SYNDESMOS is the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth. It is a federation of Orthodox youth movements and theological schools around the world. The organization works under the blessing of all the local canonical Churches to serve the Church by promoting unity, witness, and renewal. Syndesmos, in Greek, means bond of unity.
SYNDESMOS was founded in 1953 to encourage contacts among Orthodox youth movements in Western Europe, Greece and the Middle East. The fellowship is now made up of 121 Member Movements. These are various Orthodox youth organizations and movements and theological schools from more than forty different countries. The member movements, each blessed by their local bishop, belong in one of three categories: Affiliated, Federated, or Associated. Since 1992, youth movements of the Oriental Orthodox have joined the fellowship as federated members, with their own vice-president.
The highest organization of SYNDESMOS is its General Assembly. The assembly consists of representatives of all the Member Movements within SYNDESMOS. The assembly meets at least every four years. The first assembly was held in 1953 in Sevres, France and since then each assembly has been held in a different city as well as a different country in the world.
Administration of fellowship between meetings of the General Assembly is through the Board of Administration which is composed of sixteen individuals. These individuals are elected by the General Assembly and serve as volunteers.
Day-to-day operations are administered by an Executive Committee that consists of the president and four vice presidents. These officers oversee the operation of the ‘’General Secretariat’’ staff and plan and implement the decisions of the General Assembly and the Board of Administration.
Financial resources for SYNDESMOS are received through annual membership fees and donations from Orthodox churches as well as from other Christian churches, individuals, and grants from the European Commission.
SYNDESMOS coordinates activities of the member movements on an international scale through a Calendar of Events. Additionally, multi- and bi-lateral activities and events are organized by member movements themselves, although these may not involve the SYNDESMOS Secretariat.
Information of activities and events both upcoming as well as past is available on-line through the fellowship’s site.