In July, Andy, our Operations manager went to Denmark for the YMCA World Council. They had an amazing time meeting lots of other YMCAs and listening to a fun-packed programme of speakers and attending events.
Here is Andy’s write-up:
Denmark was an amazing place. It was very clean, organised and everyone I met was just so nice. This whole event was fantastic from first arriving at Aarhus till the end.
It was so very well organised when you think there were almost a thousand delegates there.
The food was first class and very tasty, the venues are excellent and all of the trips and outings were so very interesting.
One of the outings was an Eco sustainable farm where they showed us how to use all of their waste to benefit the farm and local community. They are able to turn the cow poo into electricity to light up to 800 houses!!!
They also grew all of their own vegetables organically to feed their family and community. Nothing went to waste.
We also visited a Boarding school where they use fun and exercise to help young people with their wellbeing and to aid their mental health.
We were addressed by Ban KI-moon the former UN Secretary-General and current Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens where he discussed the empowerment of youth and women to become active global citizens in creating a sustainable future for all.
He also addressed topics like Covid19 and the Ukraine war, which was very humbling, interesting and thought provoking.
Whilst there; the World Council adopted the Vision 2030. This is a ground-breaking movement wide Vision Statement, mission statement across four key and shared areas of activity,
1/ Community wellbeing.
2/ Meaningful work.
3/ Sustainable Planet.
4/ A Just world.
There was great joy once this was adopted. A wonderful moment to witness.
We attended co-labs; This is where a group pull together to discuss certain topics. My topic with 30 other people from all around the world is Championing global solutions to support a just transition to a green economy.
Another outing was made, this time to Den Gamble By which is a historic village in Aarhus where buildings from all around Denmark have been brought brick by brick to build the village. An amazing experience with real shops, workshops and even a bar.
We were also invited out to have dinner with a local Danish family, which was a lovely experience.
The people from all around the YMCA world are amazing. Everyone wants to talk. I have spoken and worked with people I never thought I would. I have met so many people from places like South Korea, Mongolia, Zambia, Brazil, Denmark, Sweden, Swiss, Norway, Australia, Colombia, Peru. There are 72 different nationalities represented here.
I was moved by so much. If I were to pull one thing out it would be the camaraderie across all nations who have so many similar issues to tackle. It is an experience which will stay with me for a long time.
Photo of Andy, Paul and Brian attending the World Council in Denmark