It’s that special time of the year again! The time to acknowledge and celebrate our partners and supporters for the work they do, innovative ideas they develop and commitment they have shown towards the YMCA Europe Roots pursuit of peace and justice.
Despite all the turmoil and difficulties caused by global pandemic, Roots stayed the course and true to commitments made to the stakeholders and beneficiaries… Local Capacities for Peace (LCP) is the component that project partners await with particular excitement – an occasion to take the collaboration with Roots to a new level and to demonstrate the capacity to act, deliver and grow.
This year we adopted a different format in the LCP Award process due to developments in our major intervention area – South Caucasus. Devastating war fought over Nagorno Karabakh greatly affected the entire region, causing massive loss of lives, displacement and widespread destruction.
YMCA Artsakh, our long-standing partner from Nagorno Karabakh was substantially impacted as well – with several members falling victims to the war and many others made homeless and compelled to seek refuge in Armenia or elsewhere.
Obviously, Roots did not remain as a static observer to the crisis. A dedicated fundraising initiative was launched in order to provide adequate assistance to our friends and partners in need. And thanks to outstanding engagement and support from people all over the world, Roots is extremely proud to provide Special LCP Award to YMCA Artsakh – 10,000 Euros to go for trauma-healing activity “Camp for Peace” that will be organized in summer and will involve dozens of young women and men of Nagorno Karabakh that survived the war, but are still severely affected by it and suffer the consequences.
We are confident that this very relevant initiative will be one small, yet very effective step in providing a safe haven for local youth and will contribute towards rebuilding life back to normality. This is the message of Roots – wars destroy, but peace prevails! And we send this message on behalf of every individual and organization that contributed to the cause, thank you!
The regular Local Capacities for Peace Award nomination process had one single entry in 2021 – YMCA Kosovo project “e-bridge” aims to build a peace & reconciliation based youth friendly e-learning programme, accessible to young people across the continent of Europe.
“e-bridge” it is a multi-partner initiative with YMCA Ireland and YMCA Serbia as key partners and planning to use Roots training material as one of the main learning components in the process. In times of closures and restrictions, we were happy to witness YMCA Kosovo adhering to international dimension and developing the concept that responds to current circumstances, yet maintains the spirit and relevance of what Roots is about – learning through cooperation and sharing!
But our opinions have never been the only criteria for decision-making, especially in determining the LCP Award winners – Roots Peace Work Institute Alumni were the ones that granted YMCA Georgia the prize in 2020 and this year we approached them again. For apparent reasons, there was no voting in 2021, but we asked the Alumni to evaluate both projects submitted – “Camp for Peace” & “e-bridge”, inquiring about their relevance and feasibility, as well as their alignment with mission and goals of the Roots.
More than ⅔ of PWI Alumni responded to the specially designed online survey and unsurprisingly, about 80 % have expressed the confidence and endorsement for both projects. So, the floor is all yours, “Camp for Peace” & “e-bridge” – good luck, we believe in you!!
But this is not the end of the story… Building upon a wonderful tradition established last year, in 2021 YMCA Europe Executive Committee decided to give the Roots Peace non-monetary Award to our time-honored partner – The Council of Europe Youth Department for their outstanding support and collaboration over the years!
We hope to deliver the Award Medal and to express our gratitude in person as another activity showcasing our partnership is set to take place at European Youth Center Budapest in September 2021!