Change Agent Training on Civic Engagement in Uruguay


Young People, Transforming Governance, and Civic Engagement were the main topics of the Change Agent training that recently took place in Uruguay.

From February 27th to March 2nd of this year, 14 Change Agents came together from all over Latin America for a fun week of team building and training in Montevideo, Uruguay.  The programme was led by a group of WAY and LACA leaders and trainers, and emphasized the role young people by focusing on themes of civic engagement, governance, global citizenship, and our collective responsibility to work together for a better world. See highlights from the training in the video below:

Laura Andrés, a YMCA Change Agent from Mexico and participant in the training, observed:
“Being a Change Agent means, first of all, that you have to be convinced that you are one, and that you have to assume that identity. Then you need to be aware that you have a great responsibility and commitment to other people. You need to know that transformative processes can sometimes fail or come out differently than you expected. However, the journey is what matters: the efforts, mistakes and mainly, the lessons learned and experiences had. Participating …was very rewarding for me because I realized that many young people like us are being given the opportunity to be Change Agents, and we can only achieve change through teamwork. We may be from many countries in Latin America, with diverse ideas and hearts, but we are all united by one YMCA movement with the goal of building a better world for those who live in it now and those to come.” [english translation]

[original in spanish]
‘Ser un agente de cambio implica primeramente, convencerte y asumirte como uno de ellos, después estar consciente que tienes una gran responsabilidad y compromiso con otras personas. Saber que las transformaciones son procesos que en muchas ocasiones pueden fallar o no salir como esperabas. Sin embargo, lo importante es el camino recorrido, los esfuerzos, las equivocaciones y principalmente los aprendizajes y las experiencias adquiridas. Participar … fue muy enriquecedor, porque me di cuenta que muchos jóvenes tenemos la oportunidad de  ser agentes de cambio y sólo podemos lograrlo a través del trabajo en equipo. Diversos países latinoamericanos, diversas ideas, diversos corazones, todos unidos por el movimiento YMCA y por el objetivo de construir un mundo mejor, para quienes vivimos ahora en él y para aquellos que están por venir’

The World YMCA is working with young people like Laura to create change worldwide. Through the YMCA Youth Empowerment in Action Programme, young people are raising their voices to advocate for more resources and programmes for youth, more comprehensive youth policies, and for organisations to be socially responsible and accountable to young people. In this way, YMCA Change Agents are equipping more young people to have the confidence, leadership skills, and practical competencies that will allow them to become proactive citizens in their society.


Romulo Dantas—Executive Secretary for Youth Empowerment—and Jose Varghese—Advisor for the Secretary General of the World YMCA—have a good time at the Change Agents training session in Montevideo.

YMCA Change Agents have the following responsibilities:

•    Be the Change
•    Communicate the Vision
•    Inspire Action

Later this year, all 240 Change Agents will come together as a group of global leaders for the “Love 2 Live” Festival in Prague. The annual festival, organized by YMCA Europe in August this year, is projected to bring together more than 10,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 30. While there, the Change Agents will attend workshops on global citizenship and leadership, and practical training sessions where they will put the knowledge they have learned into practice.

The YMCA Change Agents initiative is creating a new generation of leaders. Trainings are taking place in YMCAs across the world throughout 2013, at organized events as well as online via the Change Agents e-learning platform designed by the World YMCA. Our vision is to create a global community of young people who fulfill their potential and are empowered to make change happen. These young leaders will be a new, vibrant expression of the global YMCA movement as they impact their communities across the world.

More pictures of the event >>>

Tell us:  Did you know about the Change Agent programme before this? Are you currently supporting a Change Agent? We’d love to know.

Send us your comments to : comment@ymca.int

World E-News – March 2013