Change Agents in Portugal

Date: 08 September 2017

150 YMCA leaders from 50 countries are in Portugal for their YMCA Change Agent Global Gathering.

With the exemplary support of YMCA Portugal this group has had some unique experiences.  For example, the Change Agents had the opportunity to meet, present to and listen to Members from the Portuguese Parliament. They also met with local Setubal community leaders and had an environmental immersion contributing to local activities to serve local communities.

Other experiences include their planning and leading workshops on civic engagement and human rights, employment and health workshops. Change Agents are also responsible for planning and leading devotions and group sessions.

Input includes learning about YMCA Safe Space, One Million Voices research, and the ‘big picture’ of the YMCAs role in the world.

This cohort of Change Agents are being trained for their involvement and leadership in next year’s World Council.  They will join Change Agents from the previous cohorts to become what we believe will be the largest youth involvement within a World Council.

“We are so grateful to every YMCA who has sent Change Agents as they will return to their local YMCAs and be enriched and challenged to serve more young people.  We are particularly thankful for Luis Sebastiao and the marvellous team from YMCA Portugal for all their efforts” said Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, Secretary General.

The group is at the YMCA Portugese campsite; Camp Alambre.
Several Change Agents are writing blogs which can be found here:


YMCA Change Agents are young volunteers and/or staff from YMCAs across the world who strengthen the YMCA so the YMCA can serve more young people. The YMCA Change Agent programme is a global leadership development programme to empower young leaders as change makers in their own communities. They participate in innovative and life changing experiences including online and face-to-face trainings, mentoring and local project development for expansion of youth services. They gain skills to help transform their YMCA and community and they build connections to an international network of other young leaders.

Since 2014, 350 Change Agents have graduated and are leading change in 67 countries around the world. Change Agents are active and their projects are changing lives.