YMCA Singapore

Singapore – National Council of YMCAs

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1902Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1953

Brief YMCA History

Through the interest of a group of businessmen in Singapore, representations were made to the English National Council of YMCAs in August 1902. Plans for the formation of an Association in Singapore were approved in November 1902 and R D Pringle was responsible for its inauguration.

YMCA of Singapore started in a humble way at No. 1 and 2 Armenian Street. Today, it is situated at a strategic location, right at the heart of Orchard Road. The history of YMCA of Singapore is not a smooth one. There were many obstacles to overcome – financial, administrative, space constraints and the disruption of World War Two.

Prior to the War, YMCA of Singapore had achieved several milestones.

YMCA was a multi faceted organisation with diverse programmes and activities that appealed to the local community. One lasting legacy that was a sign of YMCA’s commitment to youth work was the commencement of the scouting movement in Singapore. The Association also scored a few firsts in the area of sports in Singapore. One of these achievements was the building of the first swimming pool in Singapore. Before this, those who wanted to swim could only do so in the open sea or river. Rugby was introduced to Singapore as part of the Association’s emphasis on the healthy development of the well-rounded youth. Members of the Association also participated in other physical activities such as football, cricket, hockey and tennis. These sports at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were strictly the domain of the expatriates. With YMCA opening its doors to members of all races, more locals began to take part in these sports. Membership at the YMCA of Singapore grew steadily.

In terms of education, the YMCA of Singapore started a Commercial School under M R Menon, an Indian national who had come to Singapore from Bombay. It became so popular that by 1950 the annual enrollment was 1,000.

However, in December 1941 Japan attacked Singapore. All activities were disrupted. The YMCA premise at Orchard Road was taken over by the Japanese Army as their headquarters. After the War, a long task of rebuilding, recovery and restoration works began.

Around this time, the idea of a Chinese YMCA was mooted by Dr Chen Su Lan, then a member of the British Military Administration Council. Dr Chen was concerned that the local youths, majority of whom were Chinese speaking, should have an avenue for wholesome recreation and amusement. Metropolitan YMCA resided initially at No 107 Selegie Road on 19 January 1947. The Chinese YMCA was successfully inaugurated.

Both the YMCA of Singapore and the Chinese YMCA provided physical, educational and spiritual activities catering to the community. One of the universal symbol of the YMCA, the inverted Red Triangle embodies the idea of ‘body, mind and spirit’. The slogan conveys the message that people should be developed as well-rounded individuals.

After the Malayan Council of YMCAs was dissolved, the National Council of YMCAs of Singapore was registered on September 23, 1970. In 1974 the Chinese YMCA became known as the Metropolitan YMCA so as to be in line with the Association’s national and international commitments to offer services to all communities with inter-racial and non-sectarian outlook.

In 1980, the Metropolitan YMCA moved its headquarters to a bigger premise at 60 Stevens Road property.

Today, we have YMCA of Singapore and Metropolitan YMCA providing multifarious facilities within its premises, all aimed at achieving the objectives of the YMCA movement.

In keeping with these aims, YMCA of Singapore and the Metropolitan YMCA have consistently striven to provide quality facilities in the recreational, social, cultural, physical and educational fields.

Mission Statement

Through the interest of a group of businessmen in Singapore, representations were made to the English National Council of YMCAs in August 1902. Plans for the formation of an Association in Singapore were approved in November 1902 and R D Pringle was responsible for its inauguration.

YMCA of Singapore started in a humble way at No. 1 and 2 Armenian Street. Today, it is situated at a strategic location, right at the heart of Orchard Road. The history of YMCA of Singapore is not a smooth one. There were many obstacles to overcome – financial, administrative, space constraints and the disruption of World War Two.

Prior to the War, YMCA of Singapore had achieved several milestones.

YMCA was a multi faceted organisation with diverse programmes and activities that appealed to the local community. One lasting legacy that was a sign of YMCA’s commitment to youth work was the commencement of the scouting movement in Singapore. The Association also scored a few firsts in the area of sports in Singapore. One of these achievements was the building of the first swimming pool in Singapore. Before this, those who wanted to swim could only do so in the open sea or river. Rugby was introduced to Singapore as part of the Association’s emphasis on the healthy development of the well-rounded youth. Members of the Association also participated in other physical activities such as football, cricket, hockey and tennis. These sports at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were strictly the domain of the expatriates. With YMCA opening its doors to members of all races, more locals began to take part in these sports. Membership at the YMCA of Singapore grew steadily.

In terms of education, the YMCA of Singapore started a Commercial School under M R Menon, an Indian national who had come to Singapore from Bombay. It became so popular that by 1950 the annual enrollment was 1,000.

However, in December 1941 Japan attacked Singapore. All activities were disrupted. The YMCA premise at Orchard Road was taken over by the Japanese Army as their headquarters. After the War, a long task of rebuilding, recovery and restoration works began.

