The Africa YMCA Movement meets for a series of governance meetings

The PowerSpace and Youth Justice in Togo
17/10/2022

YMCA Leaders from various countries in Africa gathered in Nairobi from the 10th to 12th November for a series of governance meetings. The meeting gathered the Executive Committee of the Africa Alliance, Board Presidents of National Movements, National General Secretaries and youth representatives. Our partners from Y Global and Y Care International/All We Can as well as Carlos Sanvee the Secretary General of World Alliance of YMCAs were in attendance.

We were able to achieve several objectives during the meeting:
 
 
1. Board Presidents Orientation, capacity building  and exchange: taking the form of the african traditional "Board President's Breakfast'', it was an occasion to welcome the newly elected board presidents from National Movements, share information about the african and the global movement and also get updates from National Movements including a database of "in house competencies" in different areas. The leadership and roles of board presidents were also discussed, as well as the improvements of the connections with the Africa Alliance. But it was also an occasion to share more about the Africa Y 3.0 and Vision 2030, and the board president's meeting most important outcome was  a collective declaration to commit the National Movements to the Vision 2030 and Africa Y 3.0
d by the the General Secretary Nirina Rakotomalala in collaboration with board members and technical support of the AAY team.

2. Strategic Plan Review and Vision 2030: At the heart of the meeting was the review of the current Strategic Plan and discussions about how the African movements will embed the vision 2030 in their strategies as well as the implementation framework. The process was led by the consultants from Think Place Kenya. It was preceded by desk research and  some individual interviews and will be followed by more individual interviews, surveys,  and focus groups. The 4 Pillars of impact of the vision 2030 were acknowledged by the participants and there were also acknowledgement of the alignment of the S2C area of impact, there were showcases of the current impact , including testimonies from the youth and from some national movements, and discussions around how to record the contributions of the african movements to the vision 2030. It was also acknowledged that certain work at the institutional level need to continue, such as the sustainability strategies and the growth  and the reviewed strategies will be formulated to better reflect the articulation with vision 2030. A first draft of the revised strategies are awaited early January. The consultation process will be then continued up to a final version and adoption at the General Assembly in 2023. 

3. Board and NGS Leadership Training:  around the theme "Human Centred Development Approach" delivered by Think Place Kenya CEO, another theme around "Making tough decision" was delivered as a "hot bench" panel, sharing the experience of Zambia YMCA, turning the organisation around from bankruptcy to a high potential and performing YMCA.
 

4. Executive Committee Meeting: formal business meeting and decision making. The executive committee meeting started with an online session one week before the event, and continued in a special session during the in person meeting. The stepping stones towards the General Assembly was at the heart of the discussions, but it also took the plans and budget for the year 2023. Given the needs for proper planning and preparations, working groups were set in place and a follow up Executive committee meeting on 14th of December. 
 
5. NGS Meeting: Special session of NGS meeting was facilitated for team building, exchange, and better peer support. Welfare and pensions were also discussed as it appeared as an important gap for almost every national movement. 

6. Movement building and cohesion: Right after the world council in Aarhus in July, two sessions of movement and cohesion building dubbed "family conversation" were held online, targeting an extended leadership of the african movements. The meeting in Nairobi hosted daily sessions of the family conversations, including some "healing process" from the past two years crisis and reinforcement of the zonal functions (west, east, south) as a way to improve sharing and connections inter-movements and better deliver the mission. Online zonal meetings in December were planned for follow up, as well as 2 sessions of family conversation in February and May 2023; and they are part of a journey to one toward  the General Assembly 

As a result the meetings, the Nairobi declaration commissioned by Board presidents of 17 NMs prescribed commitment to deliver on the pillars of the Y 3.0 Game plan framed along the ideals of Youth empowerment and enforced by the the General Secretary Nirina Rakotomalala in collaboration with board members and technical support of the AAY team.

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