Worldwide Member Update
Our Mission
Develop, advance, and enhance global youth organizations that provide a positive environment and a safe place for young people around the world.
A message from Rick...

Gratitude is a gift that deserves more attention. Each November begins the official season of thankfulness and gratitude. It also marks a time of year where many are experiencing a heightened sense of sadness, anxiety, or depression. The impact of COVID-19 will especially exacerbate these negative emotions as we continue social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. It is during moments such as this that the gentle power of gratefulness can bring us closer together.

David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, gave a TEDGlobal™ talk in 2013 entitled “Want to be happy? Be grateful.” As an interfaith scholar, Brother David delivered insights on how gratefulness works. He distinguished the connection between happiness and gratefulness, noting that the latter ultimately drives the former. In his words if you lead with gratefulness, happiness will follow.

 

How does gratefulness work? According to Brother David, it starts with receiving something that is valuable and is “freely” given to you. It is only from these two interconnected conditions that gratitude can flow. When dealing with tough experiences, we have an opportunity to rise and meet these challenges to learn, to grow, and to improve. But first, you must avail yourself to welcome this “gift in your life” by opening your heart to that opportunity. You can access his TEDTalk™ here.

 

Harvard Medical School published an article entitled Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier that reenforces the positive psychological impacts of gratefulness. According to the research, gratitude generates more positive feelings and emotions that ultimately lead to improved health. Furthermore, cultivating gratitude can foster better relationships and results for your organization by shifting from a scarcity mindset to one of unlimited possibilities. Here is an example to prove this point about having the right positive frame-of-mind.

 

Special Olympics Athlete Chris Nikic made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. During the grueling 17-hour race, Chris remained undeterred after experiencing an injury from falling from his bike and being attacked by ants. How did he do it? Chris and his coach designed a strategy to achieve breakthrough results by being 1% better every day across six key areas: Health (Body); Health (Mind); Friends (Soul); Focus on the Positive; Help Someone Else; and Pass It On. An emphasis here on point four, Focus on the Positive. You can find more on the 1% Better Challenge here.

 

Susan and I, along with the entire WFYC family, leave you with this gift from Mahatma Gandhi, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Everything starts with the power of our thoughts and I am evermore grateful for each of you.

Rick Goings
WFYC Co-Founder and Board Chairman
Affiliate Highlight
Hope and Opportunity in Haiti 

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Haiti (BGCH), in spite of rising COVID infection rates, continues to find creative ways to implement programs, while maintaining a safe environment for staff and members. Haiti as a country faces many systemic challenges. However, the Clubs have become an essential resource in the community, where a renewed sense of hope and opportunity continues to thrive. While other organizations have substantially cut programming or closed their doors, BGCH which consists of 7 locations, is serving nearly 400 youth daily.

What’s equally impressive is the Clubs in Haiti have made every effort to sustain their program offerings. Among those offered are: Tutoring, Sports, Leadership and more. The Clubs are led by a team of passionate and dedicated individuals who must volunteer their time, as resources are scarce.  We applaud the staff’s persistence and resilience in such challenging conditions. They clearly understand the long-term benefits of the Clubs and want to make sure that the 400 young people served daily know that Clubs stand with them in both good and challenging times.

 

You can follow their important work on their Facebook page by clicking here >>>

New Affiliate Showcase

Welcome Boys & Girls Clubs of Gabon! 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Gabon joined the World Federation of Youth Clubs (WFYC) in September 2020. Gabon, with a country population of 2.1 million people, is located on the west coast of Central Africa. Their first Club site is located in an orphanage. Plans are underway to expand outreach to three additional orphanages as well as exploring potential partnerships with schools and faith-based institutions. The Club Director, Joe Francis Mouanda, is assisted by Danfaga Youbi Makengui and eight volunteers. 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Gabon serves 70 children a day, offering program activities in the areas of substance abuse prevention, health and hygiene, sports and academic enrichment. Our new Affiliate has had an immediate positive impact on the WFYC network. WFYC continues to expand its reach across the continent and recently welcomed the Africans’ League of Canada (ALC) as our newest Collaborator for Good. The ALC opportunity was facilitated through the Gabon Club leadership. ALC gathers Canada citizens representing all 54 independent African states and is a promising partner to help us reach parts of Africa where WFYC could expand its presence.
Inspirational Youth

Meet Wendy!  She is a creative nine-year-old who lives with her parents and three siblings in Guatemala. While Wendy’s dad works in construction, there’s not enough income to fully support the family. “Sometimes we don’t have anything to eat,” Wendy shared. As a result, Wendy has struggled with her schoolwork, especially now that classes are virtual, and oftentimes the family does not have the means to add internet service to the family’s cell phone. 

Wendy has recently shared with her instructors at the Club de Niños y Niñas de Valle de Nazareth that for the first time in her life she is happy because of her Club. The Club has also helped the family with access to basic needs through a food distribution program.

