Our President Emma Osmundsen White marking the International Volunteer Day with the team at Indian YMCA in London
The YMCA is an international network supporting young people and communities all over the world. However, our work could not have been possible without the support of all the hardworking, and enthusiastic volunteers, who put in the time and effort to make every initiative a successful one.
The 5th of December – International Volunteer Day, represented a great opportunity to do something different and get in touch with the most hardworking supporters of the YMCA. Courtesy of the national movements we managed to reach out to our volunteers through a personal message – thanking them for their ongoing service.
It has been a great initiative to connect with 300 volunteers nominated by over 15 national movements, offering them a personalised certificate of recognition and having our Secretary General Juan Simoes Iglesias – address them directly in a short message.
This has been the first initiative together with national organisations in our movement to show our mutual appreciation to all the nominees for their outstanding work in their local YMCAs. We appreciate and value every member of our movement and we wanted the 5th of December to be about them.
“Thank you so much for this certificate. I am very proud to be part of YMCA and to be able to contribute to projects with my small contribution for a great purpose”. – Liliana Massetti, Malta
“This morning my fellow ExCom colleagues and I got a shout out of appreciation from our General Secretary for volunteering at YMCA Europe. Being part of the YMCA has always felt like being part of a big family with the main aim to empower young people! It's never felt like a job, it's always been something that excites me and has brought me loads of joy! Thank you YMCA Europe for the appreciation and giving me the chance to contribute to empowering so many young people and to focus on our pillars 'sustainable planet', 'meaningful work', 'Just World' and 'Community Wellbeing'. Let's keep on building!” – Janette Smit-van Kalkeren, the Netherlands
“Thank you, so happy to get this award!” – Oksana Pavlova, Ukraine
"It was so nice to receive the email and made me feel very good, especially to hear and see the video of the Secretary General while receiving the certificate from YMCA Europe… it is a real honour and something that will stay with me for a long time" – Petrit Bejdoni, YMCA Kosovo President
During the day, our social media has been promoting the works of wonderful volunteers from all over Europe. We wanted to celebrate their achievements and growth within the YMCA. It has been a chance to show how valuable their contributions are to making our movement a powerhouse of youth empowerment.
Our research among all National Movements shows that over 95.000 volunteers are serving the YMCA movement in Europe. We are grateful to them and their leaders for encouraging them to develop in body, mind and spirit.
This event has been a great start to a greater connection, and the success of our campaign encourages us to upscale this initiative – worldwide, bringing young people and organisations closer and more aligned with the mission and vision of the YMCA.