International Brother Clubs
The Brother Club programme joins in partnership clubs located in different countries for their mutual benefit and better understanding. It is designed to assist fellow Y’s Men and Women and their families to learn about and exchange ideas between clubs, whether they are just over the border or right across the world. Y’s Women’s clubs may prefer to use the term “Sister Club.”
- To give every individual in YMI a chance to be active in a programme promoting world peace, brotherhood and Christian values.
- To foster closer relationships within the Movement.
- To promote better understanding between different cultures.
- To break the barriers of isolation.
- To give encouragement, support and stimulation.
- To exchange ideas and experiences.
- To learn another language.
When can a Club have a Brother Club?
As soon as you are ready. New clubs are now invited by the International Service Director (ISD) to consider this exciting and rewarding programme by their first birthday. Your Regional Service Director (RSD) for International Brother Clubs will contact every club each year in September asking for applications.
However, you are welcome to apply at any time for a Brother Club.
How can a Club join the Programme?
Application forms for a Brother Club are available from your RSD for International Brother Clubs.
If a club already has a partnership in mind, fill out a form and send it directly to the club involved. Please inform the Regional and Area Service Directors.
If a club wants to form a relationship with any club, send your request to your RSD for International Brother Clubs. State clearly the reasons and in which Area and/or Region you would like a Brother Club. Your Area Service Director (ASD) receives your request, and then sends it on to the relevant Area/Region for action. A copy goes to the ISD.
What happens next?
- Once the Brother Club relationship is established, ask your ASD to mail you the certificates available to formalise the special occasion.
- The Club President fills in and signs the two certificates and sends them to the partner Club President for signing.
- The certificates are forwarded to the ISD for signing and both clubs then receive a copy. The relationship is registered in the directory.
How the Programme works
- Plan a programme involving as many members as possible.
- Keep in touch regularly.
- Report activities regularly to your club and share all contacts and exchanges with club members. Your International Service Director and team are interested in every partnership in YMI. Your successful relationship can help inspire other clubs.
- Learn as much as possible about your Brother Club.
- Correspondence alone will get tedious. Try new ideas to keep the relationship fresh and interesting.
What Communication Ideas can be used?
Good communication is essential for successful Brother Club relationships.
Projects: When Brother Clubs are cooperate in projects, the Brother Club relationship becomes really meaningful.
Letters and Emails: the easiest way.
Postcards: to your Brother Club from your Conventions signed by all the participants from your club.
Photos & Videos: Photograph or Video your club in action – a meeting night, projects.
Exchange: Club bulletins and YMCA publications, journals, stamps, magazines, newspapers, small gifts, season’s greetings, birthday and anniversary greetings, etc.
Newspaper Cuttings: items relating to the country of your Brother Club.
Telecommunications: For that very special occasion, phone. Involve as many members as possible from both clubs at the time of the call.
Encourage members of each club with similar vocations or professions to exchange ideas and experiences. Travellers abroad, try to arrange a visit to the Brother Club. This can be a wonderful stimulus for all involved.
Can a Club choose its own Brother Club?
Certainly. Whenever possible, the Area or International Service Director will grant your request providing that your preferred club accepts and responds to you. However, sometimes language difficulties create a problem in accepting the invitation. In this case, patience is important. The Brother Club Directors will try to fulfil your request with a compatible club in the Area you requested.
Can a Club have more than one Brother Club?
Yes. If a club has successfully maintained its Brother Club relationship, then that club can have as many Brother Clubs as it wants. However, one successful partnership is preferable to two or more haphazard relationships.
Brother Club Triangles
This is when two Brother Clubs invite a third club into their partnership. Such a Triangle opens up new and challenging perspectives:
- Two of the Brother Clubs may be geographically close enough to meet once a year while the third Club could be farther way, perhaps in a “developing” country.
- Three Clubs could run a project together. Two clubs from “developed” countries could financially support a local project selected and monitored by the Brother Club in the “developing” country.
- Three Clubs in neighbouring countries link together as Brother Clubs to learn about one another’s cultures and experiences.
Brother Club Quadrangles
Triangle Club relationships have now been extended to include a fourth partner, linking clubs around the world. What a wonderful way to strengthen the bonds of fellowship, to broaden our outlook, to share and care!
(Adapted from the IBC manual prepared by ISD IBC 1993-95 Janette Hueting)