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


3rd November 2020

October marked another intense month of activities for the Brussels office. Consultations, preparation of new policy documents and strategies, global events and new themes to work on.

All while the world faces the second wave of a pandemic, and most countries in Europe have to slow down activities. Not the Brussels office though, nor the world of European youth NGOs, as you will be able to see in the article below.

Response from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to our “Youth Matters” Campaign.

mariya gabriel

As a follow up of our “Youth Matters” campaign, we have received a response of the European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to our request for further investment on youth focused initiatives. YMCA Europe is leading the campaign in Europe on behalf of the “Big 6” organizations.

See attached letter in which Commissioner Gabriel states:

I appreciate your declaration of support for continued and enhanced investment in young people and solidarity, which is fully in line with the Commission´s proposal for the next multiannual financial framework”

YMCA Europe will continue advocating for higher support for youth in the present extremely challenging times.

Youth Led Solutions for Climate

October was a month full of work for the Brussels office, as area Lead for YMCA Europe in the Youth-Led Solution Team Summit. The Brussels office supported the recruitment of 7 teams in Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Kosovo, Romania, France, Scotland and Wales), and guided the teams to participate in the Summit.

The Brussels office organised two Zoom meetings for the teams to get to know each other, to share their ideas and to discuss environmental issues on October 13th and October 15th , and supported them in their individual work on their funding proposals. We are thankful to World YMCA, YMCA of the USA, the San Francisco YMCA and all National Movements that contributed and took part at the Summit.

Youth Led Solutions for Climate

SDG13: European Youth Led Solutions for a Global Issue

In the framework of the European Preparation week to the Youth-Led Solutions Summit, the Brussels Office organised and moderated a Zoom event on the 16th of October, gathering young climate activists from fellow European youth NGOs.

WOSM, ESU, OBESSU, YMCA Ireland and the National Youth Council of Ireland participated presenting their experience of grassroot and institutional activism for climate, and shared challenges and rewards they encountered along the way.

Our European solutions team and our Secretary General participated in the debate and asked questions to our panelists, in a very fruitful exchange.

Our Work on the European Youth Forum Draft Policy Papers

On October 6 and 7 The Youth Policy Group Representatives and the Brussels Office participated to the Webinars to discuss the drafts of the two new Policy papers of the European Youth Forum: the one on Youth Peace and Security and on Youth Participation.

We brought our opinion based on our Policy papers on Peace and Justice, and the experience on Youth Participation from our members. The discussion was fruitful, and our amendments to the documents have been based on it.

The final documents, as amended by the membership, will be approved on November 22nd, at the European Youth Forum General Assembly. Follow us on our social media to see the work of our delegates!

Youth Organisations and Environmental Sustainability: YEW Chairs Meeting

The Brussels office participated to the YMCA England and Wales Chairs Meeting, this time also dedicated to Environmental Sustainability. We shared best practices from across the European youth organisations ecosystem, also referring to the work of member YMCAs. It was a very interesting meeting, and a truly worthy endeavour for the Chairs of YMCAs across England and Wales.

YEW chairs meeting

ICF focus group on youth work for the European Commission

The Brussels Office had the chance on October 22nd to participate to a focus group commissioned by the European Commission on the needs of youth workers and the current policies to support youth work.

We also gave our opinions about the support provided by the European Union to youth work and how it can be improved, discussing recognition of youth work, financial and policy support given by governments.

We hope that this will lead the European Commission to an even deeper understanding of our needs and to give us better support in the work of our members across Europe.

The future of Y Consortium

On October 1st the Y Consortium, gathering of all YMCA and YMCA agencies dealing with development and cooperation, met again to assess the situation during and post CoVid 19.

YMCA Europe renewed their commitment to lead and support the group, hoping to connect many YMCAs to valid funding and cooperation opportunities emerging in the near future, especially under the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework

Our Sharing with Swedish YMCA leaders

The Brussels office participated on October 8th to a leadership training of young leaders from KFUM-KFUK Sweden to present the work of YMCA Europe, and especially the Office’s work on advocacy.

We were able to present how we deal with youth participation and representation, an opportunity we cherish.

If you would like to similarly hear from us and understand how we lead a youth-led, participatory, accountable and transparent advocacy, please contact us at ilenia[at]ymcaeurope.com

Fundraising webinar

As part of a series of training webinars organised by the European Youth Forum for their members, the Brussels office participated to a webinar aimed at improving private donor fundraising techniques.

The webinar addressed how to understand, approach and nurture a relationship with private donors such as foundations and companies, and it allowed the Office to also network with some valuable actor in the field. If you would like to access some materials, please contact us.

fundrising webinar

Youth Policy Group work on YFJ GA

The month of October has been full of activities for the Youth Policy Group, especially in preparation to the European Youth Forum General Assembly. The Group has participated to webinars organised by the YFJ, drafted and discussed amendments, met with Board candidates and led their interview.

The team is now ready for the start of the activities in November: if you want to know about the positions we will take and the policies we will endorse, please follow all YMCA Europes’ media starting November 6th/7th.


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