Switzerland – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1852
Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1855
Brief YMCA History
The development of YMCA/YWCA Switzerland was strongly influenced by regional and liguistic barriers. Two movements started to grow in parallel with one another: One in the German part of the country and the other in the French part.
In the French part of the country, the movement was developing in the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura. The first association of the French part was founded in Geneva in 1852, however, it was not before 1891 until all French speaking cantons were united in one association. Originally, the activities of YMCA Switzerland took place in small groups out in the villages or in the cities. They were directed by a volunteer.
Thanks to Henry Dunant, the Geneva Association has been active in the formation of the World Alliance at the Paris Conference in 1855. Nevertheless, Switzerland was not integrated as a national movement until 1902 when a National Commitee was formed.
During the first and second World War, YMCA Switzerland was collaborating with the World Alliance to support soldiers and refugees within the borders of Switzerland. After the war in 1945, the the French and German regions were growing their own organisations again. Whereas the German organisation was clearly focused on the Bible, the French organisation was not putting that much emphasis on the Christian faith. For hisotric reasons these differences have always existed.
In 1998 YMCA / YWCA Switzerland successfully merged the two regions into CEVI Schweiz (German) respectively Unions Chrétiennes Suisses (French). It is since this merger that the same programs are used for both regions, however, customized to their specific characteristics.
The YWCA YMCA Switzerland is a Christian movement for children, young people, women and men. It is part of the worldwide Young Women’s and Men’s Christian Asso-ciations, YWCA and YMCA. The Christian faith is its foundation and is lived out in a variety of ways.
We trust in God to achieve great things
With what it has to offer the YWCA/YMCA makes it possible to experience shared community, it encourages the use of talents, delegates responsibility and supports the development of the personality.
We trust in people to achieve great things
The YWCA/YMCA unites people and supports them in the joint realisation of their ideas; it encourages a life of faith in God’s new world.
We trust in ourselves to achieve great things
The main activity of YMCA / YWCA Switzerland consists of outdoor programs for children and teenagers (Jungschar), youth camps as well as Ten Sing.
Outdoor Programs (Jungschar): Groups all over Switzerland meet once a week (usually a Saturday afternoon) to follow different activities, mostly outside. They learn to read maps, prepare food, do handicrafts, set up tents, play theater and music or experience outdoor adventures.
Youth camps: Youth camps usually take place over one week and are organised around a specific activity. In winter snow sport camps are offered. In the other seasons camps are mostly carried out with the purpose to let children and teenagers experience outdoor adventures. All throughout the year YMCA / YWCA Switzerland offers more than 300 camps.
Ten Sing: Ten Sing is a place where young people get the opportunity to set up and perform concerts, theater shows and dance shows all on their own.
Moreover, YMCA / YWCA Switzerland is active in many more areas:
Horyzon is involved in worldwide development projects for the YWCA / YMCA movement. It focuses on strengthening civil society and sees to it that people can build a worthy existence for themselves regardless of ethnic, religious or political beliefs, gender or social position.
Cevi Military Service:
Cevi Military Service supports the servicemen with pastoral assistance, clothes as well as improving the leisure activity offering.
Cevi Alpin offers skitouring and climbing.
YPoM (Young People on Move)
(Yound People on Move)
are communities of people aged 20+ looking for profound relationships and diaconal activities.
Villa YoYo is a place where children aged 5-12 find room and toys to play.
CVJM Zentrum Hasliberg:
The CVJM Zentrum Hasliberg is a house to use for vacation or seminaries.
The grouphouse «Alpenblick» is a vacation-house in Wengen, CH.
Address National Office
National General Secretary: Peter Munderich
Sihlstrasse 33, Postfach
CH-8021 Zürich, Switzerland
Phone: +41-44-213 20 40
Fax: +41-44-213 20 41
The YMCA Network in Switzerland
Euromeet 98 (European YMCA/YWCA Meeting)
CVJM Website der Jungschar Kleinbasel
CEVI Regionalverband AG-SO-LU-ZG
CEVI JS Region AG-Mitte