YMCA and YWCA in Denmark
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1878
Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1898
Brief YMCA History
The first YMCA group, which was formed in 1878 in Copenhagen, began as a Bible reading fellowship. By 1889 an active association had developed in a sizeable building holding a restaurant, a library, club rooms and a full-time secretary. Simultaneously, but completely distinct from this, another YMCA association started to grow in the rural areas and small urban communities. This movement began in Jutland in 1879; by 1893 there were 135 associations with over 4.000 members. The Danish National Committee, formed in 1884, was affiliated with the World Alliance in 1898.
In many rural areas YWCA groups developed alongside YMCA groups; very often it was therefore simpler to have one joint group for men and women. In 1906 an independent National Joint Board of the YMCA and YWCA in Denmark was formed, but until 1976 separate YMCA and separate YWCA national board meetings took place in addition.
Today, the joint movement has 9,000 members spread out to around 100 local associations and is characterized as a volunteer-based organization. The organization is governed by a male president and a female vice president and a board with equal representation of men and women.
“The mission of YMCA and YWCA in Denmark is to foster activities and communities where children and youth encounters the Christian faith and its’ relevance to their lives.”
YMCA and YWCA in Denmark is an ecumenical movement and is based on the teachings of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark.
Our work and efforts are founded in our 2025 vision:
“YMCA and YWCA in Denmark will be a dynamic and vibrant organization, which reaches out to more people and new target groups. We offer a wide range of activities, based on a Christian foundation which meets the needs of the children and young people, and strengthen their spirits, courage and line of action in terms of both faith and society”.
The YMCA and YWCA in Denmark hosts a wide range of activities aimed at different age groups. Our primary target group is children and youth, but we also have programs for adults and families. The organizational structure reflects the nature of our activities and our five national committees:
(1) Global Communities
(2) Local Activities
(3) Festivals and camps
Program activities include leadership training, Christian education, Ten Sing, Tween sing, international exposure and solidarity work, festivals, summer camps, and club activities for children, youth, and families.
YMCA and YWCA in Denmark host festivals and camps both locally and nationally, for children, youth, and families. All festivals and camps build on the notion of solidarity and diversity and are arranged and carried out by volunteers from the organization. Every second year, YMCA and YWCA in Denmark hosts Wonderful Days – a big youth festival with international participation. For more information, see http://www.wonderfuldays.com/.
International commitment plays an important role in the YMCA and YWCA in Denmark and comes to life among other things through our different projects and partnerships. For us, international outlook and commitment are important values. We believe that we are part of a larger whole, also globally. That is why we encourage active citizenship. We must learn from the world and the people in it. We share a responsibility for each other, and we want to show the children and young people in Denmark that there is inequity in the world and that they can make a difference.
Within the YMCA and YWCA in Denmark, we work with global communities and in this framework, we carry out different activities such as leadership training, volunteering, and providing opportunities for intercultural meetings between young people. YMCA and YWCA in Denmark has numerous partnerships with national and local YMCAs around the world. We cooperate on different activities ranging from development projects to youth exchanges, school trips and trainings. Please find a visual presentation of our partnerships in this site: https://rejsud.kfum-kfuk.dk/.
From November 2018 the Y-Glocal partnership with YMCA Cameroun and YMCA South Africa is our high-priority partnership aiming at empowering youth in all three countries in order for them to take responsibility in their local communities and create change with global importance. UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are at core of the partnership.
UNITAS Travel Agency
The joint movement of YMCA and YWCA in Denmark is the exclusive owner of UNITAS travel agency, and we work together closely. The travel agency has great expertise in terms of Raptim tickets. Unitas Rejser generates important income for our programs. For more information, see: https://www.unitasrejser.dk/eng/.
YMCA World Council 2022
YMCA and YWCA in Denmark will be hosting YMCA’s 20th World Council in July 2022. For more information, see: YMCA World Council in Aarhus 2022.
General Secretary: Jørgen Kvist, firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Secretary: Helene Rohde Juhl, email@example.com.
Danish Project Manager of World Council 2022: Filip Hove Kristensen, firstname.lastname@example.org.