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World Council News #4, 18 February 2022

Français & Espanól

We are pleased to confirm that the physical element of the 20th YMCA World Council in Aarhus, Denmark on 3-9 July can, should and will take place.

We have reviewed all the criteria – first and foremost the Covid situation, but also the need to meet the overarching goal of ‘representation for all’ – and decided with confidence and excitement that the physical component of World Council can and will go ahead, alongside the online component.  We have not taken the decision lightly, and will continue to monitor all these factors. Onwards we go.

See you in Aarhus!

‘Earlybird’ registration prices for the physical event are available until midnight Geneva time today, Friday 18 February. Here
To date, over 700 people from every continent are registered for the physical event, and we continue to drive for and receive registrations, aiming for 1000 participants. We are also delighted to have received over 900 registrations for the virtual event, a figure which will rise significantly.
Read more below – not just about precautionary Covid measures, but about the programmes that are taking shape, the experience that is coming to life, and the YMCA journey that meets another major milestone in July 2022. 

In these bulletins we’ll tell you much more over the coming months, March to June, as we approach the event in early July.  Stand by for ‘onboarding’ not just to smooth your journey, but to make the journey itself an integral part of the experience, whether you are joining us in person, online, or both.
Webinar, 9 February
180 people worldwide registered for the information webinar which set out to share as much information as possible, and to answer questions. Read the summary web story here. And follow the recording of the entire 90-minute event, or jump to the individual sections.
Patricia Pelton, World YMCA, sets the scene. More
Christine Lund, YMCA Denmark, on the host YMCA and the host city Aarhus. More
Kerry Reilly, YMCA Scotland, on the programme of events for the week. More
Mike Bromfield, World YMCA consultant, on the online experience. More
Suzanne Watson, World YMCA, on Covid policy and practice (and hotel, travel). More
The go-ahead for the physical event is largely based on health and safety, in a situation which is constantly moving, and very hard to predict. The first priority of the In Person meeting is health and safety, and systems are in place to ensure this.
The World Council Team has ruled that vaccination is mandatory for the event, with globally accepted vaccines

  • Pfizer
  • Johnson & Johnson – Janssen Pharmaceutical 
  • Moderna 
  • AstraZeneca
  • Novavax
  • Covishield
  • Covaxin
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm

The World Council Team is putting in place Covid tests on arrival, and will implement testing throughout the week if necessary. Mask-wearing will be voluntary, but it may become obligatory - either way, masks will be provided by the event team.

The Aarhus hotels and the conference centre all follow the Danish health authorities’ advice, and provide hand sanitisers in all public spaces. The conference centre space will be managed to ensure distancing and to avoid crowding.

We feel that these measures – and potential new measures - will satisfy the primary concern of participants, that the event be as ‘Covid-safe’ as possible. Please see our best Covid policy and practices, and continue to follow the Guidelines for entering Denmark issued by the Danish Government.
We encourage you to register for the physical or online events before 31 March, on the official World Council website.
World Council official website - register here
A reminder of the fees:
  • In-person‘earlybird' fees USD 950 per person are no longer available after 23:59 CET today, 18 February. On 19 February, they become USD 1100, until 31 March. We retain the promise that if for any reason the live event cannot go ahead, registration fees will be reimbursed.
  • On-line: USD 100 per person at any stage, or go via your YMCA National Movements to benefit from block booking prices. They are being offered a discounted fee of USD 1,500 for 100 people or USD 3,000 for 200 people
Thanks to the generosity of some
YMCA National Movements, World YMCA and YMCA partners, subsidies are available to encourage participation from smaller Movements with less financial resource, especially young people. Requests should be made via YMCA National Movements to

Here is the outline programme for the physical event. Much more detail to follow: on plenary sessions, keynote speakers, engagement panels, the Co-Labs teams, the side meetings, the devotions and more. Please watch the Programme page on the website.

The 6 Co-Lab sessions within the programme are key. In a nutshell, they are the spaces where we will cocreate, reflect and shape the implementation of YMCA Vision 2030. Depending on how many people attend in Aarhus, we could have up to 50 groups of 20 people. We will be recruiting for facilitators, and apportioning people to different groups.  First things first: the Co-Lab design team will meet in Geneva 30 March to 1 April to chart every minute of the 5-day Co-Lab programme. There will be online Co-Labs too. 
Read more on the Co-Labs

Three people from three regions spoke for thousands of people and all six YMCA regions, when they explained what World Council means for them, and why they will be in Aarhus.
North America region: Tom Valentine, Vice-President - International, Y USA. More
Asia Pacific region: Bolortuya Dondovsambuu, President, YMCA Mongolia. More
Latin America & Caribbean region: Cristiano Ristov, World YMCA Executive Committee member, YMCA Brazil. More

The key source of information is the World Council website.  We have also been making regular posts in English, French and Spanish on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. Anyone can access and use the World Council social media assets (all in English, French and Spanish) here

Look back with us to 1955, when the global YMCA celebrated its 100th birthday in Paris, France – the city where, 100 years earlier, 99 delegates from 9 countries had first met, and issued the Paris Declaration.  
We’re here to help:
This is World Council News #4. Like News #1, News #2 and News #3, it  is sent to all our World YMCA contacts. We plan that subsequent bulletins from March 2022 onwards will be sent to World Council registrants only. However, all YMCA audiences will be kept informed about the World Council via the separate monthly World YMCA news bulletins, normally issued on the first day of the month.  These specific World Council News bulletins will appear at mid-month until June 2022, and daily during the event, 3-9 July 2022. 

World Council News #1 (12 November 2021) - EnglishEspanolFrancais
World Council News #2 (16 December 2021) - EnglishEspanolFrancais
World Council News #3 (19 January 2022) – EnglishEspanolFrancais
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