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


25th March 2020

The inaugural year of YMCA Europe Roots Peace Award has the first laureates – after highly engaged and participatory process, the YMCA Georgia and European Union were selected to receive it for 2020!

From the very start in 2007 constant innovation and reaction to emerging needs of beneficiaries has been the blueprint of the Roots.

The fourth implementation phase (2020 - 2022) is no exception from adopted approach – along with proven and acclaimed project components as Peace Work Institute & Programme Festivals, the new concept – Local Capacities for Peace Award has been introduced. It envisaged allocation of 10 000 Euros annually to partner YMCA and non-YMCA organizations of Roots for Peace (hereinafter “Roots”) upon submission of project proposals that aim towards tackling the issues and topics related to peacebuilding and conflict resolution across the European continent. The process is competition-based with several eligible entries considered and one Award recipient per year identified via online voting by exclusively Roots Peace Work Institute Alumni.

Four applications were submitted in 2020 by YMCAs of Georgia, Artsakh, Ireland and Ukraine.

The voting process coincided with the alarmingly rapid spread of COVID-19 across the continent, when the primary concern of everyone was obviously focused on the safety and well-being of their loved ones and when it is objectively difficult to concentrate on anything else, therefore it was even more inspiring to see very active participation to the voting process for the Roots Local Capacities for Peace Award 2020.  In total, 40 votes were cast out of eligible 46, which made the response rate stand at 87%. It once again demonstrated the commitment and belonging of each Peace Work Institute Alumni towards the Roots and we are very grateful for and proud of it!

Of course, and again - we thank all four organisations that submitted the proposals and appreciate the energy and commitment invested in developing them. Each of them was a relevant initiative and we hope to see them implemented at some point – ideally within the Roots.

But there can only be one winner per year, and it is our great pleasure to announce and congratulate the one in 2020 – YMCA Georgia! The proposal - “Roof for Roots” obtained 20 votes, followed by 9 votes for both YMCA Artsakh “Camp for Peace” and YMCA Ireland “Y Critical Peace Praxis” projects. It is important to highlight that the proposal from YMCA Georgia received 16 external (non-Georgian) votes.

YMCA Europe Roots has enjoyed outstanding partnership and cooperation of YMCA Georgia since the very beginning of the project. So, let’s wish “Roof for Roots” successful implementation!

As part and parcel of the Roots Peace Award process, the YMCA Europe Executive Committee has decided upon the recipient of the inaugural (non-financial) award 2020, which is set to go to pan European institutions for their outstanding contribution to peace, reconciliation and well-being across the continent. It is the European Union for this year. The creation of the European Home remains an unmatched peace project, which we believe in and hope that endures these times of troubles.

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