By Mathew Amuzu, Regional Director, Volta Region
The 2nd Annual Regional Youth Conference of the Volta YMCAs was held on Friday, 15th June, 2018, at Anfoeta Tsebi YMCA in rural community 45 kilometers from Ho, the regional secretariat.
Youth representatives from 4 local branches, Aflao, Ho Central, Hlefi and Anfoeta Tsebi converged at Anfoeta Tsebi for the event. The Member of Parliament (MP) of Ho West constituency, who is also the national patron of the korfball association Hon. Emmanuel Bedzra graced the occasion as a special guest. The Regional Youth Committee and the Regional Director, Mr. Matthew Amuzu paid a courtesy call on the chiefs of Anfoeta Tsebi, before the commencement of the conference.
A korfball team from Tsito community was invited to assist the YMCA to establish a korfball team in Anfoeta Tsebi YMCA. CVJM Frohnhausen, partners to Anfoeta Tsebi YMCA supported with funds for the purchase of footwear and korf for the new team. The korfball association donated a set of jerseys to the Anfoeta Tsebi team.
A total of ninety-two (92) participants, took part in the conference.
The Volta Regional Director, indicated at the opening ceremony that the purpose of this year’s Annual Regional Youth Conference was to ensure youth participation and active involvement in membership recruitment effort of the Ghana YMCA to address the African Alliance of YMCA’s membership charter. The conference remains the largest forum in the region to provide education and also build capacity of the youth in leadership, civic engagements and other relevant topical issues that confront young people and society at large.
The Regional Director, used the occasion to make an appeal to the chiefs, elders, opinion leaders and community members present at the conference to partner the YMCA for the sake of development of our youth. He also made a passionate call to the youth to join the local YMCAs, because their future depends very much on the YMCA and their respective communities.
Hon. Emmanuel Bedzra, in his keynote address stated that the YMCA as a Christian youth association supports youth and communities globally. He stated that, the evidence is the Early Childhood Development Centre established at the Anfoeta Tsebi, and various support the community had enjoyed from the YMCA in the past. The MP gave a cash donation of GHS 300.00 in support to the Volta YMCA. The Regional Director, made appeal for more cash donations to support the youth to participate in the upcoming national youth conference to be held in Koforidua. The Hon. Emmanuel Bedzra, also promised to donate another set of jerseys to Anfoeta Tsebi YMCA korfball team.
He also encouraged parents to allow their children to join the YMCA. His final appeal to the YMCA was to extend YMCA to other communities in his constituency and the entire Ho West District.
The workshop during the conference focused on membership growth in the Ghana YMCA, taking into account the African Alliance of YMCAs directive for membership charter by all national movements in Africa.
Demonstrating with a rope how the youth can connect with others to join the YMCA
Therefore, the Regional Director took participants through membership recruitment training. The emphasis of the training was on how YMCA members especially the youth can connect with other young people who are non-members in their communities, schools and churches to join any local YMCA where the association is located. There was a brief orientation on the “Youth Power Spaces” developed by the World Alliance of YMCAs.
The Regional Youth Committee used the occasion to elect new young leaders to take over the leadership responsibilities of the committee.
Names of the Elected Leaders (from left to right).
Volta YMCA over the years has adopted sports and games to engage young people to compete and also have fun at our youth conferences. At this year’s games, two new games, Korfball and Frisbee have been introduced in the YMCA. We hope to extend these games to other YMCAs in the region. Again, these games are used to facilitate our entry into the schools to establish Hi-Ys, if we are able to solicit the needed funds. The newly formed Anfoeta Tsebi YMCA korfball team defeated Tsito Korfball team by 2:0.
Volta YMCA will continue to organize this annual event by engaging young people to fulfill our Vision to empower the youth and to make the YMCA more visible and relevant to our society.
Volta YMCA engaging key personalities like a Member of Parliament, Hon Emmanuel Bedzra honouring to the YMCA conference, chiefs and community leaders willingly accepting to offer their support to the YMCA, is a clear indication that the YMCA still remains socially significant to our youth and communities’ development.