Greece – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1892
Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1947
Brief YMCA History
The spirit of YMCA was growing in Athens in 1892. During World War I (1918-1922) YMCA centres were organised for Greek soldiers. In 1920 the Greek YMCA entered a new period of organisation with associations being formed in Athens 14-7-1920 and again in Thessaloniki – November 1921.
Other associations developed around the country, but by 1939 all activities ceased because of a government edict which amalgamated all youth organisations into a single national society. After 1945 the associations were able to start again although many had suffered great property damage. The National Council of the YMCAs of Greece was formed in 1947 and is full member of the W.A. of YMCAs and EAY. A Fraternal secretary was provided by the International Committee of the YMCAs of the USA and Canada to assist in the work of the National Council of YMCA.
The Greek YMCA has been providing a variety of programmes including camping, hostels, educational activities, athletic and recreational programmes, leadership training and spiritual studies. The YMCA centres in Athens and Thessaloniki offer adult education classes in languages, computers, Fine Arts, handicrafts, Ceramics, etc. The YMCA Camps Salamis, Pelion and Chalkidiki has always worked closely with the Greek Orthodox Church and its leaders. Today the Greek YMCA has a total of 60,000 members, friends and participants, full and part-time YMCA secretaries, approx. 100 part-time staff and more than 350 voluntary leaders.