Sharing YMCA successes worldwide!

SHARING ideas and experiences is key for the YMCA movement and where better than on an international stage?

Tanis Cochrane, Vice President for Children and Youth at Calgary YMCA, is heading out on a mission to do just that when she travels to Ukraine today, Thursday.

Her trip will be part of a collaboration with the Ukrainian YMCA which began more than eight years ago and will see her spend the next 10 days in the west of the country, in the city of Lviv. Tanis will visit three regional centres to work with them as they work towards producing a strategic plan with regard to fundraising and sustainability.

Tanis explained: “The Ukrainian groups do not have facilities like we do. They depend on volunteers and have limited resources for the great work that they do.”

She will also work to help develop ways of finding local level funding and finding resources which are sustainable. But, this is not a one-way collaboration.

In the true spirit of the YMCA international partnership Tanis will also be hoping to bring back some fresh ideas and practices to Calgary.

She explained the Ukrainian movement had much more success at motivating young people (aged 18-30) to become involved. She said: “It is a partnership. It is taking the best of what we have and learning from each other.”

This collaboration is not unusual in terms of YMCA groups sharing information and experiences internationally. YMCA Alberta has a partnership with Bogota in Columbia which spans back more than 35 years.

Tanis concluded: “It is quite an exciting thing to be able to travel to other countries and do it as part of the YMCA international community. I always come back feeling quite inspired, seeing other YMCAs in countries where resources are, compared to what we have in Canada, non-existent.”