World YMCA Executive Committee Meeting, 6-7 July 2024

Date: 08 July 2024

The World YMCA Executive Committee met virtually on 6-7 July 2024. As well as approving an updated World YMCA Operational Plan 2023-2026, the meeting focussed on the shared YMCA Movement-wide journey of implementing YMCA Vision 2030.  All YMCA regions presented key events and updates.

World YMCA President Soheila Hayek said, “We have different strengths and realities, but we will all move forward together.”

Africa Alliance of YMCAs

Area President Dr. Adrien Coly and Area Secretary-General Nirina Rakotomala said that despite the challenges faced by YMCAs on the continent of Africa,such as climate disaster, the Alliance has embraced its role in providing Movement Strengthening support to its 23 National Movements to deliver Vision 2030. They noted their approach is grounded in the guiding philosophy of its ongoing ‘Subject to Citizen’ programme (S2C) and Power Space methodology.

They shared how the National Movements reach over 5 million people annually and that 14 have adopted new sustainability strategies.

Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs

Area President Very Rev Philip Thomas and Area Secretary-General Nam Boo-Won provided an update on the 24 National/Territorial Councils of YMCAs.  Among the highlights was the inauguration of the Jeju office of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCA this past April.

Additionally, it adopted its Quadrennial Program Plan for 2024-27, which sets the goals of strengthening YMCAs in the region through capacity building and leadership empowerment; assists YMCAs in understanding and responding to current and relevant social issues; and empowers people, particularly young people and women.

YMCA Europe

 Area President Emma Osmundsen and Area Secretary-General Juan Simoes Iglesias said Europe’s commitment to YMCA Vision 2030, which was the theme of last year’s 50th birthday celebration, has been “fully embraced”.

They highlighted the Area’s extensive impact. Notably, the 35 National Movements and 2,500-plus staff serve more than 2.1 million beneficiaries. Additionally, they are active at all levels, completing more than 8,200 projects each year. Europe-wide, YMCA projects to support YMCAs in Ukraine and to support Ukrainian refugees in other countries have benefited some 150,000 people.

 

YMCA Latin America & Caribbean Alliance

Area President Gerardo Medina and Area Secretary-General Antonio Merino said that of the 25 members of the Alliance, about one-third are on a good path to recovery post-Covid, though some are struggling, not least in countries which are facing a return to authoritarianism.

Collectively, the YMCAs in the region impact 1.5 million members annually, with the 15,000 staff and volunteers reaching about 400 communities.  The Area Alliance delivers regional programmes in areas like mental health, after-school and socio-emotional programmes for young people.

YMCA Canada

Speaking on behalf of YMCA Canada CEO Peter Dinsdale, Jessica Nkongolo, who handles youth and global initiatives for YMCA Canada, said it is recognised as the country’s largest nonprofit provider of child care, with services for more than 60,000 children annually. This has drawn interest from the Canadian government, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recently photographed visiting one of its childcare centres.

Additionally, since 2020, the YMCA has hosted multiple federal and provincial announcements, released public policy and research papers, and provided advice and consultation to all levels of government.

A significant focus now is the next YMCA World Council, which will be held in July 2026 in Toronto. More than 140 staff and volunteers have been engaged in all facets of planning.

YMCA of the USA

Tom Valentine, Vice President, International Group (Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), noted that the YMCA in the USA has more than 17 million members nationwide, compared to 21 million pre-pandemic.

He spoke of the great need for bridge-building in a politically polarised nation and highlighted initiatives with that focus, including Team-Up and Welcoming Week. He said enthusiasm among local YMCAs for Vision 2030 is growing, and highlighted the Y-USA commitment to sending delegates to the YMCA Mombasa Accelerator Summit in October.