Thursday, January 28, 2010

Update on Uruguay

The ACJ - Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes – Montevideo YMCA, marked it's 100th anniversary in 2009. Celebrations brought together the 5 Uruguay YMCA’s; Montivedeo, Salto, Paysandu, San Jose and Rivera. The Winnipeg Y has a long history of exchange with Uruguay.

Here is a quick look at the most recent report from Uruguay to the YMCA of Canada covering the period April 2008 to December 2009.

In 2008 national and local goals were set to strengthen the national movement of the YMCA’s of Uruguay. National goals focused on leadership development and advanced staff training. Local goals aimed for extensive staff training and programs for marginalized youth.

Over the period dozens of events brought relevant training to all levels of YMCA staff, as well as volunteers and leaders throughout the country. YMCA staff provided training in a wide range of governance topics, from leadership, fundraising, marketing, and operational matters, through to strategic planning, history and Mission.

At the local level, the San Jose YMCA was able to purchase land enabling the expansion of their After School Centre, allowing them to serve more youth . The After school Centre was built with the help of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg. The Salto YMCA created a new training- for- employment program for youth in extremely vulnerable social situations.

The agenda has clearly been a tremendous success.

Seeking to learn more about the YMCA’s of Uruguay, I travelled to the website of the Montivedeo ACJ, a wonderful site, replete with photo galleries and even ACJ-TV! Watch ‘100 years of History’ or explore the many locations and wide range of programs offered. Here is the link to their website:
Contributed by Don, YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg International Working Group Member

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Relief efforts in Haiti

All of us at the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg send our best wishes to the citizens of Haiti during this period of grief and recovery.
Y's across Canada are joining the relief effort in Haiti.
YMCA Canada has already donated $5000. This donation was matched by YMCA Montreal and the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg. Y's across Canada are donating varying amounts towards the relief effort as well.
From YMCA Canada:

Thank you for your support of the World Alliance of YMCA’s appeal on behalf of the YMCA of Haiti. Your generosity is appreciated; YMCA Canada has already received a number of donations from Associations.

The YMCA Canada website has been updated to include information about the YMCA of Haiti appeal for people who would like to contribute to the recovery and rebuilding of the YMCA of Haiti. As information becomes available, we will post updates on the status of the YMCA of Haiti and on the relief efforts of the YMCA of Dominican Republic.

The website will also include:

- A link to the YMCAs of Québec Foundation webpage on Canada Helps for online donations.
- A link to the YMCAs of Québec webpage describing the work of their partner YMCA of Haiti.

- A link to the Canadian government's webpage giving the details of how the matching contribution program for individual donations will work.

Here is a response to common questions about individual contributions to the appeal as well as a brief status update.

Donations by individuals to the YMCA of Haiti Emergency Appeal (members, volunteers, and staff)

YMCA Canada is accepting contributions from individuals to this appeal. Cheques can be made out to YMCA Canada and should include the donor’s name, address and a designation to the Haiti YMCA Emergency Appeal. YMCA Canada will issue a charitable receipt.

YMCA Canada
42 Charles Street East 6th Floor
Toronto, ON   M4Y 1T4
Attn: Haiti YMCA Emergency Appeal

Individuals giving to the YMCA of Haiti Emergency Appeal will have their donation matched dollar for dollar by the government. The Canadian government has now clarified that individual donations to any registered Canadian charity that are earmarked for Haiti emergency relief between January 12 and February 12 will be matched to create the government’s Earthquake Relief Fund. This Earthquake Relief Fund will be allocated to eligible relief and humanitarian organizations. (At this time, it’s not yet clear whether the YMCA would be eligible to apply to the government’s Earthquake Relief Fund.)

As a reminder, funds raised through the YMCA of Haiti Emergency Appeal will be used to support long-term rehabilitation and recovery as well as short-term emergency relief.
Update on the YMCA of Haiti

Successful contact has been made with the YMCA of Haiti which has confirmed that participants and staff are safe and the main offices of the YMCA in Port-au-Prince have been destroyed. The status of the two other program sites outside of Port-au-Prince is unknown.

The YMCA of Dominican Republic assessment and relief mission to Haiti, which is coordinated with local relief agencies, will likely take place mid-week as the security situation stabilizes within the country.

Thanks for your continuing support.