The story does not stop there. Wendy’s grades have improved dramatically due to support and encouragement received by Club staff. Her mom shared that when she is working on homework, Wendy reflects on what instructors have taught her during the Club’s Tutoring Program. Each day Wendy has grown more confident and comfortable with her homework. At school there has been a complete turnaround. Sadly however, Wendy recalls her teachers referring to her schoolwork as “dirty and unorganized.” Fortunately, the staff at Club de Niños y Niñas de Valle de Nazareth focused their attention to help Wendy to become more organized and dedicated to her schoolwork. That instruction produced positive results and Wendy’s teachers have seen a dramatic change!

During a recent parent/teacher conference, one of Wendy’s teachers told her mom that she did not know what was happening, but for Wendy to continue doing it. The teacher shared that Wendy was doing great work and that she should be proud. The mom told the Club staff, “It’s all thanks to the Club!”. On behalf of WFYC, keep up the great work Wendy. We are proud of you too!

   
Does your organization have a youth impact story you’d be willing to share for future newsletters?  Please send a photo and a one paragraph or less description to jcruz@wfyc.org
Tip of the Month 
Building an Effective Board of Directors 

One of the critical areas of any nonprofit operation and often overlooked is the Board of Directors. This is the “foundation of a successful organization.” Without an active and engaged board who understands and carries out their responsibilities, the work of staff and volunteers is so much harder. Organizational leadership should take ample time to consider these five steps to ensure your Club’s board is operating at maximum effectiveness:

 
1. Find a champion to be your Board Chairperson. Your volunteer leader should be committed to finding others who are equally passionate and qualified to help your staff and volunteers meet the organization’s mission.
2. Cultivate and engage Board members to draw on their expertise. Your directors should be placed in roles where they feel appreciated by creating value for the organization.
3. Establish working committees. This is a great way to engage your board members and carryout the work of the organization which is often supplemented by committees comprised of non-board members who have expertise in a specific subject matter (ex: marketing, facilities, programs, etc.).
4. Effective boards raise money. Your board members should give personally at a level they can afford which helps position them to ask others for support for the organization.
5. Celebrate together. Staff leaders should work with your board chair to find ways to acknowledge outstanding board members. This helps create a climate where serving on the board is both fun and rewarding.
 
Where Boards Work – Clubs Work! Where Clubs Work – Kids Benefit!
WFYC Programs and Events

Recap – October WFYC Webcast – Leading Past Crisis 

On October 29th the WFYC hosted a webcast around how leaders today can grow emotional intelligence. Joshua Freedman, a master certified coach and bestselling author who leads www.6seconds.org, walked us through three simple, practical tips to set ourselves and our organizations up to navigate through the current chaos and do a better job taking care of our own and our people’s emotional wellbeing.  

Did you miss October’s Webcast but still like to hear the content? Click here >>> to view a link to the session. Please note the password to access is: 8yust@Fm

Recap – November WFYC Webcast – Virtual Interns: How to Utilize Interns to Benefit your Organization
WFYC held its November webcast on November 19th. Paul Casey and Katsumi Kishida from Kean University located in Union, New Jersey walked us through steps needed to access interns to support organizations. The presentation included the benefits employers receive from internships and how you can host a virtual intern from Kean University. Additional information about the logistics included in hosting an intern were shared.
Did you miss November’s Webcast but still like to hear the content?  Click here >>> to view a link to the session. Please note the password to access is: uEA60@DC

UPCOMING - WFYC December Webcast
Be on the lookout for an announcement regarding our upcoming WFYC December Webcast!  Trust us, you won't want to miss this one.

WFYC International Conference Update


Development of the International Conference content is well underway. We are so excited to be planning this virtual event to benefit our Affiliates.  The content will be focused around what we are calling “Future Forward” – giving an optimistic view and framework for youth development during the pandemic and beyond. We are looking forward to providing a unique global stage for a diverse community of youth development professionals, collaborators, donors and subject-matter experts to learn and connect. Registration information will be coming soon so please be on the lookout for it!

 

Check out this page for more: https://wfyc.org/wfyc-international-conference/

Collaborator Resources
Spotlight on 501(c) Services 

A successful organization is simply a collection of well-prepared and passionate people. It’s your job as a leader to ensure your Club is functioning at its highest level. That can’t happen without investing in your staff. WFYC Collaborator for Good, 501(c) Services is a human resources firm that works exclusively with non-profit organizations specializing in employment law, employee benefits, and compliance. You can access their website here >>>

Each country must comply with local employment laws and regulations. 501(c) Services has a broad understanding of key employment principles that they can help you navigate your HR questions. On December 8, 9 and 17, WFYC Affiliate members can access a series of 501(c) Services Webinar sessions this December at no cost. You can use access code JB122020 for all four below: 

 

Dec. 8:  2020 Employment Law Review and 2021 Forecast

Dec. 9: Managing the Challenging Employee

Dec. 17: Navigating the Employee Disciplinary Process

Dec. 17: Documenting Employment Events: Not in Writing? Never Happened!

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If you have anything you'd like to be featured in an upcoming WFYC newsletter, please contact Libby Conte at lconte@wfyc.org
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