The YMCA Thessaloniki participated as a co-organizer in the two- day festival “Connected We Stand” held in Thessaloniki on September the 23rd and 24th.

Connected We Stand is a multi-thematic volunteering festival focused on young men and women. It aims to communicate the work of voluntary organizations to the general public and to strengthen the cooperation between the bodies of the Civil Society with main axes: Arts and culture, Sports, Quality of Life, Volunteerism and Solidarity, Green Development and Social Entrepreneurship, Environment.

On the first day of the festival, at the city hall, the YMCA Thessaloniki presented its work to the public. Ms. Aristi Tzoni (Director of YMCA Thessaloniki Social Action Sector) explained many of the initiatives and projects that are currently being carried out by this centennial organization.

During the second day the YMCA Thessaloniki contributed to the festival in various ways. Firstly, several baskets and balls were placed along the beach promenade so that the people around could entertain themselves with a couple of shots, promoting the value of sports. Secondly, the public was attended directly in the YMCA stand by volunteers and staff. All the questions related with our programs and projects were answered and different leaflets were distributed.

One of the projects that was promoted was the HELIOS program. The YMCA Thessaloniki is an implementing partner of this program from its inception in 2019, being one of the three ILC (Integration Learning Centers) in town. The banner of the program, as well as the last factsheets were placed in a conspicuous place, and members of the ILC staff were attending the concurrence.

It should be noted that at the initiative of the Social Action Sector, a performance was carried out under the title “Base-Figure”. The artist that organized the performance is a teacher in the YMCA- ILC, Ms. Foteini Mouratidou. During this act, the participants were able to paint a life- message on the body of the volunteers. It was a unique moment, where art joined emotion and values.