Sri Lanka – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1882Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1962
Brief YMCA History
The first association was formed in Colombo in 1882. The Development of the Colombo YMCA was facilitated by the assistance in personnel and money for building from the International Committee of the YMCAs of the U.S.A and Canada. The training of local Secretaries was an important aspect of the early work. In1932 a local Secretary was appointed General Secretary of the Colombo YMCA. Since its early days the YMCA in Sri Lanka had been organizationally linked with the YMCA movement with India. After political indepence, the National Council of the YMCAs of Ceylon was formed on 30th June 1962 .Camping was an important program of the YMCA programs including vocational and leadership training
At present there are 37 YMCAs.
YMCA vision is to commit its membership to fulfil God’s mission to establish just and human society. The vision and mission are put into practice with a set of specific, measurable activities (goals) designed by several sub-committees, the Ex-Co.The Council assess the goals accomplished, recommend corrective measures and set new goals for the very same vision and mission. For this purpose the council through a process arrived at the following mission statement:-
‘Following the teaching of Jesus Christ; YMCA is to mobilize the spirit and action of youth to unite all people to usher in and preserve justice, prosperity and peace though exemplary Spirit-filled living, righteous action and collective endeavor, upholding and protecting the God given rights of every being and sustaining God’s creation, for the extension of His Kingdom on earth.’
The primary purpose is to promote spirituality. We are able to provide Devotions, Retreats and Materials to understand the word of God. Conduct Lillian Wirasinha memorial Bible essay competition and collaborated with Ceylon Bible Society for Bible Quiz. Annual YM/YMCA week of prayer and YMCA founder’s day on 6th June is observed.We support the Kalmunai YMCA publication of ‘Portrait of Jesus.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT & MEMBERSHIP EXTENSION
Primary objective is to promote Christian leadership in order to fulfil the YMCA mission. Leadership Training is provided to both lay and professional in the from of courses, seminars & workshop. Financial support towards fill-time Secretary’s salary is granted to a few YMCAs.
‘Sharing’ a quarterly news letter is published for the purpose of professional development and movement building.. Dialogues and Reflections on various topics are promoted to be relevant to the time. Annually Membership Campaign is coordinated .
Empowerment of the poor is the focus theme. Provide a capital loan found of Rs.50,000 to any YMCA to embark on it’s small development endeavors. Development education, micro financing and Poverty Alleviation projects are promoted.. Poverty Alleviation project to improve the quality of health and nutrition and Community action programs are implemented at selected villages . Formation of Base Groups with Credit societies and done to promote Community empowerment.
CHILDERN, YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS
Personal Informal training & personal development begins in the childhood at the YMCAs. They move on to various Dept, as they grow. More than 90 nursery schools run by the member YMCAs are provided with staff training and other development assistance.
Competitions on art, environment ,Christmas greeting card making were conducted at different age levels. Annual National Children Leaders Forum and Sports meet are conducted. Seminars are held to address students issues. Youth week provides daily theme to reflect and take reasonable action. Counseling and recreation camp was conducted to war victim children.
SOCIAL CONCERN-Migrant workers program
A research report prepared on this subject by the Chairman was published in local languages. In addition a hand -book to prepare the prospective migrant workers was published. Attempts are made to create awareness on environmental Conservation. Four YMCAs have established migrant centers and provide required information and Financial
PRR (Peace Reconciliation Reconstruction)
Five peace centers are set up to work and carry out action programs together with various NGOs. Human Right is another priority hence conducted a week long residential ‘educational programme’ From such participants Volunteers who are know as ‘Bear Foot Lawyers’ were selected to assist YMCAs to promote this concept. A magazine Titled ‘The Bridge’ is published quarterly.
Address – National Office
Theonis Charle Brownson
National Council of YMCAs
143 St. Michael’s Road
For hotel information, please contact YMCA National Offices directly.
Emphasis and goals for the next quadriennum
To promote exemplary Sprit-filled living
for the extension of His Kingdom on earth.
To extend Biblical Kingdom values
To build and mobilize Christian discipleship
To unite all people as children of God
To lead exemplary spirit filled life
To promote Christian values among
Youth and Children
To mobilise the Spirit and action of youth.
To train, empower youth and children as leaders
and decision Makers
To promote collective youth action for positive
To promote recreation and social events
To train youth and children for leadership
To promote peace and justice through youth
and children Mobilize YMCAs for kingdom extension
To promote righteous action to sustain God’s creation.
To promote development education
To preserve God’s gift of sustainable environment
To promote and support
To improve the quality of life
Particularly that of the poor
To promote just use of God given resources and distribution of resources
To promote self-employment and vocational training
To unite all peoples to usher in and preserve peace,
justice and prosperity, through collective social
endeavors, upholding and protecting the God-given
Rights of every human being.
To promote justice and fairly among people
And support peace building.
To promote Human Rights
To promote economic justice
To promote brotherhood among people of all
faith and communities
To promote and protect Child Rights
To promote gender equality