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

YMCA Europe Working Group on Refugees

This Programme Group started their coordinated activity in Feb 2018, when the Executive Committee of YMCA Europe has adopted the Terms of Reference (framework for the activities) for the Group.


However, the origins of the idea are in the outcome of  "YMCA WORKING FOR REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS" in Den Dolder, The Netherlands in March 2016. Learn more 

Role of the Group

The present role of the Working Group is the implementation this part of the Strategy 2016-2020 of YMCA Europe in which the work for and with refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and internally displaced persons (hereafter shortly called “refugees”) is one of the priorities.

  • Exchange of experiences. Identifying good practices; obstacles; training aspects etc.
  • Developing new initiatives and new co-operation in YMCA work for refugees asylum seekers and internally displaced people on all YMCA levels in Europe
  • Discussing coordinate actions within the framework of YMCA Europe.

The first open programme debate initiated by the Working Group were workshops at the YMCA Europe General Assembly in Hintersee, Germany 2018. At the sessions were presented concrete examples of YMCA work with and for refugees in Europe. This was followed by a discussion about priorities for YMCA refugee work and actions to be undertaken.

Database YMCA projects with/for refugees

This database contains projects of local and national YMCAs in Europe about work with/for refugees. It is a source of information for all who are working with refugees/migrants and all who plan to start new projects. 

The data come from the survey conducted by YMCA Europe Working Group on Refugees in 2019. The content is the responsibility of the deliverer of the information. The information will periodically be updated to keep the database relevant.

You are kindly invited to submit new YMCA projects to the database and also to submit changes using the form of the survey via the "Take the online survey" button below.  

Main tasks for 2021 are:

  1. YMCA Work with refugees and migrants conference - February 19th. During the conference we will have speakers from the high level organisations like the  European Commission, the International Organisation for Migration of the UN and the World Alliance of YMCAs. Inputs will also be given by colleagues from YMCA’s in the USA, Germany, France, Greece, Spain and Ireland who will talk about their specific projects related to the integration of refugees and migrants in the receiving communities. See full info here.
  2. Collecting information on the projects for Migrants Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Internally Displaced Persons that are run by YMCAs in Europe. The database will be a source of information for the YMCAs in Europe and abroad that run similar work.

      3. Report on the activity of Working Group to the YMCA Europe General Assembly 2021


Members of the group
  • Ed Eggink (group leader) – The Netherlands. edeggink[at]gmail.com
  • Milla Mäkinen – Finland. milla.makinen[at]ymca.fi
  • Christine Becker - Germany: christine.becker[at]cvjm-esslingen.de
  • Paola Petracchi – Italy. p.petracchi[at]ymca.it
  • Richard Schweizer – Switzerland.  (liaison to the Executive Committee) richard[at]ymcaeurope.com
  • Ivan Sterjoski –  North Macedonia. ivan.sterjoski[at]gmail.com
  • Carlota Mielgo González – Spain. c.mielgo[at]ymca.es
  • Viktor Serbulov – Ukraine. vserbulov[at]ukr.net
  • Dolores Tarrafeta - Greece.  lolitarrafeta[at]gmail.com   
  • Monika Ciok-Giertuga - Ireland. monika[at]northdownymca.org
  • Sarah Xiberras - Malta. headofhome.ymcavalletta[at]gmail.com
  • Anna Hallissey - England. Anna.Hallissey[at]ymca.org.uk

YMCA Europe Staff support:

  • Ilenia Ventroni - ilenia[at]ymcaeurope.com