YMCA National General Secretaries meet in Kosovo

Topic: Vision 2030

Date: 06 March 2024

35 YMCA National General Secretaries met for their annual conference in Pristina, Kosovo on 26-29 February 2024, joined by another 20 online.

YMCA Vision 2030

18 months after the adoption of YMCA Vision 2030, the leaders discussed their collective and individual progress in making a shared vision a shared reality.

Research published on the eve of the conference showed that 35 National Movements have officially activated Vision 2030, 29 are in the process of doing so, and 16 will start to do so over the next 12 months.

A special session led by Y Australia and Deloitte Australia on the Meaningful Work Pillar of Vision 2030 charted progress to date, including a global research survey capturing the voices of 10,000 young people in 122 countries on their hopes and fears in the world of work. The session also outlined work underway in the Pillar, with a mapping of Movement-wide activities in the Meaningful Work area, and the initial ‘case for change’ which will lead to a Movement-wide plan.

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England and Wales, outlined plans for the launch of Movement-wide Learning, Innovation and Impact work in May: leaders discussed the importance of stories and data in measuring impact, whose ultimate measurement is lessons learned, changed behaviour and better lives. 

Faith and politics

The group discussed YMCA’s Christian identity in the 21st Century, and the way that YMCA’s Christian origins, its Christian evolution, and its inclusion of men and women, boys and girls, of every ethnicity and group and of any or no faith have led it to unite over the values of dignity, equity and compassion, and in the service of young people and communities all over the world.

Leaders appreciated the time given to the issue of Christian identity and welcomed the plan for it to be discussed across National Movements later in 2024. All wanted to feel that they were represented and valued within an inclusive Movement.

The group also discussed the role of World YMCA in speaking for the Movement in situations of conflict which are often divisive within the membership. Leaders discussed the primacy of shared values, of trying to look at conflicts through the lens of young people and communities, and of speaking out in situations where YMCA has both responsibility and credibility.

They heard testimony from the leaders of YMCA Ukraine, YMCA Russia, YMCA East Jerusalem, YMCA Kosovo and YMCA South Africa.

Our hosts: YMCA Kosovo

The meeting was hosted by YMCA Kosovo, the newest member of the World Alliance of YMCAs and a dynamic Movement offering leadership programmes, summer camps, environmental initiatives and more.

On Saturday 24 February, the YMCA Global Staff team witnessed YMCA Kosovo’s work in Gjakova and Pjetershan.


On Thursday 29 February, YMCA Kosovo organised a ‘Celebration of youth’ event in Pristina as a local band sang the YMCA song, young volunteers and supportive municipalities were given awards, and the UN Resident Coordinator Arnhild Spence, EU Ambassador Tomas Szunyog and US Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier gave addresses.

At the close of the meeting YMCA Kosovo National General Secretary Dorina Lluka Davies and her husband Adi Davies announced the official registration of a star named YMCA.

National General Secretaries will meet in person at the at the YMCA Accelerator Summit in Mombasa, Kenya, in October 2024 and again in February 2025 in the YMCA Latin America and Caribbean region. They will also meet online and enhance information-sharing on Vision 2030 and other shared interests. 

Marking the end of the 2024 YMCA National General Secretaries conference, YMCA Kosovo organised a ‘Celebration of Youth’ event in Pristina on Thursday 29 February.

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