Around this time, the idea of a Chinese YMCA was mooted by Dr Chen Su Lan, then a member of the British Military Administration Council. Dr Chen was concerned that the local youths, majority of whom were Chinese speaking, should have an avenue for wholesome recreation and amusement. Metropolitan YMCA resided initially at No 107 Selegie Road on 19 January 1947. The Chinese YMCA was successfully inaugurated.

Both the YMCA of Singapore and the Chinese YMCA provided physical, educational and spiritual activities catering to the community. One of the universal symbol of the YMCA, the inverted Red Triangle embodies the idea of ‘body, mind and spirit’. The slogan conveys the message that people should be developed as well-rounded individuals.

After the Malayan Council of YMCAs was dissolved, the National Council of YMCAs of Singapore was registered on September 23, 1970. In 1974 the Chinese YMCA became known as the Metropolitan YMCA so as to be in line with the Association’s national and international commitments to offer services to all communities with inter-racial and non-sectarian outlook.

In 1980, the Metropolitan YMCA moved its headquarters to a bigger premise at 60 Stevens Road property.

Today, we have YMCA of Singapore and Metropolitan YMCA providing multifarious facilities within its premises, all aimed at achieving the objectives of the YMCA movement.

In keeping with these aims, YMCA of Singapore and the Metropolitan YMCA have consistently striven to provide quality facilities in the recreational, social, cultural, physical and educational fields.

Main Programmes

Education Centre

Educational Programmes have been an integral part of the activities of the YMCA of Singapore right from the beginning. Besides running commercial classes, the Association also offers a full curriculum for ‘A’ Levels, ‘O’ Levels and ‘N’ Levels students. In addition, the Association also has personal enrichment classes such as language courses, photography, art and craft classes, IT lessons and other enrichment classes.

YMCA of Singapore has also initiated the Plain English Speaking Award and Speech Marathon, which had both received strong support from the local authorities.

Recently, the Education Centre also provides skills training to corporations in Singapore.

The Master of Arts distance learning, which was recently introduced was also very successful.

In addition our children’s holiday programmes always receive overwhelming response

Some 400 students go through our programmes yearly.
Sports & Recreation

The Association offers the latest recreational programmes in dance, sports and performing arts.

Regular trekking expeditions are also popular.

The Overseas Community Service Projects in underdeveloped countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and China continue to be relevant and popular among secondary schools, junior colleges and tertiary institutions.

International Exchange Programmes
International exposure for local youths is important to the overall development of an individual. Hence, many international exchange programmes are being organised with other YMCAs from around the world.

Christian Emphasis
The objectives of the Division are as follows:
· To equip members, volunteers and staff in ministry skills and faith formation
· To enrich Christian living and provide pastoral care to members, volunteers and staff
· To enhance Christian witness and the proclamation of the gospel through YMCA activities in Singapore and the region.
Regular talks and worship sessions are organised. Bible studies and fellowships are also held on a regular basis.

Community Development
Main services provided are:
· Child Care
· Student Care
· Outreach programmes for youths, early school leavers.
· Community work that reaches out to people with disabilities, families in need of financial and non-financial assistance and senior citizens.

Hostel
YMCA of Singapore strives to provide accessibility and convenience to all houseguest. With its strategic local at the very beginning of Singapore’s shopping paradise, YMCA International House enjoys very good occupancy rate with guests from all over the world.

Main activities of Metropolitan YMCA
The Metropolitan YMCA provides various community service programmes to the elderly, disadvantaged children, handicapped and needy from low-income families. An M.Y. Manna Store, a food and provisions bank, gives free food and necessities to needy families on a monthly basis. A Toy Library programme caters to the handicapped children. Weekly Chinese fellowship lunch meetings are held for the elderly. A Student Care programme is conducted for children with working parents.

In view of the growing need among working mothers for child care services, the Metropolitan YMCA has established 11 child care centres at void decks of housing blocks. To date, the Metropolitan YMCA has 13 centres catering to over 1000 children.

The new Metro-Y Apartments commenced operation in July 1998, providing a complete home-like environment for visitors and guests who stay for longer periods.

Address – National Office

YMCA Singapore
60 Stevens Road
Singapore 257854
Singapore

For hotel information, please contact YMCA National Offices directly.

Website

YMCA of Singapore
Metropolitan YMCA

Emphasis and goals for the next quadriennum

To seek and honour God, our Father, in all we do.
· To refocus our systems, people and philosophy around the member.
· To be relevant to the community, especially the youths and young working adults.
· To continue to reach out to the community so as to make a difference in the lives of others, especially the less fortunate.
· To foster stronger relations with other YMCA around the world for mutual benefits.

Programmes:
· Membership will be the core business of every staff. As such, there will be programmes to increase membership by design.
· Provide educational and enrichment programmes that are relevant to the needs of the society.
· Provide sports and recreational activities that are of interests to the young generation.
· Christian outreach programmes for children and youths.
· Community outreach programmes for disabled, elderly, early school dropouts and those in need of financial assistance.
· Provide more child care and student care services.