Written by: Casey Harden, General Secretary at World YWCA.
A message from the big 6 youth organizations worldwide.
As young leaders of the world, you have – and will continue to have – a valuable role in the global response to and recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. It is you volunteering, you lifting the spirits of communities and you lighting the world with your action.
We recognize that during these challenging times, both as individuals and as communities, we need to take a moment to remind ourselves that it is OK not to be OK. This is a time to care for each other, but importantly to look after ourselves: our own health and our own wellbeing. This period will pass and we will come away from it stronger, a generation of responsible and resilient citizens.
Heroes are born from terms of adversity. The origins of many of the Big 6 member organizations and leaders bear testimony to this. More than ever, we need to exercise deep compassion and lofty hope. As volunteers, by your nature, you are bearers of hope and compassion, willing to make your contribution to society and effecting change through moral influence.
Volunteering is at the heart of community and is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to engage in the life of a community. Through volunteering, we create social connections and develop a sense of belonging, especially in times such as these. Connection is what sustains all of us, regardless of geography, age or gender.
Today, we join you in volunteering and lighting the world with compassion and action. Let us be our best selves in this time – a multigenerational global network of hundreds of millions – doing good together.
Six tools for your community from the big 6 youth organizations
World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA) of the USA put together a free fitness-at-home platform (YMCA360), which provides free workouts, tips from coaches and resources for a healthy routine while staying at home.
World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) An easy-to-use guide on how to use the YWCA safe spaces model for young women, in a virtual environment, during this time of social distancing.
World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) Join a virtual Scout Jamboree from your home, featuring speakers and engaging content as well as performances from all around the world.
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) A web space for digital Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting during COVID-19, with reference to an external WAGGGS Position Paper on the disproportionate impact on girls and women.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) A ready-to-use Wellbeing Kit for youth from the China Red Cross, Hong Kong Red Cross Branch with activities for children and adolescents to be carried out alone or accompanied by an adult, focusing on mental health.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation Top tips and a webinar with ideas on how you can stay active, help others and tackle isolation at home. Regular insights to be added from the Award family around the world.
Download the statement here.
About the big 6
Formed in 1996, the Big 6 Youth Organizations are an alliance of leading international youth-serving organizations that include: World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA), World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. Together, the Big 6 Youth Organizations actively involve over 250 million young people and more than a billion young people during the last century.
Foto: Lars Røraas