On June 6, YMCA’s across the globe celebrated our 175th birthday. Founded back in 1844, a truly inspired 22 year old, George Williams, decided something had to be done during the Industrial revolution, a time of great despair and poverty. He gathered together a few friends to form a society that met regularly to support each other and gain renewed strength in body, mind and spirit.
The group called itself the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). From its inception, through to the early 1900s, the focus was on the welfare of young men, and related social concerns.
175 years on, YMCA is now an iconic global youth movement, believing in the power of inspired young people.
To celebrate our birthday, a global youth event is set to take on London, called YMCA175 to bring together everyone across the Y to connect, celebrate and create.
YMCA175 is a global youth event that will have elements of a conference, summit and celebration, that will be a living embodiment of YMCA, bringing together thousands of young leaders and YMCA senior leaders and networks from around the world. The event aims to connect YMCA’s global movement to build relationships and strengthen cross-cultural understanding, celebrate 175 years of YMCA’s impact on youth and communities around the world, and create solutions to address social challenges.