The 10th Ordinary General Assembly (OGM) of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs has ended in Samone and memories of the events at the Decameron Resort located on the outskirt of Dakar, Senegal will continue to be remembered.
The OGM brought together 143 participants from across Africa, Canada, America, Germany, and the YMCA of London, amongst others. Off course the assembly was attended by the President of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Peter Posner and the Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Johan Eltvik.
The meeting was held in three phases, the Youth Summit, the National General Secretary Summit and the OGM or Sustainability summit.
The youth summit was a week long training on setting the platform for young people to lead change in Africa in achieving the African renaissance, through the provision of space, voice and ability to drive change.
I certainly will not forget the certificates of participation awarded to the third batch of Subject to Citizens (S2C) Ambassadors.
The National General Secretary summit is also part of capacity building programs of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs (AAYMCAs).
Training is held for all NGS to be able to address common gaps within their movements, and then the official opening ceremony of the OGM or sustainability summit. This summit was held on Tuesday June 2, 2015 at the National Headquarters of the Senegal YMCA in Dakar.
The program was historic and traditional and began with the parade of nations, with 16 African movements hoisting their flags, and a special tribute paid to Sierra Leone and Liberia for the loss of lives of citizens from these two countries to the ebola virus disease.
A field visit was made to the Renaissance Monument where official photographs were taken.
With this, the Secretary General of the Africa YMCAs, Carlos Sanvee formally welcome the delegates at the OGM and commended African movement for journeying together in unity and in belief and that all is possible when dreaming to achieve.
He thanked partners for believing with the YMCA and acting as well. Speaking on the theme: “The Point of no Return”- Carlos strongly emphasized on the dream of the new Africa, where young people are transformed to live with pride and responsibility, where rights are enshrined, viewpoints are valued and opportunities to realize dreams are within young people's grasp.
He said passionately, “we dreamt of young people empowered for an African Renaissance, during this strategic period, much of the time was focused on this position”.
"The African YMCAs movement united like never before under a common identity and a continental S2C change model, we developed strong cohesion around, and branded ourselves on our African identity, our youth focus and economy." Carlos continued
Moreover, the OGM got more interesting day by day with different plenary speakers making presentations on major such as: African YMCA in 20 years, looking at the economic model and readiness for sustainability etc.
The YMCA of Liberia playing a significant role in the OGM, with its National General Secretary, Edward Gboe leading one of the six plenary sessions, with focus on building strong and diverse relationships, using Liberia YMCA work with the private sector as case study.
The Liberia YMCA NGS commended the global YMCAs for their support and solidarity during the ebola crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone, noting that Liberia has a young population of over 70% being youth but the statistics could be sad if the skills of these young people are not developed.
“Building private sector relationship is a journey we at the YMCA need, the YMCA must face the reality fact that we are in a competition, and therefore need to align with priorities, while keeping relevance, membership, entrepreneurship and tapping on skills of partners to enhance the quality of services we provide”. Mr. Gboe said
He also noted that young people will put the investment at risk and threaten development if they continue to lack requisite skills. He revealed that the Liberia YMCA Internet Technology (IT) program is 100% sustainable and offer computers literacy skills for hundreds of young people during every circle.
Referencing other partnership over the year, the NGS said building a niche as goal to contribute to the social development was vital to building a strong partnership.
The OGM continued with working group sessions discussing several critical issues spread across the plenary sessions through which delegates learned from share experiences and insight on sustainability strategies for non-profit and philanthropic organizations like the YMCA. The discussion was base on the proposed Economic Model for the African YMCA
Oh and not to forget, the elections for members of the executive committee also took center stage. Liberia was in the running with Mr. Gabriel Briamah who is contesting the position of Executive Committee Member.
Then the admittance of Cameroon and Niger as full members of the Africa Alliance was held with national movements signing the re-admittance roster as a fulfillment to reinforce the spirit of increased visibility and hard work.
Decontee E. George,
S2C Ambassador, Liberia