YMCA Change Agents

YMCA Change Agents – The leaders of our movement

What is it?

The YMCA Change Agent programme is a global leadership development programme to empower young leaders as change makers in their own communities.

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. 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.

The Our Way Strategy plans on having 750 Change Agents by 2018. In 2017 we will welcome the 3rd cohort of Change Agents to the YMCA leadership family. The goal for this cohort is to offer this leadership opportunity for up to 400 young leaders from all over the world.

Why we do it…

From our very beginning the YMCA has been about working and advocating for young people. The YMCA Change Agent programme is our way of investing in the present and the future of our movement.

Two cohorts of Change Agents have now graduated and are continuing to be an inspiration within their local and national movements, through providing leadership, by implementing new programmes and by inspiring staff and members of YMCAs all around the world to connect more with the global message of Youth Empowerment.

“I have a more global view now and a view of global realities. This is something I can bring home to my National/Local YMCA.” – Change Agent (Cohort 2, 2015/16)


Launch: Registrations for cohort 3 close February 28th, 2017

Develop: Cohort 3 will commence in April 2017 and the first global training event will be in September and August 2017. Regional Training events are planned throughout 2017.

Integration: Continuing to work with previous cohorts on integration and involvement with the movement.

Who does what?

National and Local Levels:
All YMCAs continue to select and support Change Agents for the future cohorts with local mentoring/coaching and in the implementation of local projects as well as to integrate graduated Change Agents into relevant work taking advantage of the skills and experiences gained during the programme.

Area Levels:
Areas will jointly implement the Change Agents Programme in partnership with the World YMCA and have shared responsibilities on selection, training, and evaluation, Coaching/Mentorship of Change Agents. When applicable, areas are integrating signature programmes as part of the Change Agents experience.

Global Level:
World YMCA is responsible for the overall leadership and coordination of the programme, delivery of trainings (face-to-face and online), evaluation and monitoring

Change Agents Global Gathering
Change Agents Global Gathering Portugal, Setúbal, September 1 – 10, 2017

Further information: Romulo Dantas romulo@ymca.int