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YMCA at Rio+20 Event Report

July, 2012


YMCA at Rio+20: General Overview 34 youth representatives from Kenya, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Angola, Korea, Argentina and Zambia shared their voice at Rio+20—the UN conference on sustainable development held June 22nd—through the YMCA. The process leading up to the conference included a preparatory event for young leaders that took place at YMCA Ilha do Governador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Organized as a camp, this event included a dialogue on the YMCA and its relation to sustainable development, as well as activities with the surrounding community. In total, about 600 people in the community were mobilized to clean up a mangrove area and visit various community projects including a public school.

The YMCA Dialogue on Sustainable Development

During the Rio+20 Conference, the YMCA hosted the Ministers of Environment from Korea and Lebanon, the Swedish Ambassador for the Environment, and a specialist on Youth Participation from UN-HABITAT as panelists at their Rio+20 side-event. Marcus Gustafsson of Sweden, a member of the YMCA delegation, expressed that this panel was one of the most positive elements of the conference. In his words, “the event really showed the strength and potential there is if we can just harness our global organization…how many contacts and resources we have at our disposal.” The young leaders from the YMCA shared their visions with world leaders through passionate speeches explaining their concerns and expectations regarding environmentally sustainable policies for the future.

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World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


Despite the general feeling of frustration concerning the final resolution of the Rio+20 Summit, the YMCA delegates were very excited about continuing to share their opinions with the various authorities and press present in Rio. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, in meeting with representatives of major groups, including the YMCA, encouraged world citizens to continue to advocate for and demand sustainable development in order to guarantee justice for all people. Rio+20 were one of the biggest UN conferences in history, and is also historic in terms of involvement of civil society. This is also one of the largest YMCA delegations to ever participate in a UN event.

The YMCA Side Event at Rio+20

Marcus expressed very clearly the importance of involving youth in discussions about environmental sustainability, stating “if we are to empower youth, we need to ensure that they have a future.� For the young YMCA leaders, being at this conference and speaking with world leaders was a rewarding and empowering experience, demonstrating the profound potential of the YMCA change model of Space, Transformation and Impact.

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World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


Participants Ernesto Casinda* Samuel Malanga* Mário Cenci* Alexandre Rodrigues Arcilon Rocha Bruna Muller Batistelli Barros Débora Gomes Eduardo Paulo Borges Felipe Miranda Gabrielle Hohenturff Juliana Zabot Lucinda Correa Márcio Nery Nathália Leite Alves Nathalia Novak Victor Ramos Friederike Fitz Lightline Clifford Omondi Frederik Omondi George Njagi Pauline Cherunya Guro Klausen Kaja Mathisen Kasper Landmark Mari-Ann Jansen Mathilda Thue Sunniva Haaberg Nam Bo wam* Annika Hagberg Marcus Gustafson Philip Aluko Sofia Widén Romulo Dantas Oscar Nyaywa

Angola Angola Argentina Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil - Germany Kenya Kenya Kenya Kenya Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway South Korea Sweden Sweden Sweden Sweden World Alliance Zambia Page 4 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


* Did not attend the YMCA Dialogue on Sustainable Development

YMCA Sustainable Development Dialogue June 17-19 The World Alliance hosted a Capacity Building activity/Strategic Discussion for 30 young leaders, two days prior to Rio +20. Goals: - To prepare young leaders for meaningful participation at Rio+20 - To share knowledge about some of the current initiatives undertaken by YMCAs around the world and future YMCA global initiatives, with special focus on YMCA green initiatives - To get young leaders’ input on how the YMCA could a) engage more in sustainability issues and b) connect and mobilize young people around the world

Group Discussions during YMCA Dialogue on Sustainable Development

Methodology The World Alliance facilitated the dialogue in partnership with the youth participants prior to the event.

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World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


The suggestions for the programme were collected through a consultation process and arranged accordingly. A World Alliance representative lead a session on Youth Empowerment in action and invited participants to discuss the possibilities for further engagement on the sustainable development agenda. The host YMCA facilitated team building exercises including an excursion day and activities with the surrounding community for exposure to the local realities.

Country presentations during the YMCA Dialogue on Sustainable Development

Accommodation Details: Camp The World Alliance organized a campsite in partnership with the YMCA of Rio de Janeiro. Tents and mattresses were acquired with the help of YMCA of São Paulo, who sent the needed equipment and a staff person to fulfill the group’s needs.

The YMCA Camp Site at YMCA Ilha do Governador Page 6 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


Transportation Services Transportation services were provided to all participants for arrival, team building activities, attending the Rio+20 conferences, and departure.

