Dear colleagues and friends,
This is the time of the year when family and friends come together with joy and happiness. As Christians we celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago as a gift for the world. It as a gift of joy, peace and hope.
Unfortunately the effects of the pandemic are still very visible across Europe. These days our countries and communities continue facing sickness and sorrow while the number of infected persons grow despite of the vaccination campaigns and restrictions cross the continent. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone suffering separation and grief.
As 2021 is ending, this is also a time to look back and reflect about our achievements. Six months ago we collectively adopted a new Strategy. It is an ambitious plan with one key objective: making YMCA Europe more agile and effective to best serve our national movements and young people.
We have been busy, proactively implementing actions and setting new procedures under our four strategic objectives : being Relevant at all levels and fields, with capacity to Represent, strengthening internal and external Relationships and promoting Resilience within our structure and actions.
In 2022 the main European institutions have agreed to celebrate the Year of Youth. As YMCA Europe continues delivering its Strategy, we take the “Year of Youth” as an excellent opportunity to strengthen our work, open new collaborations and increase our impact among young people through their genuine involvement.
I really encourage you to join our planned online and offline conferences, training sessions and events on relevant social issues, movement development and governance.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you at National and local YMCAs, volunteers, staff, working groups, partner organisations and stakeholders for your outstanding support, efforts and inspiration during the year.
As President, working with all of you this year has been a fruitful and rewarding experience. I really look forward to our joint work and growth throughout 2022 hoping that we can finally meet in person at our YMCA Europe events, General Assembly and World Council in Denmark.
Our Secretary General Juan, the Executive Committee and Staff Team, join me in wishing you, your families and YMCA colleagues a BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY 2022!