2018 YMCA World Challenge –  Our biggest Challenge yet!

How’s your plannning going?

YMCA World Challlenge 2018

Just 60 days to go!

We have set ourselves a huge Challenge this year … to run the combined distance to join every YMCA in the world.

This will need some impressive statistics to achieve this. The infographic below shows just how big we need to think to make it happen this year.

YMCA World Challenge – Run! Run! Run!

But be encouraged because (i) this is just a fraction of the 58 million members we have around the world, and (ii) the YMCA shows itself at its creative best when big challenges await!

We also have a great new promotional video :

To help your planning here are 3 things you need to know:

– Free resources including posters, artwork and social media are available CLICK HERE  .We keep adding to them regularly.

We are hearing about BIG events with BIG numbers of people engaged.

– One YMCA is arranging a 100km walking event
– Another is climbing mountains
– Another is doing a ‘fun’draising run
– Yet another a road run with supporting activities on the actual day including aerobics, health checkups, family planning services and HIV testing.

Remember there are many prizes and awards for the biggest and best activities. I encourage you to be YMCA creative!

It will be very easy to report this year, on the day send us the number of people and their combined distance (and lots of photos/videos) to: photo@ymca.int

YMCA World Challenge is an important part of the global YMCA strategy and helps build our image and impact. This year’s event provides every YMCA the opportunity to share their great impact and our 174th birthday with their communities, while also engaging with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SDG Goals (Sustainable Developments Goals)

Engaging with the UN SDGs gives YMCAs a chance to speak powerfully to the issues facing young people today and how we address them.

Please share this information widely so that every YMCA can get as
many runners/walkers to go as far as possible on June 2nd, 2018.

Further information and assistance is available to all via our World Challenge support: challenge@ymca.int

Let’s all go run!
Warm regards,

Johan Vilhelm Eltvik
Secretary General – World YMCAs



Easter Message 2018

Easter Message

As a very young man, or rather a boy, I was the leader of a youth club. We made a magazine together, and in the Easter magazine I had the crazy idea to put an obituary on Death itself. I made an advertisement with a black cross on the top, and then I wrote:

Our feared, strong and powerful enemy,
has passed away.

Jerusalem, 1. Day of Easter

This little text, well, it was a bit longer and more developed in the original
version, was reprinted and quoted a few places until it was discovered by a national newspaper in our country with a very liberal attitude and printed as a joke, an example of stupidity. It became quite well known.

In fact I almost became famous the wrong way for this little Easter devotional.

Somehow I have remained proud of this idea.

On the photo above you see three metal spikes crucified. It is made to me by a Polish artist and given to me by a close friend.

It is Pain on the Cross!

It is Destruction and Evilness on the Cross!

And this has remained my understanding of Easter till this day. Jesus was crucified to set me free. Free from Pain, Destruction, Evilness and Death.

On Easter Sunday only life is folded out in front of our eyes – life in joy and fullness, everlasting life.

Happy Easter!

Rev Johan Vilhelm Eltvik
Secretary General – World YMCA




Excitement is building for the YMCA World Council. We are now close to 100 days to go and it promises to be a great event.

> When the Early Bird registrations closed we already had more than 1,200 participants.  More are flowing in each day! It looks like this will be the largest World Council ever.

> We will have the largest ever number of young people involved in this World Council – not just at a side event but fully involved, leading and sharing the way forward with us.

The event programme has a wide range of events across devotions, excursions, concerts and performances and more.

Some of the highlights include:

> We have the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters coming!

> International speakers and our own top YMCA guest speakers

> The National Secretaries presenting their ‘Journey Together on Youth Empowerment’

The first of 5 handbooks is now available CLICK HERE to assist everyone with their understanding of the World Council and its functions.

Standard registrations continue until 30th May HERE or at http://worldcouncil.ymca.int.

About the YMCA World Council:
The 19th YMCA World Council will be held between 8-14 July 2018 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Over 1,200 delegates will attend the event from the 120 members of the World Alliance of YMCAs. The World Council meets every four years and is the movement’s highest decision making body. The theme for this World Council is “Youth Empowerment 4 Good”, focusing on the long-term commitment to young people through focusing on 4 strategic areas.