Ghana – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: mid 1950’s
Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1961
Brief YMCA History
The Ghana YMCA traces its history to 1890 when a young Gold Coaster, Wilkins Micaber Abbey who had come into contact with the Association in Scotland during his study tour to Europe, brought it to the Gold Coast. On his return to the motherland young Abbey began the first YMCA in Accra.
Programmes are everything that happens to the people in their contacts with the organization. Some of the programme activities undertaken in the YMCA are:
A) Bible Studies and Devotions
B) Prayer Meetings
C) Leadership Training
D) Youth Advocacy
E) Talks and Debates
F) Games and Recreation
G) Community Service (Voluntary Service)
The Ghana YMCA as well as some local Associations are engaged in some special projects/programmes such as:
Day Care Centre for pre-school kids
Vocational Training Centres for the Youth ( Accra and Takoradi)
Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Programme (Ketu and Hohoe Districts)
Youth Transit Hostels (Accra ,Koforidua and Ho)
Environmental Conservation Programme (Afforestation)
Women Empowerment Programme
The Ghana YMCA has 18 Day Care Centres for the training of pre-school kids. These can be found in seven of the eight regions where the Association operates. The Association has the strong conviction that when the young kids are given the needed good moral training at an early age they grow to become useful and productive citizens.
It is also aimed at helping parents who need to go to their work especially to their farms in the rural areas where women are in the greater majority in agricultural work. The kids are catered for and at the end of the day the parents come for their wards.
The two vocational schools in Accra and Takoradi are meant to provide skills training in carpentry and masonry for young people who are interested in acquiring skills to engage in self-employment. Most of these young people who attend the schools were unable to continue to the higher institutions after their basic examinations. The quality of the students produced from this school can be proven by the number of contract work awarded to the school. This includes carpentry work at the Osu Castle, during the renovation at the seat of government in the year 2001.
In order to meet the changing circumstances that the Association finds itself, the Association has now expanded its scope of programmes to focus more on the educational campaign against the HIV/AIDS menace. We have implemented programmes with the support of CEDPA and Packard Foundation all of the USA. These programmes are all on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health issues. There is also vigorous campaign to source for funding for scaling up and sustainability of these two projects since the funding from the international donors has come to an end in January 2003.
There are three youth transit hostels in Accra, Ho and Koforidua. These provide affordable accommodation to both Ghanaians and International students who find themselves in these three areas in the country and need a place to lay their head. It is well know in Ghana that the YMCA provides one of the best places of accommodation.
The National Council of Ghana YMCA also finds it expedient in maintaining the forest in the country. This is because the country is fast losing its forest resources and it has also been necessitated by the fast approach of the Sahara Desert in the Northern part of the country. In this wise the Association has undertaken an afforestation project in Apedwa in the East Akyem District.
On the issue of women empowerment, the Association trained YMCA women in the Volta Region in soap making. This venture was to provide them with a source of income and make them financially independent. The women in the rural areas form the majority in the population and also they have greater responsibility in the management of the various homes. It is thus imperative that they be given the necessary empowerment for them to be self sufficient.
Address – National Office
Mr Nketia Addae Kwabena
National Council of YMCAs
P O Box 738