Our WAY Forward: a YMCA Conversation on Image and Impact

The PIP (Partners in Progress) was initiated after the last World Council with the aim of researching in areas where our movement has an impact in the lives of communities and vulnerable groups.

With the support of the Global Staff Team (GST),  six topics were identified for the research:

Youth leadership
Environment and Alternative tourism
Civic engagement
Peace and Reconciliation

Each Area organisation conducted a research and the outcomes were presented to the Executive Committee of the World Alliance.

We wish to thank YMCA Canada for the financial support and enabling the assistance of Pat Thompson, a professional communicator, who developed the content and the layout of this magazine.

With greater Y capacity comes greater Y responsibility: the story of Alvin KAN

With greater Y capacity comes greater Y responsibility: the story of Alvin KAN

Already has the world too much political, societal, economic instability and conflict. To Alvin’s understanding, YMCA is a good place for everyone with young hearts and young dreams to spread love and care; to share knowledge and idea; to bring peace and positive changes.

YMCA is another home for Alvin. He grew up in the service centres of the two local YMCAs in Hong Kong. “I learnt swimming in the pool of YMCA, later competed in school swimming galas,” said Alvin. No different from other school kids in Hong Kong, he enjoyed playing Chinese billiard and table tennis in YMCA. Until Alvin participated in the 1st Youth Leadership Development (YLD) of YMCA of Hong Kong in 2001, he gradually took up leadership roles, later became the deputy head boy. YMCA equips him with whole-person capacity.

When Alvin was asked about why he was involved in YMCA, he answered with “worldwide neighborhood and local integrated services”. His venture of setting up Campus YMCA in universities in Hong Kong started soon after the Earthquake in China in 2008, when Alvin returned from his study in Germany and participated in fund-raising services. YMCA gathers young people with the same concern to our neighbours, and provides great opportunities to work out our plans. “My friends and I are always thankful of helping in Sichuan Doll Social Enterprise. With the support of different circles of the Y communities, three Campus Y clubs now each initiated their own global citizenship programmes to make real changes—forming and reconstructing schools, libraries and homes in Hong Kong and overseas.”

YMCA has brought responsibility into his life. Alvin is now a council member of the Council of YMCAs in Hong Kong and also a practising architecture professional. The Y can be an effective peace-making platform to bring together young people to discuss and interact on socially-sensitive or even -conflicting topics, especially when there are so many hot issues between countries and regions. There is great possibility for young people in the Y to take up more active roles and spread love and care in our communities. With greater Y capacity comes greater Y responsibility.

Building an Architecture for Youth Engagement in the UN System

YMCA will take part in the discussions about a more meaningful youth engagement in the UN System facilitated by UN-Habitat next March in Nairobi.

With support from the UN Interagency Network on Youth, UN Habitat prepared a report called “Youth 21: Building an Architecture for Youth Engagement in the UN System”

This report explores how youth can be more meaningfully engaged in governance at the global level, specifically within the UN system. The UN has recognized the unique role that youth play in development since its inception. This recognition has come through global observances initiatives such as the International Youth Year (IYY), and through policy declarations such as the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY). Following the completion of the most recent IYY, there was a renewed commitment by the UN expressed in paragraph 26 (GA/RES/65/312) to evaluate the achievements and shortcomings of UN programmes and from this evaluative input, forward recommendations on how to more effectively address youth issues and youth engagement.

This report, building on the opportunity provided by paragraph 26 from the outcome document from High-Level Meeting on Youth in July 2011, has put forward four possible scenarios related to the improved engagement of youth. These scenarios, found in detail in the report, are as follows:

·      Scenario 1: Scale up the UN DESA (United Nations Department of Economic
       and Social Affairs) Youth Program to an Institutional Level

·      Scenario 2: Establish a Commission on Youth

·      Scenario 3: Establish a Special Representative of the Secretary General on

·      Scenario 4: Establish a UN Permanent Forum on Youth, inclusive of a Youth
       Platform Assembly, and Special Representative on Youth.


YMCA young leaders from all over the world are invited to support these discussions by participating of the on line consultations for youth which will inspire the discussions of the next meeting. This participation is extremely important. Take part in this UN Discussion

If you have questions, please contact: romulo(at) ymca.int