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Where West Meets East

Where West Meets East

On October 15 – 20, 2012 the YMCA Europe held its next Catch the Vision Conference under the motto “Where West Meets East” in Istanbul, Turkey. The event was a milestone activity in the implementation plan of the YMCA Europe Strategy 2011-2016, with specific focus on priorities “Peace, Justice and Democracy” and “Inclusive Christianity”. It is designed to leverage the capacity building initiatives of the major YMCA Europe on-going projects (Roots for Reconciliation and Balkan Initiative) into a joint training forum, open to pan-European participation. It  also provided an opportunity of exposure to the YMCA in Turkey.


The total of 52 participants, facilitators and guest speakers from 24 countries, with geographical coverage ranging from Iceland to South Africa, from Canada to Russia took part in the Conference. The key educational modules of the event were as follows:


1. Youth Empowerment, incl. introduction to the YMCA ‘Agents of Change’ model.

2. Intercultural Learning

3. ‘Do No Harm’ as a Conflict / Diversity Sensitive Methodology

4. Change Assessment


Where West Meets EastThe conference was a bridging event for the YMCA Europe Peace Work Institute within the ‘Roots for Reconciliation’ project. It served as the first session within this series, and most of the participants are expected to continue with the second and third sessions in 2013, and consequent projects in the field (2014) to be followed by a reunion (2015) to evaluate the results of the overall scheme.