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


11th December 2020

“Leadership Academy” Project is a tool of YMCA Europe, created to assist YMCA National Movements and to empower young people to take action as active citizens, equipping them with skills so they can promote social change and strengthen their movements as bearers of democratic values and change-makers.


The goal of the project is to promote civic engagement of young people through enhancing their capacity as leaders for local communities.


  • Promoting social inclusion and peace as a core value of youth work;
  • Promoting youth participation, its values and forms (on the basis of “Have your say” manual and European Charter on Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life);
  • Equipping young leaders with necessary knowledge and tools of change-makers (vulnerability and social inclusion, needs assessment, creating a social project, CSO (Civil Society Organisation) with its mission and democratic governance, advocacy and communication);
  • Promoting International cooperation of leaders of local communities;


Target group: near 30 young leaders of CSOs (from approximately 15 European countries), 18-35 years old, who take or are going to take governing or managing positions in their CSOs (acting or potential Board members, staff). 

The “Leadership Academy” will consist of 3 sessions and fulfillment of homework between the sessions. Each session will last for 4 full days.

Update on the schedule of the sessions:

1st session: January - February 2021, online
2nd session: March 24 - 29, 2021 in Brussels
3rd session: June 2 - 7, 2021 in Malta

The participants of the “Leadership Academy” will receive knowledge and master their skills in such topics as:

  • Youth Participation (forms, principles, etc.);
  • Introduction of "Have Your Say" manual of Council of Europe;
  • Target Group in work of a civil society organisation (SCO);
  • Vulnerable groups of people;
  • History and mission of YMCA;
  • Needs assessment;
  • How to start a social project?;
  • Project management;
  • Democratic governance in a CSO;
  • Decision-making levels: local, National, European. European Institutions;
  • Advocacy campaigns;
  • Partnership and negotiations;
  • Policy papers;
  • Efficient communication and public speaking;
  • Inclusive language of a CSO.


Homework will include:

  • Elaboration and implementation of socially relevant mini-projects aimed at answering the needs of the target groups and providing adequate services for young people.
  • Running meetings or seminars on democratic governance in their organisations.
  • Elaborating and implementing advocacy campaigns.

The methodology of the training course will be based on interactive methods of education.

Participant profile:

  • Active or potential Board members of YMCAs (National and local Boards) or Staff with a potential to grow further, aged 18 to 34 years old;
  • The participants should clearly understand and agree for participation in all three sessions and fulfill homework;
  • Good command of English;
  • Strong motivation to play an active role in the life of local communities and CSOs. 

Due to the donor requirements, the participants have to be citizens of one of the European Countries.

The responsibility of National movements:

  • To provide mentoring at all levels, especially at the stage of mini-projects’ implementation and organizing seminars on governance;
  • To provide further involvement of the participants in YMCA activities at local and national levels.

For more information please contact Olga Lukina olga[at]ymcaeurope.com

Watch the video of the 3rd session of Leadership Academy: Young European Advocates organised from 27 March to 01 April 2019 in Malta.

This project is supported by the European Youth Foundation. 

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