World YMCA published a blueprint for the entire YMCA Movement to navigate through and out of the Covid pandemic today, with the publication of a handbook drawing together key insights, learnings and resources from the ‘Padare’ global virtual roundtables – uniting some 200 people from over 50 countries – which it ran in July, August and September 2020. The roundtables were an integral part of its Covid response strategy of Resilience, Recovery and Reimagination.
The wisdom of the handbook – entitled Becoming an ‘Adaptive YMCA’ for the 21st Century – is already helping National YMCA Movements recover from the pandemic, and more importantly it is helping them reimagine themselves for a new, post-pandemic reality.
Conceived in crisis, as Covid-19 caused major business interruption across the YMCA Movement, the Padare series set out to gather internal collective wisdom from all levels of the Movement.
It followed a series of Leaders Talks which had sourced external wisdom, and identified three themes it should address: meeting the needs of young people, ensuring YMCA financial sustainability, and becoming the ‘Adaptive YMCA’.
The handbook summarises five increasingly urgent global issues highlighted by the Padares (youth unemployment, mental health, environmental protection, equity and systemic racism) and five key themes emerging from the debates (the ‘Why?’ of the Y, reimagining programmes and services, embracing digitalisation, building diverse revenue models, and building partnerships and collaborations).
It presents 10 principles for an adaptive YMCA, as well as systemic change frameworks. It examines three possible trajectories for the YMCA over the next few years. It provides links to facilitator packs, tools and resources available for YMCAs to run their own Padare sessions.
“Through the Padare roundtables of July to August 2020, we see the world with renewed urgency and refreshed vision. We have no option other than systemic change” write World YMCA President Patricia Pelton and Secretary General Carlos Sanvee. “Young people are calling for it. YMCA needs it; young people need it.”