Echoed Marie Jeanne Diouf from YMCA Senegal, who was in the third cohort, “I strongly believe that what I have become is thanks to this programme. If I could reengage, I would do it without hesitation”.
The World YMCA has operated Change Agents since 2013. Open to YMCA leaders worldwide ages 18-30, four cohorts have graduated 800 leaders. Currently, six World YMCA Executive Committee members are programme alumni, and many more serve in the local, national and regional YMCAs around the world.
Applications are being accepted now through 15 March, and the fifth cohort should be announced next month. Click here to learn more and here to apply.
Said World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee, “The Change Agents programme is an investment in our leaders of tomorrow”.
The programme provides participants with practical, hands-on tools, skills, models and case studies to create change. The goal is to “uplift young people and emerging leaders across the YMCA Movement to collectively lead change, create local solutions to the challenges they face, and deliver impact on YMCA Vision 2030 in their YMCAs, communities and the world”.
Marlon Solis of YMCA Canada, who was in cohort four, said the programme accomplished all that – and more.
“It meant breaking past the cultural borders I was used to and meeting other people from around the world”, he said. “It also means relating to others in ways that foster connection, new ideas and strong relationships”.
Marie Jeanne Diouf, or Mijoe initially joined the YMCA as a volunteer to serve her community. “It was very difficult”, she said, “because I had no experience at all. Being selected was an honour, and I realized I had a new mission to be the change and to influence this change with young