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


7th November 2018

YMCA Leadership Academy, workshop 2, took place in Slovakia 19-24 October 2018.

24 participants from 17 European YMCAs got together in Svjaty Jur to study human rights, human rights based approach, democratic governance, to think about their development as leaders.

The first part of the training was devoted to the topic of human rights. An external expert Magdalena Gawronska presented history of human rights, their meaning, main documents, PANEL principles of human rights based approach and ways of their implementation in programs of YMCA.

The second part of the training was devoted to democratic governance. The participants could discuss the role of CSOs, the structure of a CSO, functions of governing bodies, main principles of democratic governance and the ways these principles can be fulfilled in every day life of an organization. Thus, such values and principles of democratic governance as “division of power”, “transparency and accountability”, “participation and empowerment”, “equality and non-discrimination”, “continuity/succession”, “legitimacy” were taken as key ones and viewed under a “magnifying glass” of practical approach.

A separate discussion was organized on the topic of active citizenship. A specific role game on active citizenship let the participants feel themselves as citizens of a small city, where they had to solve an existing problem together.  The game showed mechanisms of how different actors in a community may act and interact with each other, and what factors turn a group of people to representatives of civil society.

At the end of the training the participants had opportunities to reflect about their leadership profiles, think about skills and qualities they need to develop in themselves, shape an image of themselves as leaders.

A special moment of the events was a visit of leaders of YMCA Slovakia, who shared examples of their socially relevant programs and contributed to discussion of governance theme. The participants had a chance to visit the building of YMCA Slovakia in Bratislava, to hear the story of its development, reflect how history of the country may influence life of an NGO.

The evenings of the training were devoted to presentation of results of homework of the participants received after the first session of the Leadership Academy (Paris, April 24 - 29). The leaders had to elaborate and implement socially relevant mini-projects. Here you can read examples of these projects:


As the homework after the second workshop the participants of Leadership Academy will run governance meetings and trainings in their organizations.

YMCA Europe is thankful to YMCA Canada who supported the 2nd workshop of Leadership Academy, to experts and trainers who managed to devote their time and energy so the events happened: Magdalena Gawronska (expert on human rights), Tina Larionova (YMCA Russia President). Olga Lukina and Martina Hudcovska were involved as representatives from YMCA Europe.

Check out the full photo albume of the event.

YMCA Leadership Academy S2 - 2018

Author/Source: Olga Lukina

donate now