The team building day experience

Programme Overview June 14-16 Arrivals

Sunday, June 17 8h00 – Breakfast 08h30 – Team Building Departure 09h30 – Hike up to Morro da Urca 11h30 – Hike down Page 7 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


12h30 – Lunch Time 13h30 – Copacabana and Ipanema Beach and Rodrigo de Freitas Lake 16h00 – Return to Ilha do Governador 18h30 – Opening Devotion (YMCA Kenya) 15’ Motivations (Arcilon Rocha - Brazil) 15’ Presentations: What are we doing about Sustainable Development in my YMCA? If not, what do we intend to do? (All countries) 30’ Music Training 45’ (Norway) 20h30 – Dinner 21h30 – Free

Monday, June 18 8h00 – Breakfast* 9h00 – Devotion (YMCA Norway) 9h15 – Presentations (Norway and Kenya) 9h45 – Presentations (Brazil and Sweden) 10h15 – Break 10h30 – Youth Empowerment in Action | YMCA World Movement (Romulo Dantas) 10h55 – Dialogue (Mathilde Thue - Norway) Engaging with environmental sustainability globally. What can the World YMCA movement do? 12h45 – Lunch 14h30 – Working Session: documenting the outcome of the discussion (Clifford Collins - Kenya) Page 8 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


15h30 – Preparations for Rio+20 Advocacy Points/ Orientation (Romulo Dantas) UN/Impact/ General Programme of the Conference (Marcus Gustafson/ Sofia Widén - Sweden) YMCA Side event (Marcus Gustafson - Sweden) 20h00 – Dinner

Tuesday, June 19 7h00 – Breakfast / Devotion (YMCA Brazil) 8h30 – Action Day (Alexandre Rodrigues - Brazil) Meeting with local environmentalist at a fisherman community 09h30 – Mangrove cleaning 11h15 – Recycle Materials workshop 12h30 – Capoeira 13h30 – Lunch 15h00 – Visit to public school YMCA delegates were separated in 6 groups to interact with students and talk about Rio+20 and its importance. The whole group will meet for some recreational activities YMCA delegation presented a song 17h30 – Free Slot for emergencies/ other preparations

Wednesday, June 20 6h00 – Breakfast 7h30 – Departure to Rio Convention Center Page 9 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


19h00 – Departure from Rio Convention Center

Thursday, June 21 5h30 – Breakfast 6h00 – Departure to Rio Convention Center 11h00 – YMCA Side Event Songs and Voices of Worldwide Youth: A Call to Act for Change Now! T-5 (capacity 60) – Tentative Venue 19h00 – Departure from Rio Convention Center

Friday, June 22 5h30 – Breakfast 6h00 – Departure to Rio Convention Center 19h00 – Departure from Rio Convention Center

Saturday, June 23 Departures

Challenges During the activities, the group faced some logistical challenges with the breakfast service provider. Due to a 1 hour delay on the first day, World Alliance decided to replace the service with everyday support from the local staff. The change helped add flexibility to the programme. The complicated traffic in the city and the need of registration for vans to access the main gates of Rio Convention Center forced the group to walk around 3km on the first day of Rio Conference to be able to get in. For the following days, the programme was adapted for earlier departure, which solved the issue. Those issues have influenced on the necessary time to conclude the outcome document of the YMCA Dialogue but it was agreed that it would be done virtually. Page 10 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


The cleaning up of the Mangrove Area

Impact The biggest impacts of the activities were, first of all, on the lives of the YMCA participants. The joy of participating in an important event and gathering with other YMCA youth from around the world made this experience very empowering. The YMCA dialogue on sustainable development achieved its goals in preparing the delegation for the Rio+20 Summit and inspiring and motivating the group to engage more with the agenda of sustainable development and to support the YMCA World movement for greater global importance.

Visiting a public school Page 11 of 13

World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


The YMCA delegation had a high level of visibility during the Rio+20 summit. Several of our participants were interviewed by the world press, and were able to join the plenary sessions and meet with country delegations. Attendance at the YMCA-organized side event exceeded the room’s 60-person capacity. At the event, a panel (including Ministers of Environment from South Korea and Lebanon, the Ambassador for the Environment from Sweden, and a Specialist on Youth Participation from the UN) heard the demands of the YMCA young leaders. After the young leaders delivered 6 short speeches, the panelists were invited to comment on the issues raised by the speeches, and the side event attendees had the opportunity to ask questions. To close the event, the YMCA delegation prepared a song to end the discussion with a youthful message of hope. In a survey conducted after the trip, members of the delegation expressed that while they would have liked to have been present at the conference earlier, so as to observe negotiations, they were very pleased with the outcome of the YMCA involvement in the Rio+20 Conference. Most delegates said that the highlight of the conference was the YMCA side event, because it both contextualized the issues being discussed at the conference and gave them a space to use their voice. Some commented on the same challenges mentioned above. Despite these logistical challenges, all the respondents expressed that their participation in the event gave them experience that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives. As a consequence of the whole participation, World Alliance of YMCAs is establishing a working group on sustainable development/ environment issues to continue to expand the leadership of young leaders present in Rio and to guide the strategic directions of the world movement in this arena.

The Y’s Men’s International Support The contribution of the Y’s Men International was invaluable in making this participation possible. The financial resources shared with the World Alliance financed the organisation of the camp site, the team building activities, breakfast, communications, facilitation and all transportation-related costs. The contribution helped to significantly reduce the cost of participation for delegates, in particular the ones coming from outside of Brazil, which was very high considering the price of travel (average of USD 1,300) and accommodations (USD 240/night)

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World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


Interacting with youths on the recycling workshop

For more information, please contact: Romulo Dantas Executive Secretary for Youth Empowerment romulo@ymca.int

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World Alliance of YMCAs 12, Clos-Belmont - 1208 - Geneva Switzerland Phone: +41 22 849 51 00 | Fax: +41 22 849 51 10 | office@ymca.int | www.ymca.int President: Kenneth Colloton | Secretary General: Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik


YMCA at Rio+20 - Report