March 5, 2017  |  

Could this be our moment?

From Hong Kong to Chiangmai was the theme for this year’s international National General Secretaries meeting held in Moshi Tanzania the city of the mighty Kilimanjaro. Moshi is hosting some of the greatest minds of the YMCA worldwide from the 13th to 17th February at Lutheran Uhuru hotel as the seminar was touched with an african insight daily, delegates to the conference were arriving on the 13th February, 2017 on different times schedules as a shuttle compliments of Kenya YMCA was there to receive them at the airport with the Tanzania S2C Ambassador/ Change Agent, Neema Kipokola later that evening a pre introductory and registration meeting was held with expectations shared from all delegates present at time.

The next day began with opening remarks from the NGS of Tanzania Stewart Lyatuu and later followed a great inspirational devotion from the Tanzania YMCA President Bishop Maimbo William Mndolwa who shared great words of inspiration and congratulated the YMCA for being the voice for the speechless, advocating for injustices happening around the world and empowering young people, A keynote address was offered by the Secretary General of world alliance Johan Eltvik who also challenged the National Executives of their true existence, that the young people are the DNA of the YMCA and it is high time we woke up the sleeping giant as the journey begin from Hong Kong 2010, the day proceed well with very colorful individuals sharing there prospective on the YMCA movement’s desire to become a social movement and part away from the institution status, among the speakers was a renowned Lawyer Prof. Patrick Lumumba and young social activitists Boniface Mwangi who helped NGSs understand the concept of a social movement and what makes it tick in society with practical examples, youth empowerment has the main reason national Executives from around the world had gathered were meeting two S2C ambassadors / change Agents Kenny Travis Kafwanka from Zambia and Neema Kipokola from Tanzania shared their experiences, highlights and lessons learned in the journeys to inspire NGSs to send more young people to the programme, the day was concluded on an eventful note as all delegates were invited to Tanzania YMCA Head office to have an official welcoming dinner that featured a fully roasted Goat as a welcoming present to guests called in a Tanzanian traditional name ‘Ndavu’ meaning ‘Welcome’ as they closed the day in style with everyone receiving a Tanzania souvenir from YMCA Tanzania.

Great melodies from a Tanzania based choir started the days as on this day the head of the Gambia YMCA challenged the delegates as a movement to stand strong against the giant that threatens existence of the YMCA as they proceed into uncharted territories of youth empowerment, cross cutting issues were discussed in the comfort zones of YMCA safe spaces as participants confronted themselves if indeed they were relevant and responsive to the many needs of young people out there, however, who we are, what is our name? is the question they asked themselves and their belief in God is not merely because they love to pray but because God never fails or turns them down as Carlos Sanvee Secretary General of the Africa Alliance remained them during last day morning devotion, Ken Collton former World Alliance President ran them through governance and leadership of YMCA and how transparent the movement has become regarding issues of governance, leadership and elections of top most leadership in the movement as they go towards the world council 2018 in Chiang mai, Thailand, the day was jam packed field activities as they drove through the beautiful sceneries of Tanzania to a Tanzania YMCA branch called Mwanga 57 km outside the town of moshi to visit some projects, amazed by the national movements impacts of vocational training for young people using the S2C philosophy / change model as an highlight of the day, NGSs from around the world described their stay Tanzania as memorable, exciting, enriching and movement strengthening as they go away with a new strength, motivation, friends and above all strongest hope for the YMCA movement and a self-realization of who YMCA really is Youth Empowerment.

Article by: Kenny Travis Kafwanka: S2C Ambassador / Change Agent / Branch General Secretary.