Building a Stronger World
The YMCA values diversity, inclusion and our global community. Collectively, we use the partnerships that we have with over 120 countries to educate and assist those around the world to reach their potential.
For the YMCA of Southern Arizona, the ability to integrate international dimensions into our Y programs is a critical component in maintaining our connection to the global movement. International awareness also connects us to the increasing culturally diverse population right here in our own community.
BUILDING STRONGER YS
Immediately following the earthquakes in Haiti, YMCAs across the globe reached out to lend support. The Haiti YMCA has been a lifeline to the community and it is said the first building to be reconstructed in Port-au-Prince was the downtown YMCA.
In 2011 six YMCAs came together with the Haiti YMCA to form a coalition that would focus on a five year plan to strengthen the planning, fundraising and stability of the Haiti YMCAs. This past April, Monica Lopez, Program Director Lohse YMCA joined representatives from 11 other YMCAs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to work hands-on with the Haiti YMCA staff.
During the trip they opened a new YMCA, held a ceremony for the drilling of a much need water well next to a YMCA in rural Haiti, and began discussions on planning for a community garden in that area.
The work that the coalition provides strengthens the growth and longevity of the Haiti YMCAs. It also provides us a broader look at the Global Engagement in the YMCA and how every Y staff person, member, and volunteer can be part of giving back to Ys globally.
Casa YMCA is a home for immigrant youth in Agua Prieta, Mexico which provides temporary shelter for children between the ages of eight and 18 who have been deported from the United States. Immigrant youth who are separated from their families receive temporary safe shelter, clothing and food until they can be reunited. The CASA YMCA house, of which the YMCA of Southern Arizona is a sponsor, has successfully served more than 5,342 youth since its inception in 2003. In 2013 more than 500 youth received shelter at the home in Agua Prieta, Mexico. With the need growing given the amount of youth detained at the border, the support of the YMCA of Southern Arizona is critical. Without Casa YMCA many of the immigrant youth would end up on the streets of Agua Prieta, homeless and pawns for criminal gangs.
TEEN REFUGEE ASSISTANCE
In an effort to provide support and services to our local refugee community, the YMCA of Southern Arizona partnered with Doolen Middle School to provide assistance and programs to refugee students. As the YMCA works with the school and the students, our goal is to strengthen the community, create support systems and provide more assets to the refugee students. Programs are offered to the students that provide them the opportunity to have fun, build friendships and learn team building skills in a safe, supervised environment.
This year refugee students at Doolen have received new school uniforms and scholarships to our Triangle Y Ranch Camp. The Triangle Y Camp was more than a fun time for these students. It was a place for them to gain confidence, to be who they are and proud of it. Ni’, an 11 year old from Nepal arrived at Triangle Y and shied away from everyone and everything. By the end of the week at camp she was leading the other girls in a dance routine. She made new friends and wanted to stay the entire summer. Ni’ gained confidence and learned she can do amazing things and make great friendships!