MCA 


Brief History
The YMCA began in London England in 1844. It was founded by a young 
drapery clerk named George Williams and eleven other young men, who, like 
him wanted to provide young men with an alternative to the corrupt 
environment which prevailed in 19th century London. The Y's primary activity 
of that time was to develop a library and reading room and to conduct 
discussions, lectures and Bible study groups. First known as the "Young 
Men's Improvement Society." It adopted its present name, "Young Men's 
Christian Association" on June 6th 1844.

The YMCA came to America in 1851. A retired American sea captain, Thomas 
V. Sollivan, saw the influence the London was having on young men and 
decided that Boston young men needed the YMCA. One was established in 1851 
and became so excited about its own success that it printed and sent 10,000 
copies of its constitution across the United States. As a result in 1853 
thirteen new YMCAs were organized from coast to coast.
During the YMCAs early years, great emphasis was placed upon religious 
understanding and relationships with Protestant churches. However, the 
library, reading room lecturing and other educational aspects of the early 
YMCA Movement quickly began to assume major emphasis. During the late 1850's 
YMCA classes in language, music and gymnastics were begun. Although many 
YMCAs permitted membership only to men under 35 to 40 years of age, they 
developed ladies' auxiliaries to make rooms attractive, raise money, serve 
in welfare projects and teach Bible classes.
As YMCAs began to serve persons of all religious faiths, their 
relationship to denominational Protestantism began to be more clearly 
defined. Today the YMCA is regarded as a non-denominational, private, lay 
Christian organization. It has no organic ties to any church, government or 
state.


From its formative years, the United States YMCA has pioneered across a 
wide front and has helped other organizations serving youth such as boy 
scouts and camp fire girls, to get started. The YMCA's James Naismith, in 
1891 invented basketball and in 1895 a Y physical director, William 
Morgan, invented volleyball. Youth camping was first started by the YMCA in 
1884.
Short-term capital fund campaigns were another YMCA "first". The YMCA led 
the way in disaster relief efforts, organized community and public 
recreation, developed the concept of man's unity of body, mind and spirit
and reinforced it with a nationwide health, education and physical fitness 
emphasis. Today, it is the nation's leader in such activities.


The Young Men's Christian Association is unique among those institutions 
which American Society has provided for the welfare of its youth and 
families . It performs a vital unduplicated function.
The YMCA's unique role results from the combination of five factors:


FIRST
The YMCA is a voluntary organization. Boys, girls, young people 
participate in the programs of the Y because they want to, not because they 
required to.
Mature citizens, too, voluntarily serve on its boards and committees and 
provide leadership for its activities because they believe in the importance 
of the YMCA program and choose to share responsibility for its development 
and effective operation.
SECOND
Because of its fundamental character as a voluntary organization , the 
YMCA enjoys freedom to determine its policies and select its methods of 
serving youth without interference from political or governmental sources.
THIRD
The YMCA works with young people in their leisure, when they are free to 
do what interests them ,with companions of their choice. The misuse of 
leisure is responsible for much of the crime and delinquency among youth 
today.
FOURTH
The YMCA was born of the free enterprise system and its growth has 
parallel that of free enterprise. Although the Y operates in all parts of 
the world, like free enterprise, it has reached its highest development 
under the American system.
FIFTH
Although non-sectarian, the YMCA is a Christian organization. Its purpose 
and program proudly direct youth to the spirit and teachings of Jesus and 
leads them toward a dynamic religious faith as the only sound basis for the 
achievement of character and realization of a full life.
For generations the Y has worked with youth - with problem youngsters and 
with good youngsters and exceptional youngsters. It has sent them out into 
the life of the community as well adjusted, useful citizens, many of them as 
leaders.
This is the Young Men's Christian Association.

YMCA Egypt

YMCA USA

BACK TO MAIN PAGE