Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are an integral part of any society. And an international non-governmental organization plays a crucial role in shaping the lives of the downtrodden and vulnerable in society. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is one such NGO that aims at making a difference and creating a better world for the vulnerable. This article will analyze the YMCA Mission Statement, vision, and values.
The Youth Men’s Christian Association has branches all over the world. Its mission statement changes according to the nations and region. But the core motive of improving lives and communities remains the same in each YMCA. In this article, we will be focussing on the YMCA in the United States.
Know about YMCA
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) also known as Y is an international youth non-governmental organization that was founded in 1844 by Sir George Williams in London to use Christian principles for the development of ‘body, mind and spirit’.It was initially started by a small group of men who intended to serve their young fellows. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It gained momentum from its inception and spread worldwide. There are different branches of YMCA that come under the umbrella of the World YMCA.
The versatile nature of YMCA allows different countries to shape their missions, vision, and values according to them, bearing in mind the main motive of the organization. By this adaptive nature of YMCA, countries become a part of an international initiative and retain their individuality at the same time. The mission statement of each YMCA is shaped according to the challenges faced by youth in their country.
YMCA in the US
YMCA in the US was founded seven years later on December 29, 1851. YMCA spread very fast amongst youngsters. Though women were not permitted to join YMCA until World War 2 now the proportion of women has increased. Today, about half of the members in the US YMCA are women and half are under the age of eighteen years.
YMCA has touched upon the lives of every American in some way or the other. Every one out of three Americans claims to be a part of the YMCA at some point in time.YMCA is credited with the invention of volleyball, basketball, and racquetball. It also introduced the world’s first indoor pool and group swimming lessons.
Mission Statement of the YMCA
As we know the mission statements of all the YMCAs differ according to the region and nation, the mission statement of the US is different from that of the UK or Australia. The mission of the US YMCA is based on the Christian principles which are shared by all faiths. They intend to achieve a healthy spirit, body, and mind for all people. It is guided by its mission:
“To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.”
Even though the mission statement differs, the YMCAs core components remain the same. The core components of YMCA are as follows:
- Building people’s character
YMCA all across the world aims at building the character of people through programs formulated to nurture the youngsters and encourage them to become independent, strong, and responsible members of society.
The US YMCA has launched programs for Child Care Programmes which involves fostering children to build healthy relations; Education and Leadership Programmes which help the youngsters to build confidence and leadership skills.
- Improving Communities
YMCA aims at improving the lives of the downtrodden and vulnerable in the society which includes youngsters, men, women, and children. The US YMCA did an exceptional job by helping children affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. The mission takes into its ambit everyone irrespective of their gender, race, or religion.
- Physical and Mental Health
YMCA focuses on the health of the people. It aims to improve the physical and mental health of children and youths. It organizes swims, sports, plays, camps, and many such activities to permit the youths to rejuvenate which helps in ensuring good mental health. The Meal Programmes for kids provide them with nutritious food and ensure their physical health.
YMCA organizes mentorship programs to encourage the youth to stay focused and work hard to accomplish their dreams.
The mission of the YMCA is to enlighten the path of youths, kids, men, and women from all sections of society. They aim at developing the personalities of the people on Christian principles that are intrinsic to all the faiths.
Vision Statement of YMCA
Similar to the mission statement, YMCA provides the opportunity to the countries to tailor their vision statements as per their views and goals. The Vision Statement of every YMCA differs depending on what they perceive from society.
The Vision Statement of US YMCA is :
“We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities.”
The vision statements of all the YMCAs have something in common that is their focus on productively channelizing the youth so that they can become assets in their own lives as well as to society. There are two major components of the vision statement of YMCA which are as follows:
- Youth empowerment
YMCA aims at empowering the youth by facilitating them with support in their health and education. They aid the students in their personality development. In an attempt to achieve this vision, different YMCAs are permitted to shape their programs in the way that suits them the best.
- Brighter Future
YMCA inspires youth to create a brighter future for themselves. Through their programs, they intend to accomplish their vision of enabling the youth to build a better future for themselves.
The vision of the YMCA focuses on making the youth competent enough to create a better future for themselves as well as for society. They believe that every individual is important and needs to be made stronger to thrive in this world.
Values of YMCA
YMCA has five core values which are as follows:
- Caring: One of the core values of the YMCA is caring. It values selflessness, compassion, love, and sensitivity towards the plight of the vulnerable. YMCAs undertook many programs to provide food to the needy in the pandemic. They conduct food drives, fundraising events to help the needy.
- Honesty: It believes in inculcating in kids and youth a sense of honesty so that in the future they step ahead to help the needy. They operate with integrity and truth and try to instill the same in the youth by organizing programs on the importance of honesty.
- Respect: This is another core value of the YMCA. They work together respectfully and endeavor to instill in the kids and the youth the same. This value is practiced by everyone whether the CEOs or the employees or the kids.
- Responsibility: YMCA is of the view that every youth should get an equal opportunity to prove, improve and develop themselves. They tend to take social responsibility to achieve this goal. They are dedicated to their responsibilities and societal obligation and impart the same value to their members and everyone they take under their ambit.
- Inclusiveness: A commendable value of the YMCA is its inclusiveness. It does not discriminate against anyone based on gender, race, economic status, or religion. It treats everyone equally, rather than helping the vulnerable to blossom.
These are the core values of all the YMCAs around the world. They operate and dwell on these values intending to create a better future.
Achievements of the US YMCA
YMCAs around the globe have achieved a lot. The achievements of one such YMAC in the US are as follows:
- There are more than 2,400 YMCAs in the United States, which are the largest not-for-profit organizations in the nation. It has benefited more than 17.5 million men, women, and children in the US by providing them with many incentives to the people through its various programs.
- It has been successful in taking into its umbrella people from all the sections of society. They have a far-reaching and long-lasting influence on society.
- They have been successful in creating a future generation of changemakers by gathering people through their programs and initiatives and inspiring them to bring about an affirmative change.
YMCA is a social welfare non-profit organization that has been successful in bringing about a positive change in society. They are nurturing the personalities of the youth. The focus of the organization is on youth as we all know they are the posterity and the changemakers of the coming times.
We can conclude that the overall mission, vision, and values of YMCA are exemplary and by far have been successful in creating a better world to dwell in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there a single YMCA or many YMCAs?
There are different branches of this organization all around the world. However,all these organizations are governed by a single organization which is World YMCA.
Do all YMCAs have the same mission and vision statement?
No, all YMCAs do not have the same mission and vision statement. YMCAs are permitted to shape their mission and vision statements as per their goals and perspectives.