Pakistan – Brief YMCA History
YMCA in Pakistan has its beginnings in 1876 when the YMCA in Lahore was established. Thereafter the Karachi YMCA was formed. Before the partioning of India into India and Pakistan the YMCAs in Lahore and Karachi were part of the National Council of the YMCAs of India, Burma and Ceylon. It was in 1956 that, on the initiative of the Karachi YMCA, the only two YMCAs in Pakistan, Karachi and Lahore joined together to form the National Council of the YMCAs of Pakistan.
A Memorandum of the Association along with Rules and Regulations of the National Council of YMCAs of Pakistan was drawn up and signed in 1956 by eight representatives of the Karachi and Lahore YMCAs (4 from each YMCA) and was filed with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
The National Council since then consists of eight representatives, 4 from Karachi and 4 from Lahore YMCA and meets biennially at Karachi and Lahore alternatively. As mutually agreed, the Presi-dent is elected from one YMCA while the Gen-eral Secretary is appointed from the other YMCA for a term of two years. The Executive Com-mittee of the National Council is appointed biennially. It consists of the four Officers of the National Council – President, Vice President , General Secretary and Honorary Treasurer together with two other members of the National Council.
The Executive Committee is fully authorised to act on behalf of the National Council and to discharge all its functions at anytime when the National Council is not meeting. It may adopt rules and by-laws to facilitate its work which are not in-consistent with the Rules and Regulations and Memorandum of the Association. The expenses of National Council including the Executive Committee shall be defrayed in equal portions by each Member YMCA or otherwise as may from time to time be agreed by the National Council by a vote of at least two thirds of the representatives on the National Council.
The National Council of YMCAs of Pakistan is an organization affiliated with the Asia Alliance of YMCAs and the World Alliance of YMCAs aim-ing to serve the suffering humanity irrespective of caste, colour, creed and gender through Christ’s ideas of service and character. The main emphasis of the programmes is development of body, mind and spirit according to the Holy Scriptures and Christian faith.
National Council of YMCAs of Pakistan had been in the process of reorganization. The financial condition of the National Council is weak. The funds are not available for the coordination work and the office needs. The office of the National Council do not have the basic necessities like fax and e-mail which are most important for the coordination work. The Lahore YMCA had borne some of the expenses like telephone and fax charges, postage, stationery, transport and meetings. The expenses of the National General Secretary, incurred in travel to other cities, have been personally borne by the National General Secretary. Due to the non availability of funds and resources very few programmes could be organised at the national level.
The current programmes of the YMCA in Pakistan is still mostly limited to sports facilities at Lahore and Karachi. The Karachi YMCA is running a Technical Institute where students are trained in different skills. Computer training is also given in this Institute. A High school for formal education is also housed in the Karachi YMCA. It is also a venue for other community centred programmes.
The Lahore YMCA initiated two women empower-ment programmes in the marginalised areas of Lahore for the benefit of young girls and women. This empowerment programme includes classes in pattern cutting, sewing and embroidery. The participants in this programme were also given edu-cation on: rights of women in a male dominated society; women’s issues like violence against women, divorce, killing of women by stove burst, mother care, breast feeding and hygienic living. The Lahore YMCA is also running a small primary school, a commercial college, hostel, language classes, sports facilities and a drama society. It also provides a home for the other NG0s in that they are permitted to conduct their activities, which is complementary to the YMCAs missional work, within the YMCA. The facilities are also being used by some literary societies as well. The YMCA ar-ranges lectures on drug abuse and preventive measures. Religious meetings are held regularly at the YMCA.
The Peshawar YMCA is in the making. Meetings are being held regularly attended by the National General Secrelary as and when required. We are making efforts to get an independent office through the courtesy of the Bishop of the Peshawar Diocese on a monthly rent. Due to the non avail-ability of funds not much could be achieved yet.
Address – National Office
General Secretary – YMCA
No YMCA accomodation available in Pakistan.