New World YMCA President Soheila Hayek of Lebanon, the first global YMCA leader from the Middle East, visited the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva this week. She held discussions with Secretary-General Carlos Sanvee, and met the entire team – those based in Geneva, and those based outside Switzerland. She will return for the first meeting of the newly elected Executive Committee on 27 October.
“We in the YMCA have had a rough time these last few years, with Covid and more”, she said. “But we made lemonade from lemon: we came together and developed Vision 2030. Our challenges are clear: raising funds, collecting data, and ensuring that the YMCA brand name is synonymous with youth empowerment. But we’re on our way – I’m very excited.”
“Thank you Soheila for your visit, and for your great passion for YMCA and its work”, said Carlos Sanvee. “You bring us a unique combination of experience and enthusiasm. We are very excited about all that we can achieve in the next four years under your presidency.”
Soheila was filmed on the last day of her visit:
See here the account of Soheila’s election as President at the 20th YMCA World Council on 5 July 2022, and see here an account of her acceptance speech on 8 July 2022: the piece also includes the film of the speech.