YMCA is one of the oldest and largest youth-focused movements in the world. Founded in 1844, it now operates in 120 countries and reaches 58 million people. YMCA associations are strongly rooted in their communities and offer a variety of programmes and services based on local priorities and issues affecting young people and their communities.
YMCA operates in a wide range of programme areas covering 14 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) united in our mission to empower young people so that they may transform the world for the better.
About World YMCA
The global movement is organised as a federation of independent national YMCAs linked together and supported by World YMCA. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, World YMCA supports the local and national associations to bring social justice and peace to young people and their families, regardless of age, gender, religion or socio-economic background.
World YMCA supports the efforts of YMCAs around by:
- Strengthening the capacity of national movements to respond to social issues
- Advocating globally on issues affecting young people in collaboration with, and on behalf of YMCAs
- Representing YMCA at the global level with key stakeholders, United Nations bodies, ecumenical organisations and other civil society partners
- Coordinating YMCA emergency response efforts
YMCA believes in the unlimited potential of young people to use their ideas, talents and voice for the greater good. YMCAs around the world share a commitment to empower young people – from childhood to young adulthood – with the support they need to reach their potential and create a better future for all.
World YMCA is committed to promoting empowerment, social justice and peace for young people and their communities through four key areas – health, employment, civic engagement and environment.