Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1945 Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1966
Brief YMCA History
YMCA work began in Taiwan around the turn of the century as a result of the Japanese occupation. The YMCA as it is known today was founded in 1945 when Taiwan was returned to the Chinese Nationalist Government. Early programme emphasis was in the areas of camping, club programmes, physical education, social activities, leadership training, vocational training and supple-mentary education. In 1966, the associations of Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung formed the National Council of YMCAs of the Republic of China. It was affiliated with the World Alliance in 1966. The new national organization placed considerable emphasis on the development of youth leadership.
The constitution of the YMCA of Taiwan states in Article 1, Paragraph 2, that: This Association takes this action, to unite various local Associations to practice the YMCA Principles as expressed in the Paris Basis and the Kampala Principles; to unite youth of like purpose, to expand the spirit of Christ, to cultivate healthy well-rounded character, and to create an ideal society. We have always taken these aims as our purpose. Our local Associates use these Principles to guide them as they develop programs to meet the differing needs of their communities.
On the National Level, to fulfill the above purpose, we use opportunities during our National Annual Meeting and Leaders’ Conference, AOS Meetings, national Y program consultation etc, using speeches, discussions and evaluations to strengthen the knowledge, and understanding of all aspects of Lay and Professional Service. These meetings also give all members time to practice their understanding of the Taiwan Y and in its principles.
The Mission Statement:
The Mission of the YMCA of Taiwan is to expand the spirit of the love and service of Christ through the spirit of the love and service of Christ through the unification of those who wish to contribute to the promotion of different programs and activities that develop a cultivated spirit, mind and body, and a healthy and well balanced character, which help to create a harmonious and ideal society.
1. We believe that all people all born equal, and will respect the differences of faith, race, ethnic heritage, culture, social status and sex.
2. We will work to promote intellectual, physical, social and cultural education. And emphasize spiritual development to build a healthy character.
3. To create the conditions that aid positive personal interactions, with an emphasis on family ethics and values.
4. To cultivate youth leadership in the Y, to develop leadership of the Y and of our society.
5. To develop a spirit of volunteerism through service programs. And with these programs help foster volunteerism and enlarge the volunteer spirit.
6. To focus attention on marginalized populations, and provide more opportunities for their participation in the Y.
7. Cultivate a feeling of identification with Taiwan, and preserve and protect our cultural properties. And to work to love and protect ‘The Garden of God’.
8. Develop global citizenship through international cooperation, which will create a world of justice and peace.
The YMCAs in Taiwan have a common type of programme except in Taipei where YMCA runs a hotel and restaurant. The common programmes are:
1. Short-term class oriented education programmes. Language and fitness swimming. These courses are of one week to three months’ duration and permit flexibility in study.
2. Long-term programmes include childcare and after school and community college programmes. These programmes are run on semester system.
3. Outdoor and camping activities include day camps, sports camps and resident camps. Overseas camps and learning tours are also held.
4. International exchange programmes promote linkages, partnership and co-operation agreements with YMCAs in other countries. There are staff and student exchange service programmes. Others include OSCY from Japan and the U.S. and the VIA programme, International Camp Counselor Programme and International Christian Youth Exchange, and other types of exchange programmes.
5. Clubs and activity groups: The YMCA in Taiwan sponsors Boys’ and Girls’ Scouts programmes. There are High School YMCA clubs of students. These Clubs foster friendships and support study efforts as well as develop leadership qualities in young people.
There are other student fellowship clubs such as the Student Action Corps, Youth in Action Teams, Y’s Men’s Clubs and International Management Council. There are clubs for the handicapped where programmes like wheel-chair basketball, swimming, interest clubs, singing, and photography are organized.
6. There are activities organized to educate, entertain and provide enjoyment for participants. These activities are open to all members and the public. Christian programmes include Easter Sunrise Service and the World Week of Prayer. Table manners classes and Halloween parties are other examples of Member activities.
7. Other community-oriented programmes include talks on topics of current interest, charity bazaars, fund raising through runs against child prostitution and the like. The YMCA participates in campaigns against drugs or environmental pollution and works with many other agencies to support minority rights.
8. Through these programmes it has been possible to provide direct support to minorities in the local community; Taiwan YMCAs offer discounts and / or free classes for low income and minority peoples. They also provide free swimming therapy classes for rehabilitation. Camps are held in collaboration with governmental authorities, for juvenile delinquents and for children under risk.
Other programmes like social education, language courses, physical education, vocational training, childcare and kindergartens meet definite needs of the society. YMCA was the first Christian non-profit organization in Taiwan. As the first volunteer organization, the YMCA has provided a model for other voluntary organizations in the country. The YMCA as a broad-based ‘movement’, is open and attractive to all, bringing together people of all levels and all segments of society. The YMCA has provided creative leadership and has brought new ideas and ideas to Taiwanese society. Language schools, ecumenical gatherings, cultural and sports activities, concerts, basketball, camps and management training have been introduced in Taiwan by the YMCA. The YMCA continues to meet the changing needs of the rapidly developing society. The YMCA work among the handicapped, juvenile delinquents and aboriginal people is appreciated. Since 1945 the YMCA has worked hard to break down the barriers among people and has helped to develop an ‘international outlook.’
NGS, James Tou