The European Alliance of YMCAs was created in 1973, with the purpose of setting a collective direction for the European Movement and strengthening the work of the YMCA across the continent. Soon, other National Movements joined, and an official structure of volunteers and staff was created.
The first seat of YMCA Europe was established in Kassel, Germany in the mid-1970s. Later it was moved to St. Gallen, Switzerland, and then to Prague in the Czech Republic, and is currently in Brussels, Belgium. Today there are 37 national YMCAs in Europe and 32 of them are full members of YMCA Europe. The rest are cooperating YMCAs. Collectively there are more than 3,200 local YMCAs, involving more than 95,000 volunteers and approximately 18,500 members of staff, impacting over 2 million beneficiaries.
YMCA Europe works all around Europe serving young people, often from underserved backgrounds, like the homeless, refugees and displaced youths. It provides activities like sports, arts, scouting, environmental programmes, digital upskilling and peacebuilding, empowering young people to become independent, caring and inclusive.