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China YMCA Leaders Invited to YMCA National General Secretaries 2021 Conference and National Board Chairs/Presidents Consultation (Online)

Vice President HAO Zhiqiang and General Secretary Wu Jianrong of National Council of the YMCAs of China (hereinafter referred to as NCYC), were Invited to YMCA National General Secretaries 2021 Conference and National Board Chairs/Presidents Consultation (Online) from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m on February 25-27, 2021.  Some 85 YMCA National General Secretaries and 70 National Board Chairs joined the meetings.
The online conference revolves around three themes: "COVID-19 and its Impact", "Planning /Sharing" and "Constitutional Amendment". The main contents include: speaker sharing; to discussing how to get out of COVID-19 and planning for the future; learning from the experience and lessons of external organizations; exchanging future plans and sharing of programs; discussing governance and constitutional amendment of the World YMCA.
Secretary General Carlos Sanvee introduced the three goals of the World YMCA to unleash its collective potential to get out of the pandemic and help youth solve their practical difficulties. The three goals are:1. To enhance YMCA’s impact on the youth; 2. To build YMCA information sharing network;3. To help release economic pressure of some national YMCAs.
Several external speakers addressed the meeting. Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement told the National General Secretaries: ‘Countries with structured youth movements are proven to be more resilient in responding to crisis, especially where formal education is under pressure. Governments are realizing that organizations like ours are crucial’. He spoke about the ‘Global Youth Mobilization for Generation Disrupted’ project launched in December 2020 with the WHO, UN Foundation and the Big Six, and the projects which it will launch at local, national and global levels.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director at UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children in 190 countries worldwide, used a video message to say: ‘Let’s work together across the UNICEF and YMCA families; let’s bring together our expertise, experience, influence and resources; let’s take our next steps in our journey together’.
Emilio Granados Franco, author of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2021, presented research among the ‘Pandemial’ generation of young people affected by COVID-19, stressing that the most severe impacts of current global crises will be felt by the 15-24 age-group, citing the potential for youth disillusion and rejection of social and economic structures. He also stressed the potential of ‘building back better’. ‘My trust for our collective future is in organizations like the YMCA’, he said.
Three young YMCA leaders – Nicole Wry from Greater Moncton in Canada, Norah Chabu from Zambia and Dae-un Yang from South Korea – joined a youth panel with the National General Secretaries, and described the ways in which their own YMCAs had stepped up to help local people during the COVID pandemic.
The topics of the In-depth discussion were: "What was your greatest challenge during COVID-19 and how did you manage?"  General Secretary WU Jianrong introduced that the biggest challenge facing China YMCA was the closure of our service centers, the decrease in income and the economic pressure. China YMCA has taken active measures to respond to the pandemic by integrating resources and providing online services. At the same time, it has also developed services that are in real need during the crisis, such as food delivery services for the elderly in the community. He concluded that crises often contain both opportunities and challenges. In the experience sharing Session, General Secretary Wu Jianrong also introduced how to integrate effective resources of local YMCAs in China to cope with the pandemic, ie, to actively expand partnership, help people suffering depression or mental health, and launch the "three safety" initiative in the community.
The consultation discussed an updated set of objectives of the World YMCA, the size and composition of the World YMCA Executive Committee, J.R. Mott Endowment Fund and Other Minor Amendments. The conference was concluded by Patricia Pelton, President of World YMCA.
By participating in this online conference, NCYC has deepened its existing partnerships, gained a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the movement, learned about other YMCAs’ mature response to COVID-19, and gained an insight into the governance and operation of the World YMCA. This online conference helps us broaden our horizons, explore the development of professional service, learn from peers, and achieve win-win cooperation. NCYC will continue to make effective use of this normalized mechanism to achieve better results in communicating with the outside and telling moving Chinese stories. We are firmly convinced that challenges and opportunities coexist in the face of change. We will be continuously committed to organizational development and innovation, better serving the society and benefiting the people.


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