Forward Plan

The implementation of the Forward Plan at all levels is one of our greatest challenges.

Josey Joseph ISD (Public Relations) 09-10

Realising the prolonged slow growth, fluctuation and deterioration in membership in our Movement, the International Council Meeting in Kochi 2004, after serious deliberations, adopted an ambitious scheme named the "Forward Plan" strategies to overcome the situation.

The basic idea of the Forward Plan was to improve and expand the image and identity of YMI in our communities, offering needy services to the common people and to the YMCA and as a result of this to enlarge our membership in numbers.

CORE COMPONENTS OF OUR FORWARD PLAN

To achieve the goals of Forward Plan, ICM approved the following areas for intensive concentration and follow

  • Community Service
  • Leadership Training & Organisation Development
  • Membership Growth
  • Relationship with the YMCA
  • Youth Involvement
  • Y’s Development in New Places & New Countries

FIRST PHASE 2005-08

The first phase of the Forward Plan was from 2005-08 when IP Kevin Cummings served as International Service Director for Leadership Training. During this period, YMI had concentrated on the “Train the Trainers Programme”. IP Kevin, with the help of the respective International Presidents had provided exemplary guidance and systematic informative training to the concerned leaders.

SECOND PHASE 2008-11: LOCAL CLUBS LEVEL IMPLEMENTATION

At the local level, each YMC is expected to encourage and support the Plan by implementing the six components effectively. Surprisingly it is noticed that a good number of local clubs in a few Areas have not even heard of such a Plan. This must be an eye opener to the leadership concerned. This reveals that the decisions taken at the International, Area are not reaching at the Clubs level for implementation.

SUGGESTED CLUB ACTIVITIES DURING EMPHASIS MONTH

Community Service

  • Promote some community service activities during this emphasis month based on the needs of the community where the club is functioning.
  • Generate some programmes connected with UGP HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme in prone locations like schools, colleges and other government and private education institutions where teenaged and adult youth assemble and prime locations where illiterate and socially and economically disadvantaged people gather.
  • With the participation of club members, community leaders, and especially youth, mobilise funds for the Roll Back Malaria project.
  • Visit institutions or homes for aged and disabled people, orphanages and children’s homes, etc.
  • Provide palliative care and support to the terminally ill and bedridden.
  • Conduct some programme connected with eradication of poverty and literacy in appropriate places.
  • Organise workshops or seminars on environment protection, controlling global warming and smoke free and carbon neutral zones.
  • Creation of a blood donation forum and pledge for the donation of human organs like eyes, kidneys and other parts of the human body to be used for eligible people after the donor’s death

Leadership Training & Organisation Development

With the guidance and co-operation of the ASD (LTOD)/RD/DG/RSD (LTOD), organise a comprehensive training to the newly elected 2010-11 Office Bearers of the club for the implementation of the six core components of the Forward Plan.

Conduct club-level training with the existing members on the Forward Plan with the assistance of senior leaders. A new member orientation programme can be conducted for the new and prospective members focusing on the structure and functioning of Y’s Men’s Clubs and Movement.

Membership Growth

The issue of getting new members is a matter of survival of a club or Movement. New members make the club better in service, better in performance and improves fellowship. Addition of new members broadens the base of the club in the community. It enables the club to draw its inspiration from a wider spectrum. Consequently, the performance improves, leading to a larger and easier acceptance by the society around.

The Club officials should have a goal and be committed to the growth of the Club and convinced of the need for growth.

Membership Conservation

For effective membership growth, membership conservation is an important factor. It can be said that a club never stands still; it either grows or suffers a setback in membership. Decline in membership has to be surely anticipated and this points to the need of continuous emphasis in finding new members or starting new clubs.

Constant membership growth is the lifeblood of any club. As we all know, new members bring in new ideas which can make club life more interesting, enjoyable and meaningful. Invite people from social clubs, church members, personal friends and relatives of existing Club members, community members, recently retired persons, YMCA members and recipients of club donations, etc. to club meetings. Publish club activities in local print and electronic media.

Relationship with the YMCA

Increase awareness of the contents of the “Agreement on Partnership" among the Y’s Men’s Club Members and YMCA officials.

Excerpt from the Principles of Partnership:

“It is expected that both Organisations should be open to the participation and involvement of the other at Local, National, Area and World levels, thus strengthening the relationship and co-operation. Further it is recognised that effectiveness of the partnership depends upon mutual trust and support. Potential benefits are many and that both Organisations should assist each other’s development in mutually accepted ways. This should be reflected in particular by evidence of greater YMCA support for the extension of Y’s Men International and increase of its membership which in turn implies recognition of the increasing potential of Y’s Men action as partners in service in the YMCA”.

According to the latest statistics, we have about 1600 Y’s Men’s Clubs in 71 countries and approximately 30000 members. Proudly, we can report that we have over 14,000 YMCAs in 130 Countries with a membership of 45,000,000. Our basic idea or goal must be to have a Y’s Men’s Club wherever YMCAs exist. In this view point, we the Y’s Men have to go a long way to achieve the goal of 14000 Clubs globally.

  • Maintain cordial relationship with the YMCA officials and get actively involved in YMCA programs and YMC affairs as a joint effort.
  • Invite important YMCA leaders to club meetings, especially in the emphasis months of May and June 2010 (June is the month for ASF promotion) and discuss the status of YMCA-Y’s Men Partnership in service activities.
  • Ensure the participation of YMC members in fundraising and community service activities of the YMCA.
  • Members of YMCs should apply for membership in the local YMCA during the emphasis months of May & June 2010.
  • Club officials to organise a gathering of invited youth representatives from the community and YMCAs. Either a meeting to discuss TOF/ASF fundraising or organising youth gatherings, etc.
  • YMC and YMCA should start a project that is most needed and suitable to the local community as a joint venture. For e.g. - A project proposal to the TOF committee of YMI for financial assistance.

Youth Involvement

The secret key to recruit young people is to accept them and respect them. If such youngsters feel comfortable, naturally they will bring their friends to the folk. Sons and daughters of existing Y’s Men members are the best group to be inducted first to the Movement. If young people feel comfortable and enjoyable, they will bring in others who are interested in social life and involving community service.

In order to involve the youth in Y’s dom we have various options:

  • Formation of Y’s Youth Clubs for young adults. Members can be invited for implementing community services along with the normal Y’s Men’s Club whenever and wherever needed.
  • Clubs of young women can be named Y’s Service Club instead of Y’s Men’s Club.
  • Youth members can be inducted into existing clubs which have members of all ages.

Y’s Development in New Places & New Countries

Y’s development can be effected by extension of new clubs in new communities and new countries. Every good standing Y’s Men’s Club or Y’s Service Club is expected to support YMI by taking up the responsibility of extension of new clubs in appropriate locations. Clubs can try for extension by forming new Ys Service Clubs consisting of exclusively for the existing Y’s Menettes of a Club. Eligible women from the community can also be considered for membership.

Conclusion

We have to strengthen our Movement so as to bring it in par with other major service organisations in the world. Let us sincerely accept the challenging Forward Plan and toil tirelessly for the effective handling of the six core components. Let us work together as a strong team for the development of Ys dom in number by holding the theme of our young, energetic IP Kevin Cummings, “The Power of One”. Let us also prove by our actions that the IP slogan of “Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things”.