Founded in 1844 in London, it is one of the oldest and largest voluntary youth organisations in the world, reaching 58 million young people

The YMCA works to bring social justice and peace to young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture. YMCAs take a holistic approach to young people’s development emphasising their personal, social and spiritual development.

In 1984, the YMCA National Councils in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland agreed to better coordinate their existing international humanitarian relief efforts. The resulting organisation, Y Care International, was founded by Terry Waite CBE and National Council of England members John Naylor and David Bedford. The focus was on international relief following an emergency. It would work in partnership with YMCAs across the global south to respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged young people.

Terry Waite remains President of Y Care International to this day and is an active advocate of our work.

Over the years we have strengthened our role as a development agency focused on supporting disadvantaged young people, whose needs and rights are so often neglected. We continued to be a subsidiary charity of YMCA England & Wales before becoming a fully independent charity in 2005. In 2010, we strengthened our link with the YMCA movement became an Associate Member of the World Alliance of YMCAs.

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