Response Overview

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We are living in a very interesting and challenging period of history. Several months ago, nothing was known at all about the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes, COVID-19. But now this topic is leading every news item on all media programmes.

Y’s Men International expresses our solidarity with the World Health Organization and national governments in their efforts to combat this widespread disease.

With the coronavirus crisis now affecting activities worldwide, we are continually monitoring the situation and prioritising the health and safety of our club members, staff and communities.

Support to Communities

Recognising the global health implications of the coronavirus pandemic and its far-reaching health, economic and social repercussions, an extraordinary small matching-funds grant programme was created by Y’s Men International, jointly with Area Korea. Established as a gesture of international solidarity in recognition of the community-level engagement and action being taken to help the most vulnerable in this period of crisis and to prevent further transmission of the virus, subsidies for 21 projects were approved.

2020 International Convention & International Youth Convocation

Within the context of the crisis, the Danish Government has prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 people until the end of August. Regrettably, this has resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 International Convention, originally scheduled for 13-16 August 2020 in Odense, Denmark. The  International Youth Convocation, which had been planned for 10-16 August 2020, is also cancelled.

All registered participants are to be reimbursed the convention fee.

Club, District, Region & Area Meetings

YMI recommends that meetings at all levels be held virtually, cancelled, or postponed and that local measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease be observed at all times.

We can help our clubs remain resilient, and even prosper, by working together and taking care of each other – just as our club members always do. We are faced with the challenge of keeping our members connected and engaged in new ways. With creativity and innovation, we can reach out to new people who are looking for something to get them through these strange times. People in our communities are seeking purpose, and an opportunity to contribute.

Here are some ideas:

  • Communicate and create two-way conversations with members through telephone, email, social media, and virtual meeting tools.
  • Convert your meetings to virtual ones using web applications such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc.
  • Keep a schedule of dynamic speakers, by adding them to your virtual meetings.
  • Create a challenge that members can take part in, either a project, competition, or activity, which can be done from their homes.
  • Share ideas for projects that you can remotely collaborate on together.
  • Create a club buddy system to pair up members and make sure that vulnerable members are supported.
  • Inject some fun items into your newsletters and bulletins to lighten the mood and keep people’s minds off the gravity of these times.
  • Keep members engaged through YMI online learning tools such as GOLD 2.0.
  • Review and revise your club’s strategic plan for post-COVID-19 activities.
  • Work together with community partners to identify the most pressing needs. Engage with other community organisations like “Meals on Wheels”.
  • Volunteer to run errands for those in need, in keeping with whatever restrictions your local and regional authorities have in place for staying safe.

Brotherhood Fund Travel

We are still accepting applications for all grants.

Recipients of International Convention Grants to attend the cancelled International Convention in Odense, Denmark in August 2020 will instead have the opportunity to observe the International RDE Summit in Jeju, South Korea in late February 2021. These grants cannot be deferred to attend the centennial 2022 International Convention or any other future International Conventions.

Cultural Exchange Grant travel currently scheduled to take place before January 2021 will be postponed to occur later in the year, but should happen before June 2021.

Due to the uncertain situation and possibility of changes to travel arrangements, we understand that some recipients may not be in a position to accept the final grant. Recipients may decline the grant without liability provided it is cancelled before costs of flights and other associated expenses have been paid.

Leadership and Headquarters

The International Executive Officers (IEOs) and International Secretary General (ISG) have been meeting remotely on a regular basis and international committees continue to meet online. Online meetings have also been scheduled between the IEOs and ISG and Area and Regional leaders.

The 2020 International Council Meeting scheduled to be held immediately prior to the International Convention in Odense, Denmark has been cancelled. In the event that an in-person meeting cannot be convened this year, other options such as an online meeting and training will be examined.

Due to current confinement measures in place in Switzerland, the International Headquarters (IHQ) in Geneva has been closed since 12 March, with staff working from home. Although this has caused some interruption to usual office services, staff are working hard to ensure minimal disruption during this time. Postal services from Switzerland are severely disrupted, affecting the delivery of new club charters and other hard-copy documentation. New clubs continue to be processed with digital copies of charters provided.

Updated 22 April 2020