Running the YMCA WORLD – Message from a Change Agent

Cedric Dzelu
Cedric Dzelu

YMCA World Challenge 2018

Come the 2nd of June 2018, YMCAs all over the world will be running to challenge themselves to cover a combined journey of more than 120,000 kilometres or 75,000 miles connecting all national movements from its birth place in London to its current home in Geneva.

The annual global event seeks to mobilize the 120 country strong movement to share stories of their impact with local communities, raising awareness about the work of the YMCA and inviting others to join the movement all in a bid to celebrate its 174th anniversary with special focus on promoting the sustainable development goals, (SDGs).

The YMCA World Challenge is an important part of the global YMCA strategy that helps to build the image and impact of the YMCA around the World. 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).

Taking the steps to meet each other, YMCA members and friends of the YMCA shall be running, walking or crawling from London to Geneva covering every space between Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Canada, USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brasil, Venezuela, Aruba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Barbados, St. Vicent, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, South Africa, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Gaza, West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, Australia, New Zealand, Feji, Philippines, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China People Republic, Mongolia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Italy, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Czech Republic as member countries where the YMCA is deeply rooted.

Covering a total of 120,685 KM the distance between each country is expected to be covered by the national movements and local branches across the world through organizing of runs and walks events from one distance to the other with fun and creative activities around the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals.)

YMCAs all over the World are challenge to use this annual global event just as the previous ones to tell the YMCA story bringing together the YMCA and local communities in a special way in creating opportunities to empower young people through the Sustainable Development Goals.

As fun as it will be, the World YMCA shall be rewarding national movements with the most participants, the widest age range, the longest distance covered, the most creative events, the most diverse events, most media coverage, having the most unique events, the most inspiring events and the YMCA engaging the most with the SDGs. It is the expectation of the YMCA that these awards will serve as additional motivation to put up their very best in making the 2018 World Challenge a memorable as well as impactful one as its predecessors.

The YMCA is open to any support and available to answer any question as far as this celebration is concern at and trend with the movement #ymcachallenge

Cedric Dzelu
S2C Ambassador cum Change Agent
YMCA Ghana

More information on the YMCA World Challenge 2018 click here 

New Year’s message – and 2018 YMCA Playbook

Dear friends,

As 2017 ends and we enter 2018 I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to every single YMCA staff member and volunteer across the world who contributed to empowering young people wherever they were. Thank you for your friendship and your commitment across our global movement to serve more and more young people every day.

2017 was a good year for the World YMCA and we are entering 2018 with lots of energy and commitment.

The further implementation of our global YMCA strategy is outlined in some details in the attached annual work plan: the 2018 Playbook.

I take this opportunity to wish every one of you a Happy New Year with lots of blessings and joys for yourselves and your families and loved ones. God bless you all!

Warm regards,

Johan Vilhelm Eltvik,                                                                                                            Secretary General

Click here to download the 2018 YMCA Playbook

Christmas Message

Christmas Message

Dear friends,

I love Christmas!

I love the time of advent, the preparation for Christmas celebrations and time to reflect on God sending his Son to save the world. I am a theologian by education and identity, and the most important theological term for me is INCARNATION. It means that God comes to us in the shape of a tiny little baby. The unconditional love of God becomes visible and touchable and receivable for us human beings. We see and meet with Eternity!

My Christmas message of 2017 was given to me by YMCA Scotland.

I was encouraged by their Christmas fundraising campaign (as seen in this picture). The headline reads “Homeless. Skint. New baby. Every Christmas it’s the same old story.”

Of course this is the original story of Mary and Jesus, but the same story has been true for so many people for more than 2,000 years. The YMCA is the continued INCARNATION so that teenage mothers and other young people in need can find a strong hand to hold. So that homeless and poor, drug addicts and child workers and lonely refugees can find the same strong hand to hold. The Christmas problem is Injustice towards Young People; the Christmas Answer is Empowering Young People!

Johan Vilhelm Eltvik,  Secretary General