We believe that all young people have potential to achieve great things. They have the energy, enthusiasm, creativity and boldness to make a positive impact on their communities. Our programs seek to constantly re-enforce that ideal.
In South Africa, the YMCA is a Christian Youth Development organisation that seeks to provide opportunities for young people to develop themselves in a way that will touch their families and communities in a positive manner. We exist in 21 communities around South Africa, running programs relating to Life skills, HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention & care, youth justice & rehabilitation, student hostels, campus ministry, spiritual growth, trauma counseling, civic education, IT & basic computer literacy training and arts & culture programs. The mission of the YMCA is rooted in the following: The Kampala Principles, Paris Basis, Challenge 21
Our Core Identity
The YMCA is a worldwide Christian ecumenical and volunteer movement for men and women that creates an enabling environment for development of young people through relevant and sustainable programmes.
To be a socially relevant, active, ecumenical leader that works with young people to transform their lives for life, leadership and service and empowering them for the African Renaissance.
Informed by Christian values, we seek to prepare young people for life, leadership and service through focused, development and sustainable programmes.
We aim to create an enabling environment that promotes the holistic (mind, body and spirit) transformation of young people. Our work is characterized by the following shared values:
“Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu….we are who we are because of others”. This fosters deep respect for each other, the people we work with (beneficiaries and partners)
Being rooted in communities, we are committed to practical concern and care in all we do, especially towards young people, the poor and the marginalized.
We are committed to honesty and “doing the right thing” in our relationships with our beneficiaries and partners.
We will do what we say we will do. We pledge personal commitment and reliability to all our stakeholders, beneficiaries and partners.
Essential Guiding Principles
- Uphold the Paris Basis, Kampala Principles and Challenge 21
- Maintain our essential Christian identity and place in the ecumenical community
- Reflect the Red Triangle – Mind, Body and Spirit
- Advocate for youth empowerment and development as our core and central focus
- Campaign for gender equity and the role of women in the YMCA and society
- Uphold social justice and human rights
- Promote preferential initiatives for the poor and marginalized
- Develop volunteer leadership and promotion of volunteerism
World and African Alliance of YMCAs
The Youth Agenda’s of the World and Africa Alliance of YMCAs are essential points of reference for the work and mission of the South African YMCA.