On Europe´s Day, YMCA England hosted our annual event in Manchester, under the theme: “Roots and Leaves II – Healthy Living”
Close to 150 delegates gathered from May 9th to the 12th at YMCA Europe´s General Assembly. The YES Seminar took place throughout the week and involved 46 young people from across Europe. They took part at the “Change Agents” training promoted by the World Alliance of YMCAs.
Focusing on one of YMCA Europe´s signature programmes – Healthy Living – the participants were invited to specific sessions about the three elements that help building a healthy balanced life: body, mind, spirit.
Ken Livingstone from YMCA England was the keynote speaker and shared reflections about the interconnection among the three aspects of the YMCA triangle. Shannon Doram from YMCA Calgary in Canada spoke about Physical Wellbeing, Peter Crory, National General Secretary of YMCA Scotland focused on Mental Wellbeing and Csaba Veres from YMCA Romania (Transylvania) spoke about Spiritual Wellbeing.
Their inputs were followed by “table talks” where participants had the opportunity of sharing best practices and proposals under each of the proposed themes. Stepan Cerny, Beate Turck and Martin Winter as members of our Executive Committee, introduced the speakers and led those sessions. A document will be published including the keynote speeches and the outcomes of the “table talks”.
President Ed Eggink opened the GA reminding all participants about the relevance of YMCA initiatives across Europe and our impact on young people. Ed referred to the Schuman Declaration which 63rd anniversary was celebrated exactly the day in which our GA had its opening session.
Under the title “Message in a Bottle”, Secretary General Juan Simoes Iglesias reported about the highlights of the past year and the implementation of YMCA Europe´s strategy. Treasurer Mike Will shared the report about the 2012 accounts and the 2014 budged; delegates also received the reports from the different programme groups and National YMCAs included in the GA working documents.
Our annual meeting also included presentations about the upcoming Festival LOVE2LIVE (Prague, August), outcomes about the YES Seminar and change agents training a statement from the Christian Orientation Group, the support from the delegates to Norwegian Y Global´s Stop Poverty Campaign and a very special recognition to Y´s Men for their continuous support through Paul-Henrik Jakobsen and Paul Thomsen. A meeting with all National General Secretaries present, several interest group´s workshops and daily opening thoughts and devotions completed the programme.
Kirsten Lund Larsen and Cees Bremmer received the appreciation from the European YMCA movement for their work and support as they finish their terms as NGS´s in Denmark and The Netherlands.
We express our deepest gratitude to YMCA England and the Manchester YMCA for their warm hospitality and great support. Special thanks to Peter Jeffrey (Chairperson YMCA England), Denise Hatton (Interim NGS), Ken Montgomery (Head of International affairs) and Graham Hobbs (CEO Manchester YMCA). Also to our Executive Committee and Staff with Eva Tschornova as our Office Manager and strongly involved in the development of another successful General Assembly. Ed Eggink, Juan Simoes, Michal Szymanczak, Beate Turck, Stepan Cerny, Mike Will and Eva were the planning team of the event.
… and to all of you who were part of the Manchester 2013 General Assembly, a big THANK YOU!
See you all in Prague at YMCA Europe´s Festival this summer !!