YMCA Finland

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 


The first YMCA association was founded in Turku in 1886. In 1889, after the YMCA’s World Meeting in Stockholm, authorities granted permission for three local YMCAs in Helsinki, Tampere, and Joensuu. The YMCA of Helsinki became a full member of the World Alliance in 1905. The Finnish YMCA developed close ties with the Finnish Lutheran Church, forming alliances for sports and boys’ work, establishing a separate national council in 1938, and playing a significant role in Christian youth work, including camps, scouting, and social services. The movement also had a strong focus on music and sports; it hosted international events, collaborated with Nordic countries, and engaged in international social work after World War II. The YMCA of Helsinki has since grown to become one of Finland’s prominent youth movements.