BAGUIO CITY – The world YMCA, founded by Sir George Williams, in Summerset, London England on June 6, 1844, recently celebrated its 172nd founding anniversary. An international organization servicing the youth, the YMCA stands with the youth of today for development of their mind, body, and spirit.
In celebration of its 172nd anniversary, the YMCA World Alliance launched the “2016 YMCA WORLD CHALLENGE” on June 6, 2016 officially enjoining the YMCAs of the world with this year’s theme “Give YMCA A Voice”, an advocacy action for capacity building and networking for the youth of the world to create awareness and the chance to be heard.
With more than a century of social and community causes which includes youth empowerment, YMCAs in over 120 countries responded to the World Challenge, identifying that “having a voice” is an important need for young people, and “giving them a voice” is a major form of empowerment.
In response to the call, various programs and activities were organised by different YMCAs to hear from young people and to establish future strategies for greater impact and relevance with young people, provide them the platform and tools they need in their own view point, to enable them to be catalysts of change.
In consonance with the YMCA World Challenge, various issues and information needs in the areas of job opportunities, human rights, environmental awareness, education, politics, among others, were raised consistently across the youth with the hope that their voices will resonate in all levels of society and decision makers to begin a move towards transformation.
In response to the challenge, the YMCA of Baguio City conducted a youth pine-tree planting activity at the Busol Watershed to show concern and influence ongoing local, national, and global environmental policy development, show the importance of young people’s needs and their role in society, demonstrate the mobilization of the YMCA as a social movement, and to let the world know that the YMCA has been, is, and will always be with and for the youth.
By Bobby Vinluan