Bulgaria – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1976
Membership Status: Associate
Associate of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1998
Brief YMCA History
Bulgarian YMCA was closed in 1940 by the government in power at that time – in the beginning of the World War II. The property of the organization, being in the very center of Sofia then, was also confiscated.
After half a century break (incl. the communists’ regime in Bulgaria) the YMCA movement began to revive in the 90’es of the XX-th century – first as a national association and then as locally based organizations in several towns and cities being separately registered NGOs.
The Union of YMCAs in Bulgaria – YMCA/YWCA is currently an Association of 4 local YMCAs – those in Gabrovo, Plovdiv, Russe and Sofia. It represents the YMCA movement in the country and outside Bulgaria relying on its 15 years experience with volunteers and young people. Movement integrity and member’s capacity development are main priorities of the Union of YMCAs in Bulgaria.
The mission of the Union of YMCAs in Bulgaria – YMCA/YWCA is based on the Paris Basiis – YMCA-Bulgaria is non-for-profit, non-political Christian organization aimed at support of the holistic development of young people development, i.e. of their body, mind and spirit.
The YMCA is opened for anyone regardless gender, nationality, sex, religion, and social profile.
Members of the Union of YMCAs in Bulgaria – YMCA/YWCA have their specific profile and priorities:
YMCA-Sofia – Art and Culture
YMCA-Plovdiv – Social and Public services
YMCA-Gabrovo – Leadership and Volunteer development; Youth Trainings and Camps
YMCA-Russe – Healthcare
Activities for children:
– Pre-school Christian Kindergarten
– Summer/ winter camps
– Clubs with special interest (puppet theater, painting, ceramics, patch work etc.)
– Healthcare Progammes (Child hospital projects)
– Programmes for children in orphanage houses
– Summer Youth Camps
– Healthcare Progammes (AIDS/HIV projects)
– Leadership trainings
– Bible Club, English club
– Information centre
– Volunteer trainings
– Volunteers for Europe Programme
– EVS (European Voluntary Service) – within the EU program ‘Youth’
– International Camps, Meetings, Conferences, Exchanges