An Invitation to Celebrate a Green WORLD CHALLENGE in 2014

Date: 03 June 2014

According to the young leaders of the YMCA-RGE, when local YMCAs step up to protect the earth’s resources and model good environmental practices they are actually demonstrating one of the most practical, action-oriented ways to #Stand4Youth. We completely agree.

That is exactly why this group of passionate YMCA leaders recently launched an easy-to-understand manual that all those that are part of the World Challenge in 2014 can use. The following letter is their invitation to our movement, in the words of one of the leaders of the RGE and change agent, Andreas Axelson:

“Our generation is the largest the world has ever known. The tools at our disposal for communicating and acting are also unprecedented but so are the challenges – from growing inequalities and shrinking opportunities, to the threats of climate change and environmental degradation.”

These were the words of Ban Ki Moon at the opening of the Global Interactive Dialogue on UN Youth Initiatives. They might as well have been aimed towards our own organisation.

On June 6th YMCAs from all over the world will be joining in to celebrate the second YMCA World Challenge as we #stand4youth together. The creativity within our movement will blossom as hundreds and thousands of different activities are carried out across our globe, united in our global declaration: “I stand for young people and I want their voice to be heard.”

Now we know that a speech is only as good as its speaker, and words only as good as the changes they are able to bring about. They need to be backed up by action in order to remain credible. With the enormous environmental challenges we are facing, even the smallest step ahead is a step in the right direction. We, in the YMCA-RGE, alongside hundreds of other YMCAs around the world, see the World Challenge 2014 as a perfect opportunity to transform the powerful words that we share into action.

Taking action that addresses the challenges young people are facing head on needs to be simple. So we’ve made it simple. The YMCA-RGE has created a green guide to make it easy for all YMCAs participating in the World Challenge to take action for the environment. Through easy to-follow, hands-on instructions and suggested activities, you will help our movement take a step in the right direction by taking care of the environment during our days of celebration. The “World Challenge Green Guide” also includes recycling tips, environmental awareness raising, games and much more.

A Model Example from Latvia YMCA

In a desire to be more original, Latvia YMCA decided to let its World Challenge plans take a green turn as they switched their focus to a more environmentally-friendly one. They are now planning a new initiative that involves upgrading the urban environment and making it more attractive to young people – a perfect example of how taking environmental action empowers young people directly.

After all, acting green is nothing else than #standing4youth. It is the future generations that will inherit the planet we live on and we are the ones to decide its condition. We know the need to act is real and there are simple solutions that we can start by doing today. Taking that first step is often the hardest one, but once it is done, the next is always easier!

By using the green guide the YMCA can set an example and publically demonstrate to ourselves and our communitites that we are dedicated to make real change happen.

Quickly flick through the green guide, It doesn´t take much time, it´s simple and it´s fun. So no matter what you do during World Challenge, as we #stand4youth, make sure we do it in an environmental friendly way, green way.

More information on Green Profile –  Click Here