With great honor and joy YMCA Thessaloniki welcomed on Wednesday 24th of August MichalÂ Szymanczak, Senior Executive Secretary of the YMCA World, whoÂ remained in our city until Friday, August 26, 2016.
The visit is part of the international relations of YMCA Thessaloniki with European andÂ international bodies of the YMCA World and was a result of our participation in theÂ European Conference held in March 2016 in the Netherlands in the city Den Dolder.Â In the conference mentioned above, YMCA Thessaloniki made a very important suggestionÂ to the members of the other European YMCA â€˜s to raise awareness on issues relating toÂ refugees and to enable executives in developing programmes and actions in favor ofÂ children refugees.
The purpose of the visit of the Senior Executive Secretary of YMCA World to the YMCAÂ Thessaloniki was his better understanding and inform him about the actions undertaken byÂ the YMCA Thessaloniki related to the refugee crisis and to visit refugee relocation centers.
During his stay Michal Szymanczak had the opportunity to visit the Refugee RelocationÂ Center in Diavata where YMCA Thessaloniki is developing actions on a weekly basis focusingÂ on the entertainment of the refugee children. He also visited the Refugee Center “ELPIDA”Â at Derveni, a new potential site of development for the YMCA action.
As a part of his visit, a discussion-meeting took place with members of the board of YMCAÂ Thessaloniki, a representative of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and UNHCR and theÂ partners of YMCA from the European REACT program. The REACT is a project funded byÂ UNHCR, with lead partner the Municipality of Thessaloniki and is temporarily hostingÂ refugees seeking asylum or relocation. During the meeting, new ways of strengthening theÂ cooperation among the partners were discussed as well as the support from the YMCAÂ World.
As announced by the Senior Executive Secretary of the YMCA World Â«following the events ofÂ the last two years mainly on the European continent, the YMCA World decided toÂ strengthen the organizations – countries actively engaged with the refugee crisis, in allÂ possible ways (financially, materially and human capital). In this context and following theÂ disclosure of the activity developed by our organization, it was decided upon the YMCAÂ World to assist YMCA Thessaloniki for itâ€™s work, initially with the amount of 10,000 â‚¬, as theÂ work of YMCA Thessaloniki is addressed by the YMCA World as a model program on theÂ vulnerable group of refugeesÂ»