The YMCA in Ireland covers both parts of the island, the Republic and the Northern region which is part of the United Kingdom. The associations are of various sizes and vary greatly in their programmes according to local needs.
Peace is our own reward towards humanity
and most importantly towards ourselves, remember an eye for an eye in the end
will make the whole world blind.
The most interesting thing about peace is that everyone wants it, peace is within everyone. The only reason we as humans haven’t achieved it yet is that some want peace in a different way. And the irony is that peace stops once people stop agreeing in that form of peace.
Being raised in a post war country, as a
child I saw the material destruction war brought onto us, growing up I also
started to see the emotional destruction as well. I was told plenty of stories
regarding the war and every single one ended with “I am glad you didn’t and
hopefully won’t get to live through it”. Which is what I hope for, not getting
to live something as gruesome as seeing the peace we created get slowly
vanished in front of our eyes
Therefore, the biggest fear I have is being in fear, which means not having peace around and within.
There are no magic solutions to give away,
no magic bullets that shoot towards peace…
The melancholia of imagining the world
without peace, only gets away when I realize peace is on my hands as well, and
that’s the beauty of peace. You cannot own it but you can have it, you create
it once and you cannot let it go anymore.
I am forever happy to be a part of a
generation where to us peace is sacred, it is something that actually makes us
unite. Having seen injustice happen we woke up from the slumber and saw that we
can actually be a change in this world, for once the youth are speaking a
similar language, that of the peace.
Countries, politics, religion aside we now
are united, there is nothing we can lose, but our chains.
About the Author:
Eli Vula, is an eighteen and she’s from Kosovo. She has been part of the YMCA in Kosovo in many different programs and now she has her own writing group, where every week they gather together at the YMCA to write poetry, essays, and discuss different topics.
For 175 years the YMCA has been delivering life-enhancing programmes to young people and families in their communities around the world and all across Ireland. We have responded to events in history that have changed the face of the world and today we face another of these challenges as we endure this Covid-19 pandemic. The world is rapidly changing before our eyes and so like you, we are uncertain how deep and for how long, this virus will impact our lives.
Our work is and will continue to be disrupted by this outbreak, but the YMCA will consistently put the lives of young people and the most vulnerable in our communities to the fore.
We seek to promote youth development, healthy living and community engagement, whether that be through youth work, childcare or fitness.
We are working to innovate and engage with young people in new ways as many traditional youth work methods are not possible in the current climate. In spite of the many challenges our staff will try to continue to provide support, advice and positive experiences for families and young people to enhance their lives. We will endeavour to ensure the health and well-being of all who avail of our programmes and services as well as our volunteers and staff.
YMCA understands that the present global situation is presenting challenges for governments, businesses, charities, communities, families and individuals on an enormous scale. We are also gravely impacted financially as creches, gyms, local centres and our outdoor learning centre have had to close.
Finally, we stand in solidarity with young people who are and will be badly affected by the economic implications of this crisis. No matter what comes in the days and weeks ahead, we will work to support young people, their families and their communities.
The world is living through a time of trouble but we remember ‘these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
The key message for today is: stay home and keep your social distance!
Stay safe, stay connected!
John Peacock National Secretary
AGM residential starting at 8pm on 8th November at Greenhill and the actual AGM at Glenada at 10am on 9th November.
YMCA Portadown have operated on their current Jervis Street site since 1957 with their original building serving the community for 61 years. Following an announcement for a capital grant in 2013 YMCA Portadown embarked on an exciting new build project.
Fast forward to 2019 and Portadown YMCA is pleased to see the completed building in Jervis Street. The state of the art facility includes a sports hall, training rooms, multi functional social area with coffee bar and a high specification kitchen. Outside consists of a large paved area with raised seating, large planters, gas fire pit, raised vegetable beds and a basketball area. The building has achieved a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating highlighting the positive efforts made limit the impact on the environment.
The Youth programme in Portadown has got off to a flying start in the new building with registration of young people far surpassing the previous three years. The after school homework club regularly has 50 young people and our Friday night provision has in excess of 80 young people attending.
The new building is an opportunity to build on the heritage and legacy of YMCA Portadown’s youth work over the decades and create new a lasting memories of positive engagement for at least another generation. So staff and volunteers are excited and optimistic for youth work in Portadown and they look forward to building on the legacy of those who have gone before.
During the month of June, YMCAs throughout the world joined together to celebrate the movement’s 175th Birthday by committing to do 175 minutes of service in their local communities. In Ireland, local YMCAs were involved in a wide range of creative activities including random acts of kindness, community clean ups, fundraising events for other charities etc.
Great to see a new resource aimed at youth workers engaging with young people who express hateful speech and/or behaviour. The resource produced by NYCI, was developed by a number of youth work practitioners, including Zen from YMCA Cork. Congratulations to all involved in producing this valuable resource. Training available from NYCI www.youth.ie
Young people from all of the YMCAs participating in the Peace IV Funded m-power programme gathered in Belfast to mark the completion of its first year. The focus was on hearing the stories of young people whose lives had been enriched as a result of their participation in it. Geraldine Stinton, co-ordinator, paid tribute to the young people and their courage in dealing with difficult issues and to the staff who have provided a safe space for nearly 200 young people since the programme began.
This is an important year for the YMCA movement as it celebrates 175 years of service to young people. To celebrate a major event is planned for the Excel centre London in August. In Ireland this is also an important year as we join with our colleagues in YMCA Dublin to mark its 170th anniversary of unbroken service to the City of Dublin. Watch this video on the YMCA 175 event