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


15th January 2021

The "YMCA Leadership Academy: Global Leaders for Local Communities" project is supported by the European Youth Foundation and it was meant to start in March 2020.

30 young leaders from 25 European countries were ready to start their journey. As the course is based on non-formal education, with personal relations and International communication at its core, it was important to keep the chance for off-line meetings. 

One of the most important outcomes of the course is the design and implementation of social-mini projects.

yla 1

Following a new time-frame caused by Covid-19 limitations, the project team has organised four on-line meetings to support the participants learning project design, using state of the art online learning platforms and creating and adapting new materials for online non formal education.

This is a very new setting for us, but also an opportunity to develop our educational digital tools, which we hope to keep using to expand participation to our education programmes.

Having understanding that time is shrinked, the project team has organised four on-line meetings to support the participants with knowledge on project applications design: 

  • 08 September 2020: Target groups and problem description
  • 16 October 2020: Setting goal and objectives, expected results
  • 03 November 2020: Sustainability, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • 01 December 2020: Risk assessment and Budget 

yla 2

Meanwhile the project team has managed to run successful communication with European Youth Foundation and negotiate a contest of the mini-projects with the financial support for the winners. It means that many participants of the course will receive small grants to implement their projects in 2021. 

By the end of 2020 there were 19 drafts of projects being created by 23 participants from 18 countries in Europe.   

The project team has introduced the following plan for 2021:

  • 1st session: January-February 2021. On-line. Through on-line platform and on-line meetings.
  • 2nd session: March-April 2021. On-line. Through on-line platform and on-line meetings.
  • 3rd session: 1-7 June 2021, Malta or if travelling is not possible, May-June 2021 through on-line platform and on-line meetings.

The challenges: 

  • difficulty to transfer non-formal way of learning to on-line so to keep its value fully;
  • the time frame has changed which influenced the participation of some young leaders: we face several drop outs. 

The project Team (in alphabetical order):

  • Anthony Camilleri, Malta
  • Francesco Zoffoli, Italy
  • Olga Lukina, Belarus
  • Martina Hudcovska, Slovakia
  • Matthew Dellaquaglia, Scotland
  • Tina Larionova, Russia

yla team

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;

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 (CSO);
  • 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.


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