About the YMCA

The YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) is one of the oldest and largest youth-focused movement in the world. Founded in 1844, it now operates in 120 countries and serves 58 million people. YMCA associations are strongly rooted in their communities and offer a variety of programs and services based on the local context and priority issues affecting young people and their communities.

The World Alliance of YMCAs, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a confederation of National Councils of YMCAs around the world.

About World YMCA

The global YMCA Movement is organised as a federation of independent national associations that is linked together and supported by the World Alliance of YMCAs (World YMCA). Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World YMCA support the local and national associations to bring social justice and peace to young people and their families, regardless of ability, age, background, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.

Local and National YMCA Associations are strongly rooted in their communities. Depending on the local context and priority issues affecting young people, YMCAs operate in a wide range of programme areas covering several of the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) of the United Nations.

The World YMCA supports the efforts of YMCAs around the world to create long-lasting change in the lives of millions of youth and the communities of which they are part. In all activities, strong emphasis is given to youth leadership and participation. Key focus areas of World YMCA include:

  • Strengthens the capacity of National YMCA Movements to respond to social issues
  •  Advocates globally on issues affecting young people in collaboration with, and on behalf of YMCAs
  • Represents the YMCA at global level with key stakeholders, United Nations bodies,ecumenical organisations and other civil society partners
  • Coordinates YMCA emergency response efforts