BLOG | Siobhan’s visit to France as a Change Agent

June 4, 2017

SUPPORT Worker Siobhan Porter, 28, recently travelled to Avignon in France as part of her new role as a Change Agent with World YMCA.

Here she writes about her experience of the event and what it is like to be a Change Agent.

My name is Siobhan and I am a Coach at YMCA Humber.

I went to Avignon, France to participate in YMCA’s Change Agents trainee programme from the 25 – 29 May 2017.

It was my first international YMCA event and I was extremely nervous prior to my departure, not least because I am not a fan of flying.

I was almost immediately put at ease when I met two UK participants who had kindly agreed to travel with me from Stansted to Avignon.

There were 22 national YMCAs represented at our gathering, including participants from England and Scotland, the majority of European countries, Kosovo, Russia and Palestine.

As one of the programme leaders Romulo repeatedly reminded us, we are the masters of our learning.

We were encouraged to discuss our experiences, our inspirations and aspirations.

As there were representatives from 22 different countries, this was an exceptionally interesting and diverse topic of conversation.

Enthusiastic discussions

These discussions continued long into the night and, in the vast majority of cases, into the early hours of the morning.

The early morning starts did not diminish our enthusiasm to talk about empowering young people.

I met a group of people with whom I shared a passion to enable young people to forge their own future and who shared a commitment to bring this vision to fruition.

I am excited to have the opportunity to work with this talented and dedicated group of people over the next two years.

The Change Agents’ mantra is:

  • Be the Change
  • Communicate the Vision
  • Inspire Action

We were advised on our first evening that we would be enthusiastically chanting these words by the end of our time in Avignon.

By the last day I was chanting these words as enthusiastically as anyone and cannot wait to meet up with everyone again in Portugal in October.