the next few months.
The group got an update from the Brussels Office on the next important dates and events for youth policy making, in particular under the current Portuguese presidency of the European Union, and planned participation to meetings and youth led activities in the upcoming period.
The Brussels Office was present at the YMCA Europe Conference on Refugees and Migrants on the 18th of February and contributed with a workshop on fundraising.
As the new programmes of the European Union will be mostly presented between May and June, the workshop gave all information available to be able to be prepared and access funding at the right time. If you wish to receive the presentation, please write to ilenia[at]ymcaeurope.com
The World Alliance of YMCAs has organised its first meeting between Policy and Advocacy Officers across all areas.
The aim of the meeting was to align strategies and to coordinate themes and campaigns, to ensure more visibility and brand consistency to all YMCAs across the world.
The Brussels Office brought its experience and strategy, and is very eager to support the WAY and all other areas in joint actions and align the thematic focus of its advocacy.
On February 25th and 26th, our Youth Policy Group representative Eliza Vas participated to the Youth Network Event organised by the European Parliament.
The aim of the event was to discuss the draft strategy for the EP partnership with youth organisations, to consult them on a regular basis and reach as many young people as possible.
Together with YMCA Europe, almost 100 youth representatives were present from different European organisations, regional NGOs and local associations from across the European Union.
The Brussels Office continues to be involved in the process of bringing our young people to Youth Led Solutions Summit organised by the World Alliance of YMCA and the Y of the USA and dedicated to Youth Employment.
In a broad cooperation with all the Areas, the Brussels Office is bringing a contribution to make sure that European Institutions, decision makers and civil society will be present at the event, raising the profile of all our members to fellow youth NGOs and to crucial decision makers, representing our youth and our position regarding work, social rights and social justice.
On February 23rd our YPG representative Hanna Wendling participated to the Council of Europe seminar “Applying intersectionality in the youth field”.
The seminar aimed at building a common understanding of the role of the youth sector in promoting social inclusion, fostering active participation and combating discrimination taking an intersectional approach.
Hanna represented YMCA Europe and brought our experience with tackling multiple types of discrimination, and she will bring back the knowledge gained on intersectionality to our membership.