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

WORDS OF GRATITUDE OF YMCA EUROPE`S SECRETARY GENERAL AT YMCA175 CLOSING CEREMONY

28th August 2019

“Let the YMCA be the change for the world, leading in love and inclusion for all”. This is one of the messages received at YMCA Scotland Garden in the Plaza and it describes perfectly the aim, contents and expected impact of YMCA175.

Tomorrow morning YMCA175 will be a memory. Faces, words, moments, experiences and learnings will stay in our minds and hearts. We will then realize the value of the time we spent here in London and the impact that the event had on each of us and our YMCAs. Our common movement will not be the same after these four days. Our roots will remain even more solid but we will be better equipped as individuals and as an organization.

On behalf of our Executive Committee and President Mike Will, I want to thank each person that shaped the dream of YMCA175.

THANK YOU to my colleagues at the Steering Group – Kerry Reilly, Mike Bromfield, Alina Pop, Sebastian Vogt, Nico Gourdet, Beate Turck, Marta Huretska and Marius Pop -  the YMCA Europe Staff, the Management and Project Direction for their passion, commitment, caring and professional work during almost three years of discussions, planning, agreements and decisions. Our special gratitude to the whole team for overcoming the expected and unexpected challenges of organizing an event with these contents, dimension and inclusive approach.

THANK YOU to our partners, donors and supporters for believing in the dream and for making it real through resources, expertise and the understanding that only working together we can achieve full success. 

THANK YOU YMCA England & Wales, World Alliance of YMCAs, YMCA of USA, World Urban Network. Our event would have not been possible without your trust, leadership, commitment with youth empowerment and constant ambition to build a better movement.

THANK YOU to all National General Secretaries & CEO´s, the Global Staff Team, your governance bodies, programme and international directors, youth workers, volunteers and staff members at local, regional, national and international levels for believing in YMCA175 and attracting thousands of young people to this unique event. I can guarantee you that the time, resources, funds were worth it and you will very soon see the benefits of that investment. It is in our hands now to use the momentum and impact and continue moving forward.

THANK YOU to all zone and programme leaders, working teams, presenters, facilitators, speakers, performers on stage but also all those backstage for your work, creativity, inspiration, flexibility and love for sharing the YMCA mission and impact. You did it through words, deep spirituality, attitudes and actions. Your input has been a clear, strong, effective response to socially relevant issues affecting young people today. That has been the YMCA response. And yes, we are determined to continue responding.  

THANK YOU to all volunteers serving at YMCA175 before, during and after the event. Your work, humble attitude and example has been a blessing. We are proud of you because you are the best ambassadors of the deepest YMCA values and of George Williams´ vision.

AND THANK YOU to each of you, delegates at YMCA175. The YMCA owns you a lot and we hope that your expectations were met. Please share your feedback. We are ready to evaluate and measure the impact of the event.

Continue believing in your positive capacities and dreams… Believe in the unique power of the YMCA… Believe in the impact that you can make on others…. Multiply the effect of YMCA175 among those that did not have the privilege of joining us in London for different reasons. During these days, our thoughts have been specially with them.

May God bless you and we pray that through the YMCA He brings peace to the world, peace to your countries, peace to your families and peace to your hearts.

Thank you!

Juan Simoes Iglesias