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

Youth Empowerment Space (YES)

Mission statement

YES stands for Youth Empowerment Space.

It is a network of young leaders aged 18-30 advocating for youth empowerment and youth representation at all levels of European YMCAs and YMCA Europe, aiming to give young people a voice about issues that concern them. YES hopes to have a representative from each European YMCA in order to get young voices heard across countries and to ensure equal representation across the continent. This is done through consultation and engagement with participants of the forum. We involve our representatives in the annual YES Seminar and the YMCA General Assembly, and local and national YES-like events, and provide international experience for young leaders.

YES Board

A new YES board was elected. The members are: Konrad Chlebda (Poland), Emily Kemp (England & Wales), Valerie Pronk (The Netherlands), Veera Nikkarinen (Finland), Dimitra Avramidi (Greece).

You can meet the board below:

   Konrad Chlebda, Chiar (Poland)
   Involvement with YMCA:
Branch President - Youth Education & International Relations;
   Project Co-ordinator Krakow YMCA;
   President of the Krowoderska Branch;
   Delegate for the National Council of Polish YMCA;
International Camp Leader

   Emily Kemp, Vice Chair (England & Wales)
   Involvement with YMCA:
   Youth Ambassador for YMCA England and Wales 
   Been involved with volunteering in YMCA DLG since 2013.
   Currently part of a YMCA DLG culture and values team. 
   Helps raise awareness of mental health illnesses.

   Valerie Pronk, Vice Chair (The Netherlands)
   Responsibilities in YES:
   Organisation of the YES Seminar and development of the YES network. 
   Involvement with YMCA
   At the local YMCA of Scheveningen I'm involved in the Public Relations department, bartending, music lessons and the mentoringprogram of our health coöperation. At the national level I'm chair of the exchange workinggroup.

   Veera Nikkarinen, Secretary (Finland)

   Responsibilities in YES:
   Documents and minutes from meetings 

   Involvement with YMCA:
   Camp and club leader, FINYMCA5-graduate, volunteer, been involved in the YMCA since 2010

   Dimitra (Demi) Avramidi, Speaker (Greece)
   Responsibilities in YES: Responsible for Social Media
   Involvement with YMCA: Volunteer at the YMCA of Thessaloniki (Greece):
   Trainer at the Youth Leadership Training Program,
   Volunteer at the summer camps,
   Volunteer at R.E.A.C.T program for refugees,
   Member at the board of International Relations


The role of the board

The role of the Board is to collect input from the YES Group Forum, in aim to put forward the voice of youth within YMCA Europe. Each year, the board organises and holds a meeting for young leaders in the same location as the YMCA Europe General Assembly (GA). The YES group then attends the GA together.

The board communicates with YMCA Europe to ensure that they are kept up to date on key issues and holds objectivity when collecting and collating information for presentation. The board stands to be the link for communication between the YES Group Forum and YMCA Europe, to be active in advocating for the needs of young people, in co-operation with YMCA Europe staff and Policy Group. The board also ensures youth representation at international youth events, such as the European Youth Event (EYE), and cooperation with the programme groups of YMCA Europe.

In effort for this, the board meets twice a year to ensure thorough organisation of the YES.

YES group forum

The role of the forum is to collate the views of young people in countries across Europe around issues that affect them and their peers, other young people involved with their YMCAs and communities.

The forum will grow to count as many young people involved with YMCAs in Europe as possible, in the age range of 18 - 30 years. The members of the YES Forum are responsible for the input of their country and actively participate by collecting and reporting information to the wider forum.

YES group members are encouraged to apply for the annual YES seminar and training events. If you would like to find out more about YES, or how you can get involved and participate, you can find us on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter (@YMCA_YES).

Contact: yes[at]ymcaeurope.com

Any further information regarding YES can be found in the YES handbook below.


Attached files