Macau, SAR of China – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1994Membership Status: Full
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 2010
Brief YMCA History
Macau, situated on the southeast coast of China, is composed of a small Peninsula, the Taipa island and the Coloane island. On this piece of land with a total area of 23.5 square kilometers live a population of 450 thousands.
Although the area of Macau is small, it was once a Portuguese colony and until December 1999 it was an enclave in which the Portuguese government executed its sovereignty. It also has quite a number of popular spots deeply tinted with a South European sense which glitter together with the atmosphere of the traditional Chinese culture. As a result, the convergence of Chinese and Western culture becomes the characteristic of Macau and it also attracts many tourists every year.
The movement of YMCA also originated from a period when there were acute changes and confu-sion in society. Taking into account of how Chris-tians should combine their belief and life and the mission entrusted to us by God, the choice of YMCA of Macau is to respond to the society needs by assuming the attitude of ‘Illumination of life rather than cursing of the dark’.
The Development of YMCA of Macau
In the recent two decades, there is an acute demand on the various social services in Macau owing to the rapid increase in population and the incessant development and improvement in Macau society. The Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong actively promoted and assisted Macau in arrang-ing and launching the YMCA movement in the early 1990’s. Finally, YMCA of Macau was officially inaugurated on Feb. 9, 1994, with the cultivation of comprehensive personality for the youth and serving society by upholding the Christian doctrine as the principle. We expect the youth to be able to obtain the chance to acquire profound friendship, to become healthier, to enrich their intellect and to cultivate their morality through their participation in the YMCA.
The movement of YMCA in Macau started in 1991 when the Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong held discussions for assisting the establishment of YMCA in Macau. In the summer of 1992, the Council, together with some churches and mis-sionary bodies in Macau, arranged various kinds of summer programs for the community of Macau. It was the first time YMCA provided services in Macau.
YMCA of Macau was officially inaugurated on February 9, 1994.
The first membership campaign was conducted in 1995 and 257 members were recruited, all of whom became the founder members of YMCA of Macau.
The services of YMCA of Macau have ever been increasing. More than 3,000 people joined the YMCA programs in 1996. As a gradual extension in scope of our services, shortage of working space and service area drew urgent attention. In order to promote and support the movement in Macau continuously, with the as sistance from the Council of YMCAs of Hong Kong, a brand new six-story building located at No.3 Rua do Volong, Macau, was purchased at the end of December, 1996.
– A dedication ceremony of the new premises was conducted on March 23, 1997 with the presence of the representatives from various YMCAs in our region.
– YMCA of Macau was accepted to be an Associate Member of the World Alliance of YMCAs in 1998.
After a few years’ search on service direction, our main targets at present are children and the youth, with the provision of different kinds of developmen-tal and preventive services to them.
Our present services include:
1) Spiritual Renewal through Bible-Study meetings, music, fellowship and so on.
2) Experience exchanges and visitation activities to China and other areas.
3) School social work service by sending social workers to the secondary and primary schools
4) Different kinds of seminars, training and workshops.
5) Camping activities.
6) The development and the training plan of volun-teer work.
7) The current organization facilities include a chil-dren’s games room in the lobby, a group activ-ity room and a classroom on the first and sec-ond floors, an office on the third floor and a youth hostel from the fourth to sixth floor which can hold up to 30 people.
The number of people we served in 1998 through the provision of various services almost reached 9,000.