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


17th April 2019

“It has been an amazing journey and I am extremely grateful for everything you have taught me!”

The 3rd session of Leadership Academy: Young European Advocates took place 27 March – 01 April 2019 in Malta. 33 participants from 19 countries got together to study efficient communication, public speaking, advocacy, policy papers, advocacy campaigns and the importance of inclusive language.

The project “Leadership Academy” is created to empower young people to take action as active citizens and to equip them with skills so they can promote social change and strengthen their movements as bearers of democratic values and change makers. The participants are leaders of Civil society organizations, 18-35 years old, who take governing or managing positions in their organizations or are developing to apply for them.

“These 3 sessions were a good reminder that all we do has aim. It is for people around us, for our community. I feel really inspired by the ideas everyone had and motivated to continue working on the new projects at our YMCA”

The aim of the training is to promote European active citizenship, building a common European identity and encourage youth advocacy actions from local to the European level.

During the four day session the young people have studied and practiced the following topics: efficient communication, types and channels of communication, barriers in communication, active listening, art of rhetoric, public speaking, what advocacy is, collecting evidence and finding solutions for advocacy campaigns, designing advocacy campaigns, creating policy papers, talking how to make language of campaigns more inclusive.

We were using different forms of non-formal education such as work in mini-groups, work in pairs, joint discussions, role-playing games, interactive simulation exercise, different creative tasks, quizzes, interactive lectures, acting out, practical exercises, etc.

The session provided lots of opportunities to learn about the cultures of each other and build strong partnership relations.

“I also feel like a more confident person. I don’t let my insecurity stop me from giving my opinion in a bigger English speaking group!”

During practical work, the participants managed to create amazing social media campaigns as an example of how youth can advocate for different social issues locally and globally. 

The session is supported by Maltese National Agency of Erasmus+ and organized by YMCA Malta and YMCA Europe. We are grateful to YMCA Malta and YMCA Valetta for magnificent joint work! We would also like to thank the National Movements who selected great participants for the course and for the support.

YMCA Europe is grateful to inspiring Trainers’ Team: Annika Thomsson (Sweden), Tina Larionova (Russia), Richard Hughes (England & Wales), Joao Moura (Portugal). Martina Hudcovska and Tina Larionova were supporting the training on behalf of YMCA Europe.

YMCA Europe has already applied for funding so to organize the 3-d cohort of Leadership Academy in 2020.   

“Leadership Academy was the best experience of my life. I developed as a leader and grew as a person and professional”

The full album of the event in high definition below. 

YMCA Leadership Academy Session 3

Author/Source: Olga Lukina, Regional Assistant for Movement Strengthening and Project Management

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