YMCA Europe Festival 2008

The Problem

You're invited! To celebrate a world wide Christian fellowship, the growth and strength of YMCA, national and cultural diversities! To participate in creating a week long Festival village demonstrating new ideas for living together! To experience the challenges that matter to young people all over the world! To have the chance to share experiences and to see the connections with the experience of others! To experience a new YMCA idea: Global Youth Work! To strengthen your national and local movements through new sources of motivation, new projects and new resources! To experience friendship, fun and happiness! To enjoy the beautiful city of Prague! To be part of the YMCA Europe Festival for the second time,or to have this unique experience for the first time! In August 2003 the YMCA Europe (European Alliance of YMCAs) celebrated its 30 years anniversary and 7500 young people, most of them from European YMCAs came to the city park in Prague to celebrate for a week. This was the first time an international YMCA youth event of this size was organised in Europe. The programme included Morning Singspirations, hundreds of workshops and talkshops, sports competitions and scout activities, displays and exhibitions, Ten Sing performances and stage shows and a big concert with "The Tribe". One evening was devoted to ecumenical services and one day the Festival took to the streets of Prague and dominated the city for some hours with very colourful programmes. It was a great success, and inspired the Executive Committee of the YMCA Europe to plan for a new Festival in 2008. As the Festival in 2003 focused on European integration, it is now the vision of the YMCA Europe that the Festival in 2008 shall focus on our place in the global dimension. In the process of identifying a theme for the Festival we asked two fundamental questions: What do young people strive for? health, recognition, freedom, work, belonging. What do young people fear? loneliness, violence, failure, isolation, dying, poverty, lack of direction in life. The vision for the Festival should correspond with young people's needs. It should formulate what is going on to be offered, unifying young people from around the globe. What does it mean to face this reality, to build a new reality, to experience real life in a globalised world? The theme was decided to be REAL LIFE and the Mission Statement of the Festival was formulated: REAL LIFE HAS NO BORDERS THEREFORE WE COME FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD WITH A DEEP WISH TO LEARN AND RESPECT TO LOVE AND UNDERSTAND SO THAT WE ALL MAY BE ONE IN THE LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST Along with this Youth Festival, my YMCA chapter will be spending a week volunteering with Gypsies and at Orphanages in Cheb.

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