The NGS Forum
In the period of 24-26 November in London happened the 3rd European National General Secretaries Forum – NGS forum that have become an important and strategic annual meeting that is helping YMCA Europe to continue moving forward. In the first part of the event the focus was set on the topic of movement strengthening and its important aspects. Peter Crory from Scotland gave very useful tips of good governance within the YMCAs which resulted with interesting discussion. After that, Pedro Fueyo from Spain shared positive practices in management of the YMCAs providing some examples that can be replicated in other YMCAs. Last session on this topic was the session from Kath Mills from England on the YMCA branding process at YMCA England. This presentations and discussions were from great importance for YMCA Macedonia, a young movement which has still a lot to learn!
The second part of the program was reserved for the latest updates on the relevant programs on the youth empowerment perspective. Sarah Simmank and Andre Kpodonu have provided great review on the latest developments in the YES group of YMCA Europe. Liam Preston shared useful information on the European representation of YMCA Europe in the field of youth and policies. We have closed the youth empowerment topic with group work and discussion on the project Change Agents in which YMCA Macedonia is a part.
George Williams Tour
Beside the formal part of the program, the participants enjoyed in the tour on George Williams, the founder of the YMCA, provided from YMCA England and led by Ken Montgomery. The program included visit to historic spots in London where the YMCA was founded and a tribute to Sir George Williams at St. Paul´s Cathedral. Also we had possibility to visit the premises of YMCA England and meet and talk with their staff on different aspects of their work. This was especially relevant this year as we celebrate 170 years of our movement.
I used the opportunity being in London to stay for two extra days and visit our partner organizations YMCA London Southwest and YMCA West Kent. In YMCA West Kent I met our good old friends that I know since the Young Men’s Leadership Project. I explored and was inspired by the work they do in terms of social entrepreneurship.
In YMCA London South West I have visited several youth, fitness and leisure centers to see how they operate with the activities they offer. In the evening I was guest at wonderful anniversary. This year it is 140 years since the YMCA was established in Kingston, Surbiton and Wimbledon. Over 100 people attended an event in St Peter’s church in Norbiton to celebrate the 140th anniversary of YMCA London South West. It was wonderful to hear the experiences, testimonials and the party for all generations. For me this visits, strength my experience to be even more dedicated to YMCA Macedonia, creating opportunities for all young people.
Photo gallery of the event.