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


18th October 2018

The Field Group Kosovo has successfully completed their mission. Both YMCA Kosovo and FG members decided that the goals, which had been set several years ago were achieved and this form of support should be replaced by cooperation of partners in specified task areas.

Now, the National Movement of Kosovo is taking over entire initiative and responsibility. The last FG meeting took place Meeting in Gjakova, Kosovo, October 10th to 14th, 2018.

George Williams Youth Association –YMCA in Kosovo is among 3 biggest youth associations in the country. This position has been achieved thanks to hard work of the leadership, great international cooperation and favourable attitude of the communities to whom YMCA serves.

This movement belongs to young people – they are not only beneficiaries, but also have a predominant influence on building programme and institutional structures of the Association. The organisation has been developing harmoniously, with the pace that is dictated by the real economic and social conditions.  

Now, they have local associtions in 4 places (Gjakova, Peja, Junik and Decan), one camping-site (Camp Pjetershan), two vehicles, employ 15 staff and, what’s extremely important, can boast of a lot of well trained volunteers, who participate in various YMCA programmes.

Kosovo is not a rich country and local opportunities are more limited than in developed states. However, this what is available is fully and well utilised. Certainly the international networking is very important and the YMCA in Kosovo has managed to work out valuable partner relationships with some YMCA movements in Europe and the USA. One can be sure that this partnership will bring results and satisfaction to all parts.

A very reliable partner and supporter is Y’s Men International – Region Denmark. Thanks to this it was possible to start and develop such projects as Charity Shop and YMCA Camp. Also the two mentioned vehicles are the gifts of Y’s Men. A result of this cooperation was chattering a local Y’s Men’s Club in Gjakova. All this makes the relationships between the YMCA and Y’s Men stakeholders stronger and gives good ground for further, natural development of collaboration.

The Field Group Kosovo was not big. In the resent several years 2 national movements and YMCA Europe were represented in it: YMCA Finland and YMCA of England and Wales (in the past there were representatives of the YMCA of the USA and Federation of YMCA Romania). A small number was compensated by the commitment, well set strategies and the methodology, which was tailored to meet the objectives. These several years have proved that patience, common sense, realistic plans, determination on the way to goals and, above all, excellent cooperation of the people involved bring desired results. Such FG members as Jenni Enqvist (leader) and Paul Smilie (earlier also Jane Pate and Marius Pop) put a lot of efforts to bring the process to the happy end. For the reprehensive of YMCA Europe it was a big pleasure and honour to be with them for all those years. 

And certainly the attitude and very hard work of the GWYA leadership were essential: without that the YMCA National Movement of Kosovo would not be in the place they are now. Congratulations and many thanks!

The FG has finished their activity and the Kosovo movement passes to another, mature phase. Presumably, the movements and people involved in the FG will be still working together, although in different way - the plans already exist and the strategic areas for partnership are defined. They are:  Income Generation (shop, fees, fundraising), Youth and Children programmes and YMCA Camp Pjetrashan.

It looks we will continue our common journey.

Author/Source: Adam Rychlik – YMCA Europe Executive Secretary