From Calgary to Columbia…

From Calgary to Columbia…. Vice President for Children and Youth Tanis Cochrane has been sharing and learning within the global YMCA family.

Tanis embarked on a week-long exchange trip to Bogota with President and CEO Helene Weir and Janet Wiles, from Edmonton YMCA. The trio were visiting as part of a partnership between the Y here in Alberta and in Bogota with the objective to learn and share about philanthropy and the programs which are run in Columbia.

Tanis singled out some specific learning points, including the outreach programmes which the Y has developed which are much more prescriptive than in Calgary.  The programs, which are free for children and youths aged seven to 17, help those taking part to grow into more independent young adults, committed to their education with the knowledge of how to use their personal strengths for a successful future.

She added: “They have a much stronger family involvement model than we do, in both a strategic and prescriptive way.”

Now the experiences of YMCA staff have been shared the hard work begins! Tanis explained the next step was to explore how to use the knowledge they now had to put into practice what they had learned. It is hoped more staff will be able to participate in the exchange in the future to help broaden their horizons and ultimately continue to improve what the YMCA does in both Canada and Columbia.

On a personal level the visit was a first for Tanis. She said: “It is a country of extremes. There is everything from extreme wealth to extreme poverty. And with a population of around nine million, the differences between Bogota and Calgary are clear.”