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


23rd November 2017

Youth of Europe learns about human rights, social relevance, governance, strategic planning, project management, advocacy and communication.

25 young leaders of YMCAs from different European countries have graduated from the educational course of YMCA Europe "Leadership Academy". It consisted of 3 sessions, 4 full days each. As one of the participants mentions in a testimony:

Leadership Academy is a perfect package of knowledge, practice, friends, partnership and emotions

We introduced new topics like the human rights based approach and advocacy, but we also tackled very practical subjects like running governance seminars, designing socially relevant projects, creating advocacy campaigns. The participants were practicing filling in a project application, formulating strategic priorities, analyzing vulnerabilities, improving their public speaking skills.

I got motivated and inspired to change something inside my YMCA and to be active at regional, national and international level

The course was not only about receiving knowledge but about putting tools into practice, which will help the participants to be good governors and managers of their NGO. This was a unique opportunity for youth, along with our mentorship system, managing to provide help between and after the sessions, so that this practical work could go into the right direction. We encourage now the sending local organizations and National movements to make full use of the prepared participants, giving them the opportunity to lead their YMCA work. Our participants demonstrated a great motivation to put their new skills into practice, with capability and desire for quick learning.

I want to be more involved in local level and International one

The planning team is happy that the participants managed to create a strong International team. They are already using this potential for creating joint projects and advocacy campaigns.

The Leadership Academy generated 20 governance trainings led by our participants in their YMCAs, and 8 transnational and local projects which have been or will be implemented this year.


I grew up in so many things and in so many levels. My confidence, my motivation and the trust in myself!

A great goal of the Leadership Academy was to mainstream into YMCAs across Europe the human rights based approach: we work with young people and vulnerable communities to support them in enjoying their rights fully, to seek inclusion and peaceful societies. YMCAs will then become advocates for these young people and groups and their rights, becoming an actor for change, who speaks for justice loud and clear.

The best seminars I have ever attended! Thank you a lot to make us better humans!"

The "Leadership Academy" in 2017 was in fact supported by the European Youth Foundation, who works for youth on behalf of the Council of Europe, and roots its work in human rights promotion everywhere in Europe. The course thus aimed at raising professionalism in young board members, staff and volunteers rooting their work in human rights based approach, increasing the social relevance of their organizations and the level of their work in their communities. We are going to repeat this course in 2018: if you want to join us, you still have time to apply! Click here for more.

I'll encourage my friends to participate in the same course next year. The more members get the knowledge from experts like you, the stronger will be our YMCA

I am aware that if something good is going to happen it will be thanks to this Academy!"


Full photo album in high resolution

YMCA Leadership Academy Session III


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