Stakeholders’ meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

Date: 26 April 2012

Dear friends,

From March 31 to April 4, in Nairobi, Kenya, the world YMCA came together with 80 leaders from all continents at the Stakeholders meeting and the World Alliance Executive Committee.  The leaders affirmed the following collective statement:

The YMCA wants to achieve its
full potential
We therefore must be a
stronger movement
We therefore must attract
greater resources
We therefore must have
more visibility
We therefore must demonstrate
greater impact
We therefore must have a
shared focus

Relevant to the world
        Grounded in our mission
        Worthy of our aspiration
        Connected to our current work

We therefore choose to collectively stand for         youth empowerment

The world movement committed to advance a common focus and vision on youth empowerment in action. This agreement is centred on a common framework for a change model of youth empowerment focused on space, transformation, and impact. On a worldwide basis, YMCAs in all continents and communities work in youth empowerment.  The NEW WAY Strategy has opened new perspectives so that YMCAs now will have the opportunity for increased coordination, learning, and sharing of our common work in youth empowerment.

Through this coordinated effort YMCAs will achieve increased strength and visibility in programmes, scale, and impact. With the affirmation of the vision, the worldwide YMCA will now focus on implementation on youth empowerment in action in the NEW WAY.

The Global Staff Team – GST (composed of Area Executives from Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, USA, and the Middle East) met throughout the process in Nairobi and discussed key elements of the vision, the change model, impact measurement, the implementation plan, and resourcing the vision. The first action of the 2 year period is focused on the recruitment and training of the 200 change agents. The GST developed a consensus to work together to raise and leverage resources with local and national YMCAs to support the training, development, and integration of the 200 Change Agents.

It is anticipated that training will take place at the Area level between June and August 2013. A group training is planned to coincide with the Prague Festival in August 2013 where it is hoped that a large number of the 200 change agents would be present. Training and action will continue to 2014 at the World Council (where all Change Agents will be present). This will be the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate results, evaluate the process, and plan for the next phase of implementation.  A total 15 Trainers (from all continents) are planned to be recruited and identified over the next 90 days for training the Change Agents. The Change Agent training curriculum is planned to be developed by June, 2012.

To assist with the implementation process, Resource Groups leaders (Peter Burns, Bob Cabeza, Ashley Kolaya, Dr. Park, Ghassan Sayah, and Jose Varghese) came together with World Alliance Executives (Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, Romulo Dantas, and Selma Zaidi) on April 16 and 17 to share the common vision of youth empowerment, discuss concrete actions to advance youth empowerment, and to identify resources, tools, and partners to implement the strategy.

We are all very encouraged and inspired by the outcomes from the meetings in Nairobi and look forward to implement this plan together with all of you!

Warm regards