The YMCA of Greater Toronto’s international partnerships
As part of our charitable mission, our work also extends far beyond our borders. Through our Global Programs, we are part of an international community of YMCAs in over 115 countries all around the world. Together, we nurture each other in the spirit of a global village and work to create a world where social justice exists for all people.
The YMCA of Greater Toronto has developed partnerships with local YMCAs in eight countries with the purpose of: supporting community development projects, sharing technical expertise and learning about the issues that affect us all. Our partners are the YMCAs of: Ghana, Kingston (Jamaica), Lebanon, Liberia, Medellin (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Myanmar and Senegal.
The YMCA of Greater Toronto offer exceptional young leaders from our YMCA partner communities the opportunity to participate in a five-week program in Toronto. The program is designed to:
- Develop skills and knowledge of young leaders
- Build relationships between people of different countries
- Create global awareness and understanding among people in the GTA
During the program, youth take part in cultural activities, participate in YMCA programs and give presentations about issues that affect their home countries. When participants return home, they share their experiences with local youth groups and with their local YMCA
Global awareness is integrated into programs for children, youth and adults at YMCA centres throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Each year, over 8,000 people participate in global awareness events and activities.
The objectives of our global awareness activities are to:
- Educate and inform about current global issues and trends
- Encourage global responsibility and action towards positive change
- Develop a sense of belonging to the YMCA global family
- Support leadership in global awareness among staff, volunteers, youth and members
Global awareness activities include:
- Peace Week activities, allowing children, youth and adults to explore peace-building from personal, community and international perspectives
- “Lunch and learns” which explore global themes such as human rights, HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability and fair trade
- Sharing and exchanging stories, blogs, videos, pictures and postcards from YMCAs in communities around the world