Y’s Men International invest in change

Date: 31 January 2013

In Nairobi last year, S2C Ambassador Yvonne Khamati Kilonzo speaks with her peers about ways to advance the Subject2Citizen initiative.

Last summer, I traveled to my wife Ingunn’s hometown Stavanger in Norway to speak at the 70th Annual World Convention of the Y’s Men International.  The Y’s Men are among the YMCA’s oldest friends because of our mutual concern for young people.

It is not surprising then that they were among the first to learn about the WAY’s Waking the Sleeping Giant Campaign.  The goal of this campaign is to raise $700,000 for our work on youth empowerment – “to give youth the platform and tools they need (whatever that may be, depending on the young person’s starting point) to feel needed, trusted, and able to believe in possibilities, to further trust themselves to lead and believe they can make a difference, thereby becoming a change maker in the world.”

Over two years, we’ll identify, train and mobilise 200 YMCA Change Agents from every continent to unite us behind this goal.  They will “learn by doing,” participating in training sessions while working.

All of them will go to Prague in August to work with 10,000 young people from 60 countries at the YMCA Europe Youth Festival.  There, they will work with the YMCA Youth Empowerment Change Model and talk about related issues.  After learning how to work with a large crowd, they’ll travel to World Council 2014 to help facilitate a very new style of global gathering.

I invited the Y’s Men to be our partners in this new venture.  As they have in the past, they rose to this challenge by pledging financial support for the campaign.  While they will be formally recognized for their leadership at World Council 2014, we thank them today for investing in change and in the future of our great global movement.

Have you made your pledge to the Waking the Sleeping Giant Campaign?

Johan Vilhelm Eltvik
January 2013

World YMCA E-News – January 2013 – Full Pdf Version