Peace Boat and the World Alliance of YMCAs (World YMCA) will commence a partnership and join efforts towards their mutual goals of promoting youth empowerment, international exchange and building a culture of peace and sustainability.

From March 2015, certain selected Peace Boat voyages will provide a unique, neutral and mobile space for YMCA’s global and regional programmes, starting with the onboard School of Peace during the upcoming East Asia Voyage Spring 2015, coordinated with the Interfaith Cooperation Forum and the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs. This particular programme will focus on the role identity and faith have in peacebuilding, while exploring important peace issues in the East Asia region.

In August, on the first portion of Peace Boat’s 88th Global Voyage, Peace Boat will host the first onboard YMCA Change Agents Global Gathering, welcoming 200 youth leaders from around the world for an intensive training programme that will visit Japan, Philippines and Singapore. The YMCA Change Agents programme is a two-year international leadership development programme aiming to empower young people to positively impact the life situation of young people around the world.

Peace Boat believes that interfaith dialogue has a strong role to play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. We look forward to hosting YMCA programmes onboard our voyages, and exploring new opportunities for cooperation with local YMCAs onboard and in ports visited, with the objective of pursuing our common goal of building peace through international exchange and dialogue.

The YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) is one of the oldest and largest Movements for young people in the world. Founded in 1844, it now operates in 119 countries, reaching  58  million people. The YMCA works to bring social justice and peace to young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture. The World Alliance of YMCAs, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a confederation of National Councils of YMCAs around the world. Empowering Young People is the collective focus of the YMCAs all over the world . Depending on the local context and priority issues affecting young people, YMCAs operate in a wide range of programme areas including addressing injustices against young people through employment, environment, peacebuilding, community engagement and more. In all activities, strong emphasis is given to youth leadership and youth